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The Weird, The Forgotten, The Even Weirder - 79%

Buarainech, January 31st, 2014

Given that it is a rarity that has only appeared on ebay less than 2 dozen times and fetches between $150-500 the physical rarity and monetary value of this 12” EP from 1985 doesn't need to be elaborated much more than that. However this records's appeal I believe is as much to do with its backstory and character as its extreme rarity, so while this CD reissue won't affect those high prices it seems almost a shame to allow such a mysterious Metal artefact to be pressed onto that ignoble format. This looks and sounds like a deleted episode of Doctor Who in which the Doctor arrived to earth in 1983, disguised himself as a California guitar-wizard with a skullet called “Thomas Mezmercado” (a man who nothing is known about except for this release), replete with his usual outrageous fashion sense, somehow managed to recruit Bill Ward (yes, that Bill Ward) on drums and then record this 4 song EP, which has been bumped with 3 songs from a later unreleased demo for the benefit of those who already have the vinyl.

The intro track titled “The Forsaken” is a piece of pure Hawkwind worship with its poetic fantasy narration, particularly their Warrior At The Edge Of Time LP, and this old Psych/Prog influence is spread through the soloing on all these tracks and begs comparison's to Paul Chain Violet Theatre at every turn. The Doom side of the equation that begins on “Dead Ones Cry No More” is very similar to early Cirith Ungol rhythms, both in the drumming and the basslines, and the percussive claps give this an irresistibly catchy vibe in spite of how off the wall it is. What separates this from other bands in this style and of that era though is the crazy vocals, a child-like nasal early Mercyful Fate-style falsetto.

Those comparisons to the Danish Metal kings don't stop at the vocals on “Arabian Nights” which sounds like a really demented, trippy outtake from around the time of “Nuns Have No Fun”, and “Victim Of Environmental Change” provides a similarly leftfield on a standardised Metal sound by adding a slightly Nu Wave robotic vocal approach to it's Witchfinder General-meets-Jameson Raid vibe. As the bass gets funkier in the second half of this track it seemingly pre-empts what Faith No More would be doing a few years later, and this bizarre clairvoyance rears its head on the bonus tracks again when the Thin Lizzy/Iron Maiden gallop of “No Family, No Friends” gives way to riffing that is a dead ringer for Nirvana- half a decade before Grunge was incepted. The more I think about it, maybe my Doctor Who theory isn't so unlikely after all... Either way, this is one of the true unique relics of Metal history. It has its pointers, but on the whole it is quite unlike anything that has gone before or come since. [7/10]

From WAR ON ALL FRONTS A.D. 2013 zine-