first "met eyes" with this pearl on e-bay. The dark, oozing and utterly
obscure front cover and monickers like "Speed/Thrash/Death/Black" used
simultaneously had a severely salivating effect on me. 2 factors left
of major importance: Geographical Origin and Year Of Release. Well, I
don't know about you, but Yugoslavia 1989 equals a huge maximum bid on
my behalf. It's not often I run into an 80's Metal LP from the Eastern
Europe I haven't seen mentioned or heard of anywhere before, so it's really
nothing I'd wanna miss out on, being the curious bastard I am. After what
surely was the longest month of the year this and a few other nice discs
came home to papa and here's where the actual review begin...
The 2 first trax on HELLER's only LP must be the plainest, most rigid
and minimalist thrashers ever written. Both "Inferno" and "Armageddon"
are blueprints of that infamous "stale" East-euro Thrash style that everybody
loves to hate. So much actually, that it gets rather interesting, even
original in some way. Regardless of those totally forgettable openers
(even today I couldn't hum along to any of them to save my life) I remained
in my livingroom sofa with ears on end, pretty hopeful that this album
could still develop into somehing special. With "Inverzija" it reached
immortality. I'm not bullshitting you here, this song is one of the coolest,
heaviest, catchiest most evil HEAVY METAL-tunes I've heard for years.
That lead riff is like a bloodthirsty, possessed combined harvester plowing
through a field of poser scum. It's fucking beautiful, and suddenly you
remember why HEADBANGING is so much more fun than singing bard-songs by
the camp fire. Here's where the record truly takes off, and "Demoska Devojka"
throws you back in the fast lane with some fine riffing and this bloody
malicious echo-effect on the vocals. Very original and very effective
I must say. "Grob Bez Dna" is just a bloody great, dark thrasher owing
plenty of charizma to "Persecution Mania"-era SODOM - probably my 2nd
favourite track on the album. The SODOM-comparison feels even more relevant
after turning over to side B. The monotonous riffing on "Dead Or
Alive" is unreasonably likeable, and over all the songs on this side
feel a bit more developed than those on side A. "Krvava Osveta",
"Varvarska Horda" and "Inkvizicija" are great, raw
Thrashers with plenty of ooze and that mysterious 'X-factor' found in
so many of those old East-Euro bands. The band seem to have quite a record
of government persecution back in the "good ol' days", with
secret underground gigs, police crack-downs and all sorts of nasty shit
happening to them. This colors their music in upleasent, dark shades of
gray and makes it a quite unique album. Needless to say they were a total
cult-band and the record is almost impossible to find even in Yugoslavia
today. Those who appreciate a bit of dirt and uneasyness rather than "conventional"
originality should keep the dream alive though. If you also happen to
be a fan of the New Renaissance-Thrash ilk, there's no question what album
to look out for on your next holiday trip to the Balkans.