Torah – Torah – 1988

Torah were a 4 person Metal band out of Decatur IL and this is all we got from them. I can’t really find out much about them but they sound like a pretty good Metal band. The problem with 1988 is that there were a lot of Christian Metal bands at the time and I assume these guys got lost in the crowd. They did get the track “Pray for the Children” released on a Metal sampler “Big Rage! Volume 1” which I can not find a copy of. There are a few videos of them on YouTube and they do have an active Facebook group so good to see they are still around.

1 – Rock and Roll Warriors – 4:03
2 – Dreams – 3:33
3 – Don’t Reign on My Parade – 3:43
4 – Pray for the Children – 6:04

Bobby Sheets – Bass
Doug Rudow – Drums
Gary-O – Guitars
Tammy Sheets – Vocals

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Rosanna’s Raiders – We Are Raiders – 1985

This was a self released Demo from Rosanna’s Raiders in 1985. They also had one in 1984 with mostly different songs. This shows that they had a very good selection of songs before they were ever signed to a record deal. If you are familiar with Rosanna’s Raiders you might be a little surprised by this demo. I found it to be a little toned down from their label releases and in fact I think I prefer this toned down style. I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of this demo. More often than not demos do not have the best engineering and production but in the case I found both to be excellent. This may actually be my favourite demo from the 80’s, at very least it’s in my top 10.

1 – We Are Raiders – 3:23
2 – Reflections – 2:50
3 – When You Woke Up This Morning – 4:50
4 – Spotlight – 4:24
5 – Masks – 3:56
6 – You Are My Rock – 3:42
7 – Why Don’t People Care – 4:28
8 – Hiding Behind Closed Doors – 4:51
9 – Whose Side Are You On – 4:26
10 – Mr. Magic – 6:02
11 – He Is Coming (Are You Ready?) – 2:44

Dave Palmer – Bass
Johno Zaffarese – Drums
Rosanna Palmer – Guitar, Vocals
Phil Butson – Producer, Engineer

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Studio 250

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Paradox – Power and Glory – 1988

Paradox were a relatively unknown Metal band out of San Antonio Texas. They released 2 demo’s in the 80’s and got a song released on the Underground Metal sampler in 1988. This is another band that I wonder why they didn’t get a full ride record deal. This band was performing right at the perfect time but for some reason were overlooked. I don’t think they were the best metal band of the era but they were good and there was some real talent here. They did finally get a “Record Deal” in 2011 with Demon Doll Records, a relatively small Indy metal label. The album was all old material as the band hadn’t recorded in years. I’m guessing if you’re not from Texas you are probably not familiar with their work but give it a listen so you are. If you’re still on the fence at least give their version of Amazing Grace, “God’s Amazing Grace” a listen. I kinda liked it.

1 – Power And Glory – 4:39
2 – I Just Want To Love You – 5:05
3 – Meet The King – 3:23
4 – Sweet Reunion – 5:22
5 – God’s Amazing Grace – 2:09

Bass, Keyboards, Vocals – Phil Garcia
Drums – Efrain Galicia
Guitar – Fernando Hernandez
Lead Vocals – Manuel Castillo

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Messiah – Going Insane – 1985

Some say that Messiah were the first Christian metal band. I can’t decide this argument as I just don’t have the knowledge of the genre to be sure but they have to be one of the first as they put out their first Demo in 1979. Their first release “Final Waning” in 1984 was a very short run release and this 1985 EP was also a very limited run release. Lucky for us Retroactive Records stepped up in 2010 and re-released this EP so that we could all enjoy it. They also included 3 tracks from the infamous 1979 demo. I have included them here. Too bad these guys are relatively unknown as there is some real quality metal here.

1 – Going Insane – 6:30
2 – We Will Rock – 3:57
3 – Heavenly Metal – 5:27
4 – Where Are You – 4:09
5 – Evil Lies – 5:00
6 – Lucifer (Demo) – 6:34
7 – Final Warning (Demo) – 7:07
8 – You’d Better Say A Prayer (Demo) – 6:03

Bass Guitar – Dave Johnson
Cover, Artwork – P. Schmoltz
Drums – Keith Behnke
Guitar – J. S. Wood
Keyboards, Harmony Vocals – Dan Knowles
Lead Vocals – Chuck Gugel

Companies, etc.
Copyright (c) – IHM Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – IHM Records
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Viniculum Music Publishing Inc.
Record Company – Shepard Productions
Recorded At – The Disc Ltd.

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Saint – The Gentiles Demo – 1981

Saint started out as Power Faith in the late 70’s but didn’t last long. It reformed as The Gentiles in either 80 or 81 and this is the demo they recorded under that name. The lineup would change again after/during the change of name to the Saint we are now familiar with. Lucky for their fans the demo was resurrected in 2001 by M8 Distribution and has been re released two more times since then. It is very very rough but is a nice insight into the early days of the band.

1 – Abyss – 3:22
2 – Worrying World – 2:52
3 – Self Made Man – 5:48
4 – Space Cruiser – 4:46

Bass – Richard Lynch
Drums – Unknown
Guitar – John Mahan
Vocals – Max Clark

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Victory – Victory – 1987

Don’t know much about this band except that Steve Patrick of Holy Soldier was the lead on this project. Strangely he is credited as Steve O’Donnell and there is a Sean O’Donnell credited also. None of the rest of the names in the band seem to have done anything else so this little gem will remain a mystery. I was researching Steve Patrick and was happy to see he’s still making music. His most recent album is country and is actually pretty darn good.

1 – Kill ‘Em With Love – 5:47
2 – Hell On Wheels – 6:17
3 – Emerald Stare – 4:31
4 – Revelation – 2:30
5 – Grave Beneath The Willow – 5:59

Bass, Keyboards – Kelly McDonald
Drums – David McNinch
Keyboards, Lead Guitar – Sean O’Donnell
Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar – Steve O’Donnell

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Contagious – Be Ready – 1987

Contagious were a Metal band our of California. This was their short run demo that was released on vinyl. They had an album subsequent to this on Regency records. I kind of liked this demo but I feel the production left a little to be desired. The info says that it was produced by Randy Thomas but I sincerely doubt it was the SCB Randy Thomas. While some of the songs are rather simplistic I took a liking to “He’s The Light” but unfortunately it didn’t make it onto their subsequent album.

1 – Water Then Fire – 3:00
2 – Jesus Is The Way – 3:40
3 – He’s The Light – 2:45
4 – One Way, One Truth – 3:04
5 – Nowhere To Run – 3:13
6 – Lost And Lonely – 3:57

Bass Guitar, Lead Vocals – Mark Lewis
Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Ryan Crampton
Engineer – Fred (On The Road) Tadesco, Randy Thomas
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Mike Gribionkin
Mastered By – Wally Traugott
Photography By – Rick Bergquist
Producer – Contagious, Randy Thomas
Written-By – Lewis, Gribionkin, Crampton

Companies, etc.
Recorded At – Lamda Studios
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering
Distributed By – Regency Music
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Contagious Music
Copyright (c) – Contagious Music

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First Strike – Crank It Up – 1987

This demo is a bit of an odd situation. The band had already had a successful album in 1984 with Exit Records. So this demo came out after they already had a record deal. Exit Records went bankrupt in 1987 the same year as this demo so I know there’s a story as to what happened between the band and Exit. The band were an established Hard Rock/Metal ban as their first album was very well received. Why they had to shop around a demo I’m a little unsure. The band however did have a new lead singer on this demo with Dave Campanaro replacing Tony Gunn. So all the clues, new lead singer, defunct record company, lead me to believe there is a story here. Anyway let’s talk about the demo. It’s only 4 tracks but quite frankly they are 4 album ready tracks. They continue their Hard Rock/Metal style that I liked so much on their studio album. If you liked the album you’ll love this demo.

1 – Some Kind Of Lover – 4:46
2 – Don’t Let Me Walk Away – 3:45
3 – Power – 4:49
4 – Come Back – 3:07

Bass, Backing Vocals – Chris Salmon
Drums – John Delaney
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Pat Boylan, Tim Larkin
Vocals – Dave Campanaro

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Watchmen – Fear No Evil – 1987

Watchman formed in Tacoma Washington in 1984 and briefly called themselves Crosswalk before going with Watchman instead. This was their introductory demo released in 1987. It has a strong commercial sound and I noticed that several reviewers at the time compared them to Dio. There are strong keyboards which always sounds a little off to me when listening to a metal album. The standout thing on this demo for me was the quality of the production. It is very well engineered and I’d actually like to know who mixed and produced it. It sounds very well done to me and if they did it themselves they deserve credit for it. Anyway we have here 7 commercial oriented metal songs and a ballad. Regency Records must have liked it as much as I did as they signed them to a record deal after the demo.

1 – Fear No Evil – 4:55
2 – Tug Of War – 3:18
3 – Set Free – 4:12
4 – The Healer – 3:33
5 – Kingdom Come – 4:57
6 – Power From The Lamb – 4:23
7 – Christian Soldier – 3:18
8 – His Song – 5:00

Vocals – Greg Sweet
Keyboards – Kevin Antholt
Bass – Doug Larson
Drums – Kevin Whisler
Guitars – Dave Van Liew

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Seraiah – Soldiers Of Jehovah – 1988

Formed in 1985 this was the first demo from Seraiah. They had 2 successful albums after this but quite frankly this little 4 song demo was some of their best work in my opinion. The songs have a little more raw a feel than their future albums but that is quite typical of a demo. In this case that raw sound really works. I absolutely love the track “Known In Hell” and it is disappointing that it never made it’s way onto one of their albums. In fact it’s a pity none of these track made it onto an album because they are all great tunes. As I’ve said in other Metal reviews this is not my preferred style of music but I really liked this demo and full suggest you give it a lesson.

1 – Rock Without Sin – 3:28
2 – Known In Hell – 4:11
3 – Never Have To Say Goodbye Again – 3:38
4 – The Light – 3:36

Bass, Backing Vocals – Michael McClung
Drums – Kyle Dietz
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Quinton Gibson
Lead Vocals – David J. McClung

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