Choose Death

Steve Bray (bs), Shawn Sherman (git), Dave Schiller (dr), Eric Thompson (git), Ice (voc)

format: Pic-MLP Side A:
  1. Hunt You Down
  2. Torn Apart
  3. Medals

Side B:

  1. The Pendulum
  2. R.I.P.
  3. Tear Down The Walls
    (the track-list on the sleave is incorrect)
year: 1987
country: USA
label: Iron Works
#: A-27
insert: info-sheet attached to sleave, some w/ sticker & Azra newsletter
edition: ?
rarity: 6/10

pic from vinyl B-side


From the highly dubious but still great (and oh so collectable) Iron Works-label came Power/Speed-freaks MERSINARY and released this excellent disc in '87, to an unsuspected and, sadly, totally indifferent audience. I can't really see why "Choose Death" doesn't pop up more frequently on fave- and want lists, with all of those neckbreaking riffs filling it up to the brim with what can only be described as bona-fide US Power Metal. This is dead-on the kind of stuff some people pay $300+ to hear TYRANT'S REIGN play on their only slightly less interesting debut effort, or on a more commonly recognizable note, executed by masters like DAMIEN THORNE, ABATTOIR, SAVAGE GRACE, [fill in forgotten fave band of the genre here], ATTACKER, HADES etc etc etc... I had the misfortune to end up with a rather skewed copy (looks like a manufacturing error, so maybe I should sell it on e-bay as an "ultra-rare mispressing!" he he...) so I could only experience a totally hacked-to-pieces version of "Hunt You Down", but it sounds like a generic but very effective enough Speed/Thrasher. Frankly the whole album develops rather predictably, but with such killer leads as in the galloping "Torn Apart", the need for absolute originality isn't that acute. "Medals" manages to be both powerful and catchy despite the very traditional, chugga-chugging mid-paced thrash tempo. Side B continues in the same style and might be even stronger in the riffing-dept. 3 more excellent, speedy trax that in all honesty doesn't need that much dissection. The thin production work is probably the only excuse for anyone to frown upon this record. Still it's not worse than the average Azra-release and it may just as well be due to a bad pressing, it being a low-budget picture disc and all.

Even if it doesn't match RIPPER, STORMTROOPER or JAG PANZER in excellence, it's possibly the best I.W.-release I've heard next to these. I haven't seen it offered for ages, but it still doesn't seem to be as pricey as most of the label's more famous releases. It's quite a diamond-in-the-rough, but do consider this review a sincere recommendation.

Now please stop skipping grooves, stupid diamond-in-the-rough! :(

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