I’m just going to tell you right of the bat that this Georgia-based band, who are cleverly named Kinetic Dissent, are one of the best unsigned bands in the underground. Pretty bold statement huh? Well, I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think they deserve it.
Controlled Reaction is the appointed name for their second demo and I seriously think it was one of the best demo tapes I’ve heard in all of ’88. Definitely top ten list. This congregation has managed to materialize four songs that are extremely impressive…to say the least. The songs Choose Your Fate, Cultured Illogic, 12 Angry Men and Faces of the Fallen are some of the finest in metal today period.
Their song writing is thought-provoking, the music is heavy | dynamic and [a tad bit] progressive. The audio on the demo sounds great and is packaged equally impressive. This is a welcome change compared to the majority of packages (you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff we receive at the Demolish HQ).
Honestly, I cannot figure out why they aren’t signed to a label yet. Come on—A&R guys get your heads outta’ your ass please.
I receive hundreds of demos at the Demolish HQ every year and most of them are less than stellar!
One hates to sound negative like that and or put it that way, but it’s true. Some of these demos are mere band rehearsals, some are “live”, some sound like a 10th generation cassette copy (and some might be just that -ed), but luckily the top 25% I would say are recorded quite well and even look like a real-deal “finished product”.
Enter Demolition Hammer.
These thrash dogs are from New York and what a treat for your ears! Each song unfolds more and more layers of crisp and tasty riffs. I kept thinking, OK when is it going to bomb-out and or throw me into the “disinterested” mood which would in turn prompt a swift ejection and placement into the “crap” pile. Well, I am happy to report that never happened! As a matter of fact I listened to this demo, which is called “Necrology” from start to finish and my ears were thanking me for the extreme pleasure their music provided.
They are obviously wearing their SLAYER influence proudly on their sleeves, which is cool. You gotta’ start somewhere right, so why not be influenced by one of the best on the scene?!
The six songs are similar to the speed of Exodus with the standard shout-type background vox that’s popular these days, but Demolition Hammer is headed into more of a “death metal” direction, mostly in the vocal department as the riffage is straight up [underground] Thrash Metal.
Hats off to drummer – Vincent Civitano (aka’ Vinny Daze) who is quite the “sticksmith.” The main beef [being a drummer], is that most of the demo’s we get for review have weak drummers who are just plain “sloppy.” Not the case with Vinny! Check out the tracks “Mercenary Aggression” and “Infectious Hospital Waste” for prime examples of his tight playing and precision double-bass execution.
The demo was engineered by John Rosenberg and recorded at Water Music, Hoboken, N.J. in May 1989. Cover Art & Logo by Vinny Daze.
I would file this alongside Canada’s Sacrifice, California’s Vio-Lence, Arizona’s Sacred Reich or New Jersey’s Nuclear Assault (four of my favorites). If you like those bands then you will most likely click with “DH.”
~Buy or die!
The band ended up releasing three full-length albums between 1990 and 1994. Century Media Records released a complete anthology back in 2008, which includes every title from their first three albums, two pre-production demos from Time Bomb, and one video clip.
I am sad to learn that drummer Vincent Civitano (a.k.a. Vinny Daze) passed away in 1996. R.I.P. Vinny!
This demo [from 1989] is still considered a rare gem in the Metal Underground. The tape has circulated far and wide and is enjoyed by fans on You Tube and many other popular download sites.
The verdict is pretty much unanimous and everyone who listens seems to agree (for a change) and can attest to the quality of their music. Unfortunately there were many bands such as this that were not able to survive the turn from the late 80′s and into the early 90′s.
It was at this time last year (Dec. 1987) when I first heard the group called LADY SABRE. They sent me a demo cassette with over twenty(!) of their melodic, hard-rock original songs on it that just oozed with mounds of talent and potential. They have sent their tapes all over the world and have gained a large, positive response to their music and in turn have managed to gain generous amounts of radio airplay and various articles and features in many magazines.
Since the “buzz” was so BIG on this Florida band throughout 87′ -they decided to go back into the studio (their own studio by the way, that they simply call “The Dungeon” -ed) and record an albums worth of new material.
This tape was released as an “official demo” to generate interest among record labels and the result of this is an admirably packaged ten track affair entitled “Under a Strange Spell”.
“There is something for everyone on this tape.This is the tape that we send to our fans and we ask them to write back and let us know which songs they like the best. The same five songs are mentioned every time” added Sandra.
Listen To: “Total Eclipse”
The core of this band is the hard-working team of Sandra Thomas (Vocals/Keyboards) and Chris Warren (Guitar/Keyboards). They are a great duo who write, produce and arrange all of their songs together. As far as other members go, four different drummers were used on this project and Chris played bass guitar. Chris also produced and mixed the entire recording. Before I tell you about their songs, I must assert that this band is destined to break wide-open in the music business. They have so much to offer it almost hurts!
Chris Warren – Guitar
For starters, they pretty much have their own sound that should please almost every person who claims they enjoy melodic hard rock or well-polished metal. LADY SABRE are just approaching the song/music composition aspect in a way that differs from most “unknown” bands. They are always exploring new musical territories and have lots of experimentation going on throughout their songs such as: “Moon Song”, which is very original and unique (it even has a flute tucked away in there -ed), “African Origin”, which is very artistic and has many things flowing about ever-so-smoothly. The multiple keyboard segments, mood-setting guitar leads and the electronic “African-style” drums suck you into its moody, percussive atmosphere and make you want to hear more after it ends!
