Released: 2016, Heaven and Hell Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Heaven and Hell Records recently unearthed a long lost collection of studio recordings from Columbia, South Carolina's long defunct heavy metal band Jack The Ripper. TORTURED AND TWISTED features the album of the same name (originally released in 1981) the "Blood Bath" EP (1984) and five demo recordings, mostly from 1987.
TORTURED AND TWISTED takes the listener back all the way back to 1981. These guys must have been paying close attention to their British cohorts as the title track instantly recalls the NWOBHM movement more so than anything American sounding. Vocalist Mad Maximo Hernandez even sounds British. What makes this so interesting to me is that these guys must have been some of the original American fans of NWOBHM to have put this out circa 1981.
A handful of these tracks appear on the album twice, such as "Burn In Hell" "Bloodbath" "Destructor" "Metal Man" and "Chambers of Darkness" as the band took a second stab at them on 1983's "Blood Bath" EP. If this is your introduction to Jack The Ripper you may want to marinade on tracks 1-10 before going any further or else you might walk away from TORTURED AND TWISTED under the false pretense that all of their songs sound the same. The sound quality on the EP has more of a bass heavy, bottom-end sound and a little more distortion on the guitars.
The demo tracks start with "Gargoyle" from 1983 and then proceeds to four more demo tracks from 1987. The band's sound remains largely intact six year's after their inception, yet the overall sound quality of these rare demos is a little lacking.
With all new cover art from Steve Cobb, remastering from Jamie King of Basement Studios and a twelve page booklet with lyrics, a lengthy essay and plenty of full color archived era band photos this is by far the definitive collection of the band's music and sure to whet the appetite of heavy metal collectors everywhere.