Siki Spacek (git, voc), Darrel Harris (bs), Greg Hicks (git), Phil Bullard (dr)

format: LP+7" set Side A:
  1. Night Of The Living Death
  2. The Hunger
  3. When Tears Run Red (from love lost yesterday)
  4. Fear No Evil


  1. Here Comes The Wrecking Crew

Side B:

  1. The Scream Of The Iron Messiah
  2. Streetwalker
  3. Black Death


  1. Retribution

year: 1984
country: USA
label: Auburn
#: AU 002
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: w/ 7": 7/10
LP or 7" apart: 6/10


You have to be really blind or stupid, not to say prejudice, to place this album in the Soul/Funk/Disco-section in a record store, but apparently this has happened on a few occasions I've been told. If some numbbrained fan of said crap actually bought the record on those premises the story doesn't tell, but if it ever happened I'd give an arm for getting to see the look on the musically impaired retard's face when the first monstrous chords of "Night of the living death" hit his greasy head, not to mention what the opening lines by vocalist GOD Siki Spacek would do to the poor soul. "OK ALL YOU HEADBANGERS OUT THERE, LET'S SEE YOU GET ABOVE YOUR SEATS! LOCK YOUR DOORS AND KEEP YOUR PARENTS OUT AND TURN YOUR MUSIC UP LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUD!!!!". There should be a law that every Metal album released have to open with those words. No doubt would it prevent disasters like Stratovarius or Rhapsody from ever happening. Let's ignore the fact that they were the heaviest all-African-American band ever and just state the fact that this album could easily rate as one of the heaviest US Metal albums ever. The 2 main factors: Fuckin' stompin' godzilla-heavy guitars and the meanest, most freaked-out and intense vocals in Metal history. Spacek is the fucking James Brown of Metal! (yeah, that's a good review). No-one could spew forth the "yeah!"s and "c'mon!"s like this guy could. Think Halford, Gene Simmons and Cronos rolled into one and you're half way there. This guy had a "death-grunt" that made Tom Warrior sound like Tori Amos on valium and I hope he made a career in sales, religion or politics after this, coz this is clearly a Man With A MISSION!
For a good musical reference, take JUDAS PRIEST's "Killing Machine", add some VENOM-dirt and tune it all the way down to PENTAGRAM-heaviness on songs like "Night of the living death", "Fear No Evil" and the 9 minute bulldozer "Black Death". Then there's the furious, galloping Power Metal-tornado of "The scream of the Iron Messiah", their absolute highlight, a song that 20 years after it's release has become something of an underground classic. No mix-tape/cdr will be complete without this facepounding monster. The epic opening 2 minutes to "Streetwalker" is really impressive as well. I used to be quite let down by the way song then turned into a more generic hardrocker, but it has grown on me with every listening. "Here comes the wrecking crew" is their most classic and upbeat rocker, but it's still heavy as lead, kinda like MOTÖRHEAD at half speed. Finally on "Retribution" they return to the kind of galloping Power Metal they displayed on "The Scream.." but with a slightly more restrained (well, relatively..) and epic feel not too far away from early MANOWAR.

While we're on the BLACK DEATH subject I might as well mention they had 2 exclusive songs on the Cleveland Metal-compilation from 1983, an essential disc for many other reasons (MISTREATER, JAGGED EDGE, BREAKER etc..). Both the Power Metallic "Taken By Force" and the more melodic "Until We Rock" are of a similar quality to the LP/7" material, but perhaps not quite as heavy and wild in the vocal department.

As far as I know, this LP and 7" came as a set and were never meant to be sold separately, but nowadays you seldom see the 2 vinyls together, if at all. The demand for this album has increased the last couple of years and from having turned up every now and then on fairs and lists, it has suddenly gone very scarce, so the time for a reissue is ripe. Now that Black Widow Records has had the good taste to re-release the mighty RIPPER, why not take on this monster next?

Listen to this record here. (provided by the Vibrations Of Doom webzine)

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