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grimdoom, July 3rd, 2009

You could say a few things about when a band releases all of their long out of print recordings on CD. One could easily say that they just devalued everything prior to their first release. In the same breath however it could be said that they didn't because a true collector will always seek out the originals regardless of what repackaging has taken place. In any event, this is a great opportunity for newer fans, or even older ones that weren't around in the bands formative years, to hear how their idols started out. The inside of the four panel/poster pullout has some liner notes from the bands singer Nick. He simply states how these are embarrassing to the band since they're so rough and that they are best listened to whilst getting drunk. This, though insulting to the fans, is perhaps the most he talks about the recordings. The bulk of the two page soliloquy is about his days as a tape trader. Not exactly what one expects to read about when it says "liner notes about the recording by the bands singer" on the outside of the packaging. Never the less, its still a worth while purchase.

According to the packaging, the songs in question were remastered, having only heard the latter of the three recordings on this CD in its original format, its safe to say that they did to some extent. Right off the bat is must be stated that all twelve songs are very raw and sloppy. The first three, from the 'Paradise Lost' demo, are the "worst" of the bunch and are easily more Death than Doom with the band perhaps throwing in a few slow parts here and there. Two of the three songs were never put to any album after the demos were released. Those two are 'Drown in Darkness' & 'Morbid Existence'. Both songs are excellent, for primitive Doomdeath Metal and its a shame that they didn't make it on to the bands first proper release. 'Internal Torment' is mostly the same with a few noticeable differences in the middle of the song. These are cool and its interesting to hear a different version of this song alongside the rarer gems. Nicks vocals are possibly the best they'd ever be on this recording.

In the notes, Nick mentions that the second demo 'Frozen Illusion' is where you can start to hear the beginnings of the bands style form. This is very true as the songs are vicious and intense. They are better sounding than the versions heard on 'Lost Paradise'. The distortion is thicker and the playing isn't as sloppy as on the first demo. Everything is, in essence, taken up a level in terms of over all quality. With that being said the last song is a little quieter than the others.

The last demo of the group is the 'Plains Of Desolation' live bootleg. In its original format its nearly impossible to discern what is being played because the recording quality is beyond subpar and its very quiet. The remaster (if it can so be called) does turn the instruments up a little and the vocals up a lot. This is very annoying as Nick has a tendency to practically drown out the others through out much of the recording. Once again, this is very good aside from the aforementioned issue. You can hear the crowed cheer and laugh at Nick's random and amusing diatribes between songs. He growls everything in between songs, but if you're familiar with his voice its easy to make out what he's saying. He pays tribute to 'Metalduck' (this elicits laughter from the crowd) as well as a friend of theirs calling him a wimp. He also reminds the crowd that they're "Not Glam, its for wimps and we're not wimps". In retrospect his personality hasn't changed a bit.

All in all the songs are heavier with thicker distortion and better vocals than anything the band has ever done. Its also great to hear four new songs; Drown In Darkness, Morbid Existence, Plains Of Desolation & Nuclear Abomination. Its really a shame that these never got properly released as any fan of old school Doomdeath would really dig these. This is worth getting for anyone into this style, not just diehard fans. There is a lot of good here with only a few drawbacks.