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“…now it’s too late, your final sin…”
There’s only one reason I remember what Florida’s Wreckage sound like after all these years and it’s because the last track on the tape, “Buried Alive”, is quite exceptional as far as ’92 thrash standards go. Hell, it’d be just as cool if it hit the bricks in ’86. Not only is it the demo’s one wrecking ball, it’s also the thing’s only thrash song. It’s the sole song I would even consider compilation material, and if I bought this demo on the strength of some v/a inclusion, I’d be disappointed until this song stomped into aural view. But “Buried Alive” is more than exciting enough with a straight-forward yet splendidly punched up thrash riff with Dan Healy’s ultra-scratch vocals effectively woven in for added drama. Then within inches of the final chorus, small and semi-delicate rhythmic nuances sneak into the rage, smartly and unexpectedly, bejeweling this ode to a dying style with more whistles and bells. A lengthy, clean wail brings the last black n’ blue chorus home epically. It’s like they saved 90% of their songwriting grit for this song.
The other three songs range from banal to moderately interesting, hardly ever venturing into the speed realm where thrash lies just beyond. Influences include some low-level Overkill, then-modern Testament, and other parts of the bay area. Right off the bat, banality steadily and literally walks through (the) “Russian Front” and its one-tone personality; all’s very basic, boring, and polite, and isn’t a song that should head up your debut (and in this case, only) demo. I mean, it’s just (un)common sense, isn’t it?. “Realies” with its off-time drum signatures is more compelling where they’re played, meanwhile with only a modicum of liveliness and ingenuity “Master of Deceit” barely overtakes “Russian Front” in a jog.
Sore throat Healy is a screecher, kinda like Wehrmacht’s Tito Matos, Darren Travis on Sadus’ debut, and a later Bobby Ellsworth who’s pretty much lost it. The rest of the quintet, save drummer Alex Marquez who proves himself well enough in “Realies”, do little for me until “Buried Alive” is unearthed.
“Buried Alive”…talk about a diamond in the rough, and the demo’s score owes A LOT to this bruiser.
Raven’s Rob Hunter produces and engineers a clear mix that can’t find its low end oomph.