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Fucking Killer!! - 93%

Satanwolf, April 26th, 2007

Another lost classic here, Stone Vengeance's demo cassette is an interesting mix of thrash, traditional heavy metal, funk, and hard rock. When I first got this cassette tape several years ago I looked at the inlay card and thought," Who the heck are these guys?" One play was enough to make me say, "Hell yeah!" The "bomb drop" intro of "To Kill Evil" lets you know you're in for something heavy, and the song kicks in with some killer speed metal riffing which reminds me of early Celtic Frost before breaking into some outrageous funk bass breakdowns. This song never fails to get me headbanging everytime I listen to it and I don't know any other band that can mix funk into their speed metal without sounding like cheesy crap. Perhaps I hear some Iron Maiden influence at times (and I know that they have covered the Venom song "Black Metal" in their live set). "Persecution" and "Bullfight" are other songs on the heavier end of things.

The band varies styles by throwing in a few Hendrix-influenced ballads: "Pain" and "Higher Now" are very well-written mellow songs and are good breaks from the speed metal which comprises the rest of the album. The album as a whole is well-paced, but the (not preachy) Christian-based lyrics may be a turn-off for hardcore black metallers. I personally don't get into religion, but I do get into raw, fast and well-played heavy metal. And if you want real "black metal," well, look at the group picture.

I do not consider Stone Vengeance specifically a thrash band; as I've said, they mix up their influences very well. They're more of a traditional heavy metal band with speed metal bits. The production on this cassette tape is not pro-level but neither is it jam-box recorded, so listenability is no problem (the album has been rereleased on cd with bonus tracks). Stone Vengeance are a group of talented musicians who break down stereotypical as well as genre barriers while delivering powerful music. This band deserves to have a higher profile, and any metalhead who gives this band a listen will not be disappointed.