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A Long Forgotten Gem - 99%

hellhippie, February 24th, 2009

Thrash metal has become a lost art. Many bands have knowingly commercialized exploited and destroyed this once great genre. It's sad that once immortalized underground heroes such as "Metallica", "Megadeth", and yes even "Slayer" have sold out to the very thing they once fought against, commercialism. Now it has for many years been a question of great debate as to whether or not these once great bands sold their souls to the mighty dollar or the mighty dollar just happened to influence their musical out puts as they grew in popularity. It is in my humble opinion bands like this ruined the once cherished underground (well, maybe not Slayer). In the years before the term "thrash metal" was a common household name, it was much much more to us that lived through these years of a flourishing young scene. This was music of OURS, not theirs. It was the powerful, angry, enraged music of OUR generation. This music wasn't supposed to be for the masses. This music was supposed to be for the dedicated metal worshipers who took the time to write to the bands, go to the shows, and, yes, even take an occasional beating for looking completely different and listening to what most considered outcast music . These were bands we as brothers and sisters would without hesitation die for as metalheads . This wasn't just music, this was a way of life, a religion demanding the utmost dedication at all times that we "true" followers more than willingly participated in. I was part of these early years of this long dead scene. Now, granted there is still a thrash metal scene today, but anyone that was around in the time period of the beginnings of thrash will tell you it is just not the same. At the time, long before the suffocating influence of electronics and cheap trickery to make heavy music that much heavier, bands did the unthinkable - they played their hearts out. This is without a doubt one of those bands.

Las Vegas' "Papsmear" were a true thrash giant. The sound of this great demo is a thrashing powerhouse unmatched to this day. Starting off with a minute long instrumental appropriately named "Requiem", this forgotten band's talent is immediately evident. A sick and groovy riffing monster complimented by inconceivable talent and speed, it is the perfect precursor to what surely is next to come: a violently-fulfilling, neck-breaking attack on the senses. The multiple guitarists in this band were outrageously talented playing with as much conviction as any of the garbage sellouts previously did before them except for one huge difference - they would not and did not sell out . These guys had a perfect feel for thrash the way it was meant to be - insane riff work done with blazing speed and perfect execution.

The drums on this as well are again nothing short of perfect. Pounding in unrelenting, unforgiving fashion with the long forgotten art of show-off quality technique . I mean, if you have the talent, show it right and he does so without remorse. The bass is just as amazing, keeping up with and holding down the rhythms beautifully. This band was insanely tight and fast and had to be throughout the recording of this demo to pull it off, which they did perfectly. Anything less would be unforgivable. The entire structure of every song is nothing short of sheer genius. Whether it's the skull-pounding perfection of "Reign of Terror" or the follow-the-thrash-formula of "Die Killing", this demo never even considers for one second to ease up. Also, in an almost inconceivable move, this band did the unthinkable on this release with two, yes two, instrumentals on one five song demo. The funny thing is that the second of them entitled "Paptest" is just as amazing as any of the songs with singing in them. Completely unheard of the time, this would inevitably warrant a quick fast forward on this cassette right? Wrong!

Speaking of the singing, what we have here is a perfectly disgusted-sounding compliment to all that is amazing about what this band was, with every mean-spirited lyric sung with unmatched grimness and ferocity. Nothing else would fit here and his voice, along with the rest of the band, remain to this day a lone jewel in the crown of the forgotten thrash kings of old. What a sick voice!

Truthfully, throw your "Dave Mustaines", "James Hetfields", and even, dare I say, about ninety percent of what you've considered amazing thrash bands in the fucking garbage, because honestly only early "Sadus" and "Incubus" (the real one, not the MTV garbage band) can hold water against this amazing band. These guys and this demo in particular will always hold a special place in my collection.

In a never ending list of favorite demos and in a long dead commercially-corrupt genre, this one band will always be the crowning achievement that came out of what thrash was all about: a bunch of guys getting together and knowingly voicing their very real opinions, attitudes, and disgust towards a society that in one way or another has shown us what a fucked up world we really do live in. All hail the forgotten kings of thrash, PAPSMEAR!!!!! This one is worth tracking down.