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Before Which You Kneel - 80%

Nightmare_Reality, July 28th, 2012

Even though Heathen's Rage released a demo (though it was more like a full-length, with ten tracks at 35 minutes) before this release, I have yet to locate it, but this three song, self-titled EP that followed is a nice little collection of music for fans of '80s US power metal. This EP doesn't have any material that could really rival earlier bands' outputs, which contains a small list of masterpieces that include "Metal Church," "Battle Cry," and plenty of others, but "Heathen's Rage" is still worth a moment of your time if not for "Knights of Steel" alone.

"Knights of Steel" is the opening track for this EP, and it's a terrific song with a near-epic clean guitar intro that serves as the backdrop to a melodic solo. Then the bass and drums come in, before this song starts to pick up. Bob Pizzauro's vocals are a pleasant surprise, because they're very clean and soothing. There's not a hint of aggression like there usually is with other power metal singers. "City of Hell" isn't really a great song, but it does show how good the group's drummer is. His opening drum fills and solo moments are top-notch, and this can be said for his entire performance on the EP. "Dark Storm" is a thrashy number that will get your head moving, but not much else. Overall, "Heathen's Rage" is a decent three song EP that power metal enthusiasts are sure to enjoy. It's unfortunate that they never released a full-length album, because based on this performance, that record would have been awesome.

Highlights
"Knights of Steel"
"Dark Storm"

Originally written for Nightmare Reality Webzine.
nightmarerealitywebzine.blogspot.com

Heathen's Rage, where would you be now? - 74%

BloodIronBeer, January 21st, 2007

This is some fairly impressive stuff for it's time. 1986 didn't have a great number of bands that sounds like this, nor this much intensity in the speed/power metal genres.

The production is demo/rehearsal quality ( by today's standards, obviously), raw, probably lacking on the volume, and somewhat cluttered. It's hard to hear much from the drums aside from the snare, honestly. But the anger and intensity shine through.

These guitars sound just plain nasty (take that how you will). They sound fuzzy, dirty, and just plain perfect for this style and era.

Normally I wouldn't, but since this is a three song EP, I will do a song-by-song breakdown.

Knights of Steel - starts out with a bleak soft part, that ending into a build up into the next riff which is pure speed metal. Pummeling double bass, and a vocals that remind me somewhat of older Running Wild. Somewhat of a NWOBHM sound in terms of the vocal melody, but otherwise pretty heavy on Iron Maiden influences, in the bass and pacing of the songs. A very good, catchy speed metal tune.

City of Hell - a much too long, drawn out intro, in which pretty much ... nothing is heard. Just the boom of a low metallic souding drum, and some random background noises occasionally. It generally gives you the impression of a empty vast, and evil place. Then the guitar starts in, warning of more speed metal to come. There are some pissed off sounding gang vocals, followed by a quick solo after the chorus. Some parts drag dangerously, then saved by another solo. But the vocals are really killer here, totally true to NWOBHM style. A solid song overall.

Dark Storm - Again reminding me of old Running Wild. The vocals sound more buried here. A pointless solo ... too much repitition on this song, and sounding too much like the first. It has one solid riff.

It would have been interesting to see what would have become of this band if they'd stayed around. I can only imagine. There was lots of potential here for an awesome band, really. It's still catchy stuff, for metalheads who can tolerate or get into the production. This may be pointless, but if you're really a speed metal buff, it may be worth hunting down.