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Fist Held High / Reincarnation
May 2016
Released: 2015, Metal Blade
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

When I first saw her she was more beautiful than I ever imagined