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September 2004
Released: 2004, Relentless
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

Covering The Covers

This is part of small five CD review feature I like to call ‘Covering the Covers’. Love ‘em or hate ‘em tribute CD’s and cover tune CD’s are here to stay. I personally enjoy covers for the most part as long as I like at least the band doing the covering or the bands being covered. Here is a very quick round up of five recently released cover CD’s including, L.A. Guns, Michael Schenker, Kevin Dubrow, George Lynch and Heathen.

After almost a twenty-year hiatus the small US label, Relentless is back. With a few new releases under their belt the label has helped re-introduce Heathen to the masses via this nine-track release. The short-lived thrash band has reformed and recorded four cover tunes, a new cut and added four demo cuts as a taster for the bands reformation. Old Heathen fans will be pleased to hear the rare demo track ‘Timeless Cell’ while the other three appeared in various forms on the bands two previous CD’s.

The new songs are tunes that started as an EP back in the early 90’s. The package is nice, some lyrics, liner notes, a new band photo and odd but appropriate cover art. The cover tunes are decent choices covering as they choose to pay homage to Queen, Tygers of Pang Tang, Sweet Savage and Thin Lizzy, wisely picking lesser known tunes by the two big bands; Queen, and Thin Lizzy.

As much as I like cover tunes, and rare stuff I would have rather had a new full-length CD from the band with all new material. This will serve as a good re-introduction to the band, a keepsake for older fans and buy time until the band (hopefully) produces a killer new CD.
Track Listing

1. Death on Two Legs
2. The Holy War
3. In Memory of…
4. Hellbound
5. Eye Of The Storm
6. Hypnotized
7. Opiate of The Masses
8. Timeless Cell
9. Mercy Is No Virtue


David White-vocals
Ira Black-guitar
Lee Altus-guitar
Michael Jastremski-bass
Darren Minter-drums

Next review: » Heathen - Recovered
Previous review: » Heartache - Apophis

January 2005
Released: 2004, Relentless Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Of all the long-lost thrash bands from the 1980s, Heathen are by far my favorite, so when I heard that they were getting back together I was ecstatic. My enthusiasm waned a bit when I heard that all they were doing was putting out their OPIATE OF THE MASSES demo with a few cover songs tacked on with only 1 new song ready for inclusion. Still, it was chance for more Heathen, so I was happy.

When the disc finally arrived, I immediately put in the player and…was stunned at the classic rock riffs that came out. A Queen song for chrissakes?!?! As the song I was drawn in, mostly because the guys did such a great job on it. It wasn’t thrash, but it would do. That same sentiment can be said for all of the first five songs. All are very good, but not the thrash that I was craving. Of note is the new song, “In Memory Of…”, a heartfelt ballad that is very unusual for Heathen. It’s actually a very good song, as ballads go.

After waiting through the first 20 minutes for some thrash, I was finally rewarded when the familiar strains of “Hypnotized” started up. Scream it with me now: TTHHHRRAASSHH!!! All for songs on this demo are as killer as any previous Heathen material and kick more ass than any wannabe thrash band from the recent past. Put it on and revel.

As good as this disc is, the best news came in the promo: Heathen are writing a new album! The Gods of Metal are smiling – be ready for it.
Track Listing

1) Death On Two Legs (Queen Cover)
2) The Holy War (Thin Lizzy Cover)
3) In Memory Of…
4) Hellbound (Tigers of Pan Tang Cover)
5) Eye of the Storm (Sweet Savage Cover)
6) Hypnotized
7) Opiate of the Masses
8) Timeless Cell
9) Mercy is no Virtue



Next review: » Heathen - The Evolution of Chaos
Previous review: » Heartache - Apophis

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