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1031, A Number Of Things From... - 99%

kgerych1995, November 6th, 2011


Here is the famed out of print demo compilation by Detroit metal legends Halloween. Let me give you a little background about what was happening at this time. In late 1992, original members Rick Craig and Bill Whyte returned to the fold for an extremely short lived reunion. The reunion ended with Halloween’s final show on October 30th, 1993 at Harpo’s in Detroit. He set concluded with vocalist Brian Thomas “shooting” himself (as it appeared to the audience) in the head, where a blood pack busted. After that, they had a couple of people carry him off the stage. The final song that night was a song called “The End” that was never recorded, and only played that one time. It only featured Rick Craig on the Piano and Brian singing. After that night, Halloween ceased to exist. Brian and bassist George Neal formed “Abandon” who where more reminiscent to “Fight” and “Pantera”. In 1996, Halloween got back together, but found that they had no money to pay the crew or to pay for shirts promoting the reunion of all original members plus Donny Allen, who had previously played on the No One Gets Out record. The end result was this CD that is filled with demos featuring different lineups. The first five tracks came off of the Vicious Demo tape from 1990, but this marked the very first time that they were distributed on CD. I have already reviewed the tracks off of the Vicious Demo cassette, so I will move right to the first Non Vicious Demo track.

11 (Unknown) – just a stupid 11 second track that says “welcome to track 11”. Really it is a retarded, pointless thing that should have been left off. I have a burned copy, so I omitted this and the pointless SoundBits in-between songs.

SUDDEN DEATH (circa 1990) – This track was possibly recorded with the Donny Allen, Tim Wright and Billy Adams (BA!) lineup around 1990. The track is a very dynamic one that features an amazing, finger breaking riff, before breaking down into a clean guitar sound. The drums are loud and pounding here. The vocals can go from calm to angry in the snap of the fingers, in the case of the transition from verse to the chorus. At that point, that riff returns for about 15 seconds, before switching back to the clean riff. My favorite of the non Vicious Demo tracks.

INTOXICATED (circa 1989) – This one for a fact was left off of the Vicious Demo. It was done in those same sessions with Tommy Stewart and Billy Gray. Like the Vicious Demo tracks, it is built around a single groove style riff. The lyrics deal with lust. Not my favorite song, but overall a pretty good one.

IN DARKESS (circa 1994) – This one was done after the demise of Halloween. It is rather an “Abandon” track, only featuring Brian Thomas and George Neal, with guitarist Shawn Moore and drummer Brian Germain. The song is about “The Crow”, a 1994 film starring the late Brandon Lee, who accidentally shot and killed himself on the set of the film. The song is about the betrayal that Lee’s character suffers and how he exempts his revenge, In the Darkness, hence the name of the track. Overall, it has to be my favorite of the later demos.

CRYING FOR YOU (circa 1987-1988) – Halloween went a bit south on the heaviness radar. This one sounds a bit more influenced by glam metal. The music is cool, but the lyrics get on my nerves. This is not what Halloween is all about. They are the heavy metal horror show for god’s sake, no fluffy, good timey Poison rip-offs. Glam had a bit too much influence on this track, but otherwise a good one to listen to occasionally.

1-900 (Circa 1994) – this is where the whole thing comes to a halt. Quoting vocalist Brian Thomas, “Hey Kids, It’s She’s A Teazer’s slutty cousin!” .That is all it really is, a continuation on the ongoing saga of “She’s A Teazer” that began in 1984. Flash forward 10 years, and what do you have? Abandon continuing the saga with this disgusting tale of a porn queen. It is a pointless song that lags and should have been left off this compilation.

1988 (Circa 1987 – 1988) - This track really helps the album come back after the mediocrity of 1-900. No, it is not about a porno queen. It actually is about escape. The song opens up with the eerie verse “Another child is dying, gunshot wound to the head. Another mother is crying, can’t believe my baby’s dead”. The very first time I heard it, chills ran down my spine. It lashes out and bursts into a full gallop around the 45 second mark. This one is probably my favorite of the Rick Craig era demos. (Note: this song was re named 1989 in 1989 to keep it current.)

THE BATTLE (circa 1988) – this personally the best song that Halloween has written, that I have heard. This track was later redone on Halloween’s 2006 record “Horror Fire”. This early version differs vastly from the finished product, almost some 20 years later. No real musical description, just one fiery metal song about freedom, in the same vein as “The Thing That Creeps” on the NOGO record in 1991. The quality is not the best, but still listenable.

I SCREAM (circa 1985-1986) – This very well may be the oldest demo on here. It is a rare studio recording for the classic Halloween song. I believe that it is from the DMWE sessions or the Victims Of The Night sessions in 86. The quality is pretty crappy. The drums are really fuzzy and the right channel cuts out in the middle of the track. The song could have been so much better, but the quality holds it back.

TAKE ME (1988) – As I reviewed in the Vicious Demo, There was a bonus track at the end of it called “Take Me”. The track features Rick Craig not long before he left in 1988. The track is not listed on here or on the demo. It is indeed rather a bonus track. A quite rare bonus track indeed. The song is just a calm 3 minute piece about giving up in life. The quality is pretty bad, but that is all it was, a rough demo that was intended to be re done, but never was.

FINAL THOUGHTS – This is really worth every penny if you are an avid Halloween fan. A collection of 14 demos that, most of which, were never released. The quality varies from track to track, but if you are not anal about the quality of demos, you will probably find some interest in it. I only rated it at a 99% due to the varying quality of the tracks. K.G