I've been meaning to post this absolute gem of compilation for at least two years now (seriously, I even mentioned it here in December of 2005), and now I'm finally getting around to it. By far the coolest thing anyone has done for me since I started this site was when Brian Livoti from Watchmaker gave me this CD some years back because he figured I might enjoy it since all of the bands on the compilation—which was released in fucking 1989—are from Maryland and Virginia. Unfortunately only two of the bands are from Virginia, with the main focus being on the Baltimore area—seeing as the disc was released by Baltimore area radio station 97 Underground (which apparently still exists)—but fuck that, 'cause it's late-80's thrash, so I'm all over it no matter what! I assume this will be well appreciated what with the genre's "resurgence" that's going on right now, too, so... eat up!
You're god damn right I'm posting the entire CD this time (with scans of the whole booklet included), 'cause there's no fucking way in hell you're ever gonna find a copy of this thing. Google it. Fucking three results! Only three!? Insane!
As you might expect from nine obscure demo tracks, the sound and songwriting quality varies significantly, but as far I'm concerned there's not a truly weak song in the bunch. I'll do a quick track-by-track rundown below, and you can check out the scans of the booklet (and in a scarce few cases Encyclopaedia Metallum) for a little bit of background information on the bands. And I do mean a little bit!
1. Skeleton "Victim"—Super high-pitched vocals, but the riffs kick ass and the song itself is fairly catchy. Very solid when all is said and done. I'd be more than happy to hear more from these guys.
2. Deadly Aggressor "Act of Lunacy"—These cats are actually listed on the Encyclopaedia Metallum website, but there's jackshit for info. I guess this is from their second of three demos. One of the rawest tracks on the compilation. Not bad, though.
3. Wreckage "Violence Breeds Violence"—Also listed at Encyclopaedia Metallum, these guys did four demos. This track is from the third. Short but sweet, like the Skeleton track, but much harsher and more straightforward: So no frilly vocals, ha, ha! Definitely a little bit of a Slayer thing going on.
4. Pestilent "Metal We Die"—Complete and total Megadeth worship. Mustaine-like vocals over fast riffing and writing that wouldn't have been too out of place on "Killing is My Business..." Not a carbon copy by any means, but absolutely sounds like early Megadeth. Needs a little work, but otherwise I'm not saying that's a bad thing!
5. Saboteur "The Hunt"—Another shorter, harsher track. A little more original sounding somehow, though oddly enough this is one of the less memorable tracks for me. Solid chorus, though. I don't know. Decent song, decent song.
6. Chemikill "Relentless Horror (The Final Annihilation)"—Despite the name, they sound absolutely nothing like Exodus. Fairly standard thrash. Not too fast, nothing too technical, not particularly catchy or melodic, etc. This band is also listed at Encyclopaedia Metallum, and they continued into the 90's, so maybe they were a little late to the game?
7. Caustic Affliction "Cremation"—Not only do they boast the best track on the compilation, but Caustic Affliction had one of the greatest band names ever... and obviously loved Slayer. The breakdown that kicks in at about 1:11 is one of the best fucking riffs in the history of thrash. Seriously. (And after years of searching, oddly enough some kind soul sent me a link to download their demo just hours after I wrote this post the other night. Killer!)
8. Requiem "Rampage"—Much like Pestilent, Requiem seemed to be way into the Megadeth kinda thing. Vocals are a little rough, as is the recording, but the basslines totally kick ass and the use of melody's pretty slick. This is more creative, that's for sure.
9. Legion "For We are Many"—The chorus in this song is the fucking shit. Total gold. I defy you to deny this fact. Sadly it'll be next to impossible to find any information on this band because they're called Legion. Even I was in a band called Legion once for like a month. Fuck.
And last but most definitely not least, if anyone that used to play in any of the bands on this compilation stumbles upon this post and can hook me up with any mp3's, CD-R's, or even dubbed cassettes of old material from these groups, please fucking get in touch with me. Especially if you were in Caustic Affliction, motherfuckers! Thank you!