Monday, March 23, 2009
The first official, full-length release from Bay Area thrash also-rans Heathen. This one really takes me back. I found the promo single for this release in a pawn shop in Eureka in the mid 90's, the same place I scored the life-changing Rainbow Rising for 50 cents a few weeks before. Featuring a cover of Sweet's "Set Me Free" with the epic anthem to battle and sorcery "Goblin's Blade" on the B side, the album was soon transferred to cassette and began making rounds in the tape decks of several of my bros' beat-up high school vehicles. The two songs enjoyed especially heavy rotation in Mike Sheldon's dad's Camry on a two-month cross country road trip me and some bros took in the Summer of 1997. Much time was spent on said road trip dissecting and analyzing the lyrics of the previously mentioned "Goblin's Blade", which in my opinion is one of the greatest Metal songs (lyrically speaking) ever written. Don't believe me? Read 'em (and listen to the song) yourself.
I guess I should also mention that the rest of the album kicks major ass too. Sure, it's a little heavy on the cheese factor, featuring a bit too much falsetto and some R&B-style background vocals, but everyone needs a little corn with their mosh. So swallow your foolish pride and let yourself be soundly thrashed by Heathen, one of the great chapters in SF Metal history.
Above: This band photo does nothing to disprove my theory that I moved to San Francisco about 20 years later than I should have.