Steve Lytle (git, voc), Arthur Melonas (bs, voc), Jay Frasca (dr)

format: MLP Side A:
  1. Rails
  2. The Other Side

Side B:

  1. Beneath Your Lives
  2. Last Of The Torment
year: 1989
country: USA
label: private
#: AVL-89073
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 7/10


This was the 1st record I bought on W.O.A's Metal Market on my first visit to the festival in the summer of '01, so there's some personal nostalgia connected to this record for sure. I had never read or heard anything about this album before, so seeing that cover art for the first time really blew me away. Very Away (of VOIVOD-fame)-inspired, but ten times uglier = totally wicked! The little jpgs above doesn't do justice to the demented oozes that this record emanates. The sleave is basically just a long xerox folded around, and glued to a blank 12" case (with center hole!). No labelname, no index - Cheapo galore! When finally getting home to enjoy this beauty I was expecting something remotely in the vein of The Canadian Gods, but I wasn't quite on track there. SI really try to be weird, and in some ways they succed. Unfortunately it's not the kind unintentional, bugs-crawling-under-your-skin originality than one wish for when first seeing the album. The music is best described as progressive semi-Thrash from the same planet as WATCHTOWER or the 1st SIEGES EVEN LP, with the hit-potential of the 1st TESTAMENT album (the good one!) and frosted with the occational epic/Maidenesque riffing. ...But that's only after listening to it the 10th time. At 1st listening they're a total ruckus. The production is kind of hollow, and they really could have used another guitarist. That would have made this record into a real gem. Now is sounds more like a rough-mix of good things to come. It's hard to pic a favourite track since they all clock over 5 minutes and include so many different parts. On the excellent "Beaneath Your Lives" they can go from generic thrash to a powerful chorus to quirky off-beat weirdness in litte over 30 seconds and it sure takes some time to take it all in, but once you get it, it really is a great track. The opening riffs to "Rails" will put a smile on the face of any Power Metal fan, but the typical Thrash vocals might be a turnoff. Steve Lytle's backing vox saves the day though, adding a little extra flavour to the otherwise flat mix. Closing piece "Last of the Torment" is the most Classic Metal Song, with some really riveting riffs towards the end. All in all it's a mish-mash of melodic intricate riffing, mid-paced Thrash rhythms and start/stop song structures with one guitar short. Might be too much to stomach for the average Trad-metal fan, but if you (like me) have a weak spot for Strange Metal it's one of the essentials. I've seldom seen this EP offered and even if the music is an aquired taste, it still seem to be on quite a few wantlists, so be prepared to pay up should it ever cross your path.

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

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