Sandra is a dramatic vocalist who has her powerful, crystal-clear voice under control at all times. Additional songs like “Fangs and Claws”, the slower/melodic “Lovers Kiss” and the massive anthem-like qualities of “Love from Afar” will clearly show this as this song is immense. I can just visualize this being played in arenas in front of thousands of screaming fans!
Sandra is also more feminine than most of those cunning women of metal that sell their looks instead of good music. Sandra is quite attractive, but her lungs are on display here! She also experiments around with multiple vocal harmonies and odd back ground vocals on the HEART/ABBA-like (vocals only -ed) “In Need of Your Heart” and “At the End of Time“. It is also on these songs that guitarist Chris Warren shows his master abilities with catchy lead guitar work and solid riffs. When he kicks in with his leads you can hear one of the finest “undiscovered” guitar talents at his best! “Strange Spell”, “Fear for Life” and “My Love for You” are all straight-forward hard rockers and just three more examples of his fluid guitar structures that complement the song’s contents along with Sandra’s soaring voice.
This tape is good enough to release on vinyl (as-is) and they even have over nine more complete songs and three more instrumentals to play. Four of their songs recently won awards in the Pro Rock Category in the 1987 Music-City Song Festival in Nashville, TN. They have also started their own publishing/production company and Chris impressed me enough to feature a special column for guitarists in each issue of DEMOLISH entitled the Bizarre Guitar, which he writes solely.
LADY SABRE are pretty impressive to say the least, but you say two people a band does not make, well, they have that under control too because they have just added: John Salzlein (drums), Richard Von Haiden (bass) and Steve Hardin (keyboards) to round out their line-up.
The only thing left for them to do now is to keep playing and promoting themselves until some record label and or management company comes knocking on their door in beautiful Florida to give this truly deserving young band some major backing!
Sandra and Chris are really cool and I am glad that I was able to feature them in this special extended review for the DEMO DUNGEON section.
If you would like to get their tape, they have a special fan club membership with kits (which includes: a bumper sticker, button, press-release, bio, photo and the demo tape) for only $5. Write to: LADY SABRE P.O. Box XXXX, Delray Beach, Florida. 33447 U.S.A.
*in order to transport you directly back to 1988 we will continue to keep the language in the posts “present tense” even though this is 2010.
2010 Band Update
Looks like Sandra and Chris were able to release their début LP in 1989 entitled “Enchanted”. Four songs from the demos made it on this release as well.
2. Desert Sunset
3. Palace In The Sky
4. Iron Overload
5. Love From Afar
6. Sudden Attack
7. Shrines Built To Time
9. Your Love Is A Deadly Weapon
11. To The Point Of Pain
12. Total Eclipse
13. Feelin’ Somethin’
14. Black Night
15. At The End Of Time
Although originating from the U.S. (Midwest), DemolishMetal Fanzine always takes pride in being an international fanzine as opposed to only covering a “local scene” and or just a single genre or style. Some of the first material I received for review was a great band from Sweden called OVERHEAT. One of my Metal friends’ always raves about these guys and upon hearing their latest demos I can certainly see why! One of their founding members (Janne) is a fellow “pen pal” of mine and we trade lots of rare tapes and such, so when it came time to figure out who to compile my first blog post on, it was a no-brainer.
Gernot Iverson : Lead Vocals
Janne Stark: Lead Guitar
Pelle Thuresson: Bass
Paul Gustavsson: Drums
The Story (from their bio):
Janne and Pelle have played together in different bands since their childhood. Their most well-known band being OVERDRIVE, with whom they recorded one 12″ EP and two albums before splitting up in June 1985. Janne and Pelle (who was then lead singer but after their split-up, switched over to playing bass) decided to carry on and form a new band.
In December 1985 they were accompanied by drummer Paul Gustav’s son who had just left the band HIGH VOLTAGE. His “claim-to-fame” is two recordings with heavy rockers MERCY with one 12″ EP and LP.
The band now had a complete rhythm section and also a new name: OVERHEAT.
They started rehearsing and writing material and in November 1986 (when the band was completed with a singer) they had already written almost 30 songs! The singer’s name is: Gernot Iverson and he is (like Paul) an ex-HIGH VOLTAGE member as well.
Now with a complete line up they recorded their first demo Vol. 1 (in May-June 1987), which was produced, arranged, mixed, engineered, recorded and performed by the band. This demo has the songs: “Fight to the Finish”, “Realm of Freedom”, “L.J.M.S.”, “I Do Believe” and “High On You”.
Listen to “Fight to the Finish”
It was recorded in a barn with a four-track Tascam porta studio. The songs are mostly written by Janne Stark and arranged by the band.
This limited tape was not sent out to very many Metal Fanzines (if any).
Listen to “Realm of Freedom”
Their musical style could be described as “heavy, yet melodic/70′s-influenced hard rock”.
*special thanks to Mr. Joe St. Laurent (Joe’s Imports, WA.) for the original hook-up.
Prior to OVERHEAT, Janne was also a member of the excellent band called OVERDRIVE. So, this article would not be complete without letting you know about these Swedish rockers as well!
*click to enlarge
*This rare scan (above) was from their press kit, which appeared in many Metal Fanzines worldwide.