|Musical Style: Speed Metal/Thrash||Produced By:|
|Record Label: Retroactive||Country Of Origin: USA|
|Year Released: 2007||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 16||Rating: No Quote|
|Running Time: 55:25|
The melodic speed metal outfit Deliverance got its start in the mid-eighties, debuting with a six song demo tape entitled Greetings Of Death in 1986 before placing the tracks “Attack” and “A Space Called You” on the California Metal compilation a year later. Subsequently signing to Intense Records, the group released its very fine self-titled debut in 1989 followed by the critically acclaimed 1990 sophomore outing Weapons Of Our Warfare. One common denominator shared by both albums, nonetheless, was the inclusion of re-recorded songs that made their initial appearance on Greetings… Deliverance, for example, featured “Victory”, “No Time” and “Awake”, while the title track to Greetings… eventually made its way onto Weapons… “Victory” and “No Time” reflect the bands classic speed metal sound and “Greetings Of Death” a heavy duty thrash influence. “Awake” melds elements of thrash and metal. The two remaining songs from the demo, “J.I.G. (Jesus Is God)” and “Speckled Bird”, move in a thrash and country western (Yes, you heard that correctly!) direction respectively.
Greetings.., which was independently released by the band and went on to sell an impressive 5000 copies, showcases a rawer and edgier sound in comparison to Deliverance and Weapons... If anything, the music here is faster – if you can imagine that! – while reflecting the heavier and more energetic feel. A great deal of credit for this must be attributed to the monstrous riffing provided by founding member Jimmy P. Brown II. As tight a rhythm guitarist as you will find, Brown is joined by lead guitarist Glenn Rodger, a shredder who best makes his presence felt on “Victory” and “No Time”. As a lead vocalist, Brown adds a gruffer element to his delivery here in staying mostly in low key territory (with “Awake” being the lone exception), which stands in contrast to the full range to his voice he routinely exhibited on Deliverance. The classic rhythm section of drummer Chris Hyde and bassist Brian Khairullah puts in place a solid foundation for the bands sound.
The production values to Greetings…, as one would expect, are not quite up to the same high standards found on Deliverance and Weapons…. That being said, the fidelity here is very solid for a demo recorded during its era.
Please note that Greetings… was later re-issued by Magdalene Records with bonus tracks made up of re-mixed versions of “Attack” and “A Space Called You” along with the bands Weapons… era demos. Out of print for several years now, Greetings… was re-issued (along with the bonus material) again in 2007 by Retroactive Records.
The opening cut to the bands self-titled debut, “Victory” sustains a plethora of all out speed metal impetus as a wall of brazen rhythm guitar drives it to a chorus of a, surprisingly, melodic variety. This one is heavy but catchy at the same time. Rodgers, of course, pulls out all the stops on lead guitar.
The thrash assault of “Greetings Of Death” is shored up its full distance by an in your face guitar riff backed by a sledgehammer mix of drums. Pummeling through its first and second verse, the song culminates as it transitions to a raucous minute long instrumental section.
“No Time” is another Deliverance classic. Also appearing on the self-titled debut, “No Time” crunches its way forward to a domineering rhythm guitar, not evening out until procuring a chorus in which a smooth sounding environment is put into place. Another extensive instrumental section allows Rodgers to showcase his abilities on lead guitar.
“J.I.G. (Jesus Is God)” – all fifty seconds of it! – begins to a drum solo followed by a thrash flavored riff. The song proceeds to move ahead at breakneck speed as Brown continually shouts the phrase “Jesus is God!”.
Deliverance throws a bit of a curveball with the country and western sounds of “Specked Bird”. The song actually proves a laid back number in giving rise to an almost gospel influence. The only complaint is that it is a bit short in coming in at just 1:21. C’mon guys, I want to hear more!
“Awake”, the third number here making its way onto Deliverance, fails to include the “ghoulish haunted house-like” opening in its Greetings… form. Rather, things get underway to a minute and a half of relentless rhythm guitar prior to the start of its first verse. A fleeting chorus repeats the songs title in aggressive fashion.
The melodic metal of “A Space Called You” and “Attack”, a thrash influenced track, are remixed versions of the songs that made their initial appearance on the classic California Metal compilation. If I were to invite a comparison, the Greetings… version of both songs, coming across heavier and with added energy, does a better job reflecting the true Deliverance sound. A bit more reverb is added to Brown’s vocals as well.
The seven songs from the Weapons… demos include three with lead vocals and four without (the band did not have lyrics written at the time or recording). A word of warning: being that they were recorded on a four track in the bands practice studio, the tracks in question are on the thin side of things production wise. But that is not necessarily bad because it is quite nostalgic to hear the seven in their original – although raw sounding – form.
The first of the three include lead vocals.
“Weapons Of Our Warfare”, as one would expect, delivers the same powerful assault of guitar and drums – not to mention a hard hitting chorus – we are used to, while “This Present Darkness” is still a no-nonsense track showcasing a striking rhythm guitar sound and aggressive vocal performance from Brown. “Greetings Of Death” makes an appearance as well with all its heavy duty and high-octane grandeur.
“Rescue”, the first of the instrumental pieces, is the only track here that was not re-recorded for Weapons… This is something I find to be disappointing because the song proves quite the melodic piece in combining an upbeat tempo with a fluid sounding guitar solo. As a matter of fact, it is surprising “Rescue” did not make the final cut (or was ever recorded by the band on any of its subsequent releases). It is that good.
“Slay The Wicked” remains an edge-laden number with a foreboding feel – even without lead vocals – and the brilliant “Solitude” a masterful blend of the melodic and aggressive.
“23”, coming in at close to six minutes on Weapons… , is a brief (1:22) but quietly played instrumental. As far as I can tell, this is an early representation of the song before the band had the opportunity to fully develop it.
A four minute interview with Jimmy Brown, recorded for a radio station in Phoenix, Arizona during the bands 1992 tour with Saviour Machine and Mortal, closes things out.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Victory” (3:46), “Greetings Of Death” (3:02), “No Time” (4:29), “J.I.G. (Jesus Is God)” (:50), “Speckled Bird” (1:21), “Awake” (5:04), “Attack” (3:54), “A Space Called You” (3:59), “Weapons Of Our Warfare” (4:36), “This Present Darkness” (2:52), “Greetings Of Death” (2:44), “Rescue” (4:16), “Slay The Wicked” (3:37), “Solitude” (5:31), “23” (1:22), “Radio Interview” (4:02)
Jimmy P. Brown II – Lead Vocals & Guitars
Glenn Rodgers – Guitars
Brian Khairullah – Bass
Chris Hyde - Drums
Also Reviewed: Deliverance – Deliverance, Deliverance - Weapons Of Our Warfare, Deliverance - Stay Of Execution, Deliverance - River Disturbance, Deliverance - Assimilation, Deliverance - As Above - So Below, Deliverance - The First Four Years, Fearful Symmetry – This Sad Veil OfTears, Jupiter VI - Back From Mars, Various Artists - California Metal