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And the shovel clangs against Hellwitch - 84%

Gutterscream, October 29th, 2011
Written based on this version: 1984, Cassette, Independent

“…he will possess you…”

Y’know, when they started unearthing thrash’s foundation way back when, I’m almost positive that Hellwitch founder Pat Ranieri was one of the first things the shovel hit along with Kerry King’s ultra-spiked armband, Hetfield’s zits, and a pile of German iron crosses. I mean, doesn’t it seem like this band has always been around? Well, as far as thrash is concerned, it has, in one incarnation or another. It’s this earliest incarnation that put the band’s most notorious song on the map as early as ’84, their first demo in a long, never ending line of ‘80s demos that would be tape-traded from here to the North Pole.

While “Nosferatu” has had a slew of pasty facelifts over the years, this version is the barest. Disappearing over time is its eerie twilight-lurked intro, meanwhile appearing over time are more of the wildly chaotic solos that only sparingly see light of day here. It’s also the only time you’ll hear long lost drummer Harry Tyler curdle the song’s lyrics. Rhythmically all is intact, albeit more inexpertly executed, and the whole thing’s nestled behind one great pencil drawing that gives the song a pointy-eared face.

About eight years down the line, this particular “Nosferatu” would slide out of its grave in the form of a 500-pressed 7”, backed with a comical live version of Hellwitch’s second most renowned tunes, “Torture Chamber”.

Pat also boasts one of the largest collections of concert/video footage on Earth.