Heavy Artillery MC 1990
Label: Auburn Records #: AU007-4 Country: USA
Info: Cassette only compilation showcasing the Cleveland metal scene. A few bands were based outside of Cleveland, but aside from Titan Force from Colorado all of them were part of the Cleveland scene. Most of these songs were originally exclusive, but have since seen reissues on other compilations or as bonus tracks.

(bold = exclusive track / normal = non-exclusive track / italic = non-metal)

Side A:
1. BREAKER - Still Life
  Talented and accessible combining elements of mainstream bands like IRON MAIDEN or SCORPIONS (besides the obvious ACCEPT influence) without sounding like a copy of anyone. Re-released on their Accept EP, as well as the 2000 reissue of Get Tough.
2. KRAZE - Devil In Disguise
  Actually a Pennsylvania based band, they were still considered part of the Ohio scene. On this song they play HIRAX type speed interspersed with thrash riffs reminiscent of early SACRED REICH and OVERKILL. Different to the "Devil in Disguise" CD version.
3. CHEMIKILL - Deadline
  It's a shame they never passed the demo stage because this METAL CHURCH inspired song shows that they had a lot of potential. Not the same band that appeared on Metal Massacre XI.
4. DECIMATION - Silenced In Time
  Hardcore/metal crossover act playing a style similar to PRONG. Not a style I'm particularly fond of, but I guess it's good for what it is. Reissued on their Forgotten Race CD.
5. REAL STEEL - I Rule The Radio
  Catchy traditional metal song with a structure very similar to COMMANDER's Terror, but a style more akin to the British band WRAITH. For a less obscure comparison, imagine JUDAS PRIEST crossed with Balls to the Wall.
6. PURGATORY - Blood's The Price
  Excellent mdiwest thrash with Bay Area influences, not unlike CYCLONE TEMPLE. On this track only the bassist and drummer from Tied to the Trax remain, though the lyrics were written by former singer Jeff Hatrix (presumably before he left the band).
7. DEUS VULT - Twilight's Last Gleaming
  Another San Francisco Bay Area styled thrash band, with leanings toward early DEATH ANGEL or even TESTAMENT (minus the vocals).
8. SACRED HEART - Time After Time
  Melodic metal that is similar to BREAKER (US), but not quite as talented.
9. TERROR - Pain And Suffering
  The closest thing to death metal on this compilation, TERROR sounds like a less technical SADUS.
10. TORMENT - Epilogue
  One of the highlights of the album, they sound like Crimson Glory with a thrash makeover. Later became Tormentor, then Ritual and finally Ritual of Torment.

Side B:
1. DESTRUCTOR - Storm Of Steel
  Classic Cleveland metal band, playing speed metal like early SLAYER or EXCITER. Reissued on the Storm of Steel EP.
2. ATTAXE - Pedal To The Metal
  Reminds me of 3RD STAGE ALERT with their straightforward JUDAS PRIEST/DIO type metal. Reissued on their 20 Years the Hard Way CD.
3. TRIGGER ZONE - Trigger Zone
  On any other compilation I would probably laud this band, but after 13 mostly great tracks all I can come up with now is "another power/thrash band".
4. HATRIX - Sins Of A Bastard Angel
  Started by the ex-singer of PURGATORY, HATRIX sounds like a more aggressive WRATHCHILD AMERICA (thrash with Bay Area influence and fancy bass work). Some of the members also formed MUSHROOMHEAD.
5. WRETCH - Life
  Similar to early METAL CHURCH but obviously not as good. I find that they try to do too many things, or at least the singer does.
6. BRAINICIDE - Payment In Blood
  I've always thought Tim Owens was overrated, but even his fans probably won't find much to like here. There are some of his trademark Halford-esque screams, but most of the vocals are almost half-spoken while the music is uninteresting EXODUS-like thrash.
7. REBELLIOUS ANGEL - Stand Up And Fight
  Powerful but melodic metal, much like SHOK PARIS.
8. SEVERE WARNING - Better Off Dead
  Competent speed/thrash.
9. TITAN FORCE - Blaze Of Glory
  Odd man out, being from Colorado, TITAN FORCE is best known for featuring vocalist Harry Conklin after he left JAG PANZER. His killer vocals are reminiscent of JAG PANZER, but the music has more of a German melodic speed touch similar to STORMWITCH or Keepers-era HELLOWEEN.
10. THE SPUDMONSTERS - I'm Not Guilty
  Another slightly hardcore leaning thrash metal band, and a bit of a weak note to end an otherwise amazing compilation on.

  Keir: DaN: Rarity:  
Submitted by Keir
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