Released: 1998, Indie
I was surprised to discover that Stone Vengeance had been still going all these years. After getting in touch with the band , they were kind enough to send along a copy of a couple o ftheir discs. I will review their new full-length 2000 studio CD, THE ANGEL, next month.
This month I will give you a brief history lesson and discuss the disc TO KILL EVIL, which is essentially a CD re-issue of their self-titled debut. Formed way back in 1978, this three-piece band from California in all honesty came and went without much notice in the global metal community. I have the debut on cassette but in all honesty I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who had it or even knew who they were. However, I don’t want to leave with the impression they were nobodies! Having been playing live for so many years in California such bands as Possessed, Exodus, Hirax and have opened for them! They have shared a stage with Death Angel, Slayer and many more so you KNOW they can hold their own. I just assumed that they had came shortly after the self-titled tape in 1990 and went and were now had families and were working day jobs . Hence my interest when 12+ years later I learn they are still active! What drive and dedication. Ya gotta admire that. I do. You can learn more about them at http://www.stonevengeance.com.
I suppose with the resurgence of metal the band have decided to ‘just give ‘er ‘ and have taken the step of re-issuing their debut into the CD age and added four bonus tracks. In all honesty I wasn’t that thrilled with the tape I have. I pull it out once or twice a year, I listen to it, I enjoy it, back into the pile it goes for another year. Not a glowing endorsement, I know, but it shows they are standing the test of time in my collection. The upgrade to the CD age is nice.
It has a new cover, a new title, still no lyrics, a good batch of photos from over the years and of course bonus tracks. The mastering job isn’t great as the whole thing was recorded quite low on this disc but it could have been problems with the source tape. The new cover is just plain bad. It looks like some kid did it in junior-high school on his binder in pencil crayon. Unacceptably bad. I mean, c’mon, this is the new millennium, find someone with an airbrush or a computer.
Michael Coffey (Vocals, guitar) seems to be the driving force in this power trio. To Kill Evil is quite diverse but generally one could say it is a crude thrash or just classic metal, either side of the coin. I’m hearing so many great old influences (inspirations?) as I listen to this from Agent Steel to Nasty Savage. Michael has a great vocal range, some of the high screams in the title track alone will send shivers down your spine! The gang vocals and really punchy bass-lines add a big dimension of sloppy fun to the bands sound. This is classic 80’s and in hindsight I’m not surprised that these guys can still make a go of it. This is timeless metal. There are also some elements of skate stuff or crossover bands like DRI and Suicidal Tendencies both of who SV has played with back in the early 80’s.
The bonus tracks include a somewhat predictable cover choice of Hendrix’s ‘Foxy Lady’ but there is nothing predictable about their version. I like it better than the original myself. There is an extended version of the track ‘Pain’ as well. ‘The Chase’ is a very laid back, groove funk kinda thing that reminds me any number of cool 70’s rock bands with sound effects, banter and fun lyrics about being chased by cops. The band have a sense of humour that is evident especially when they have a song named ‘Long Live Stone Vengeance’! It seems they got their wish. Tune in next month for a review of their newer material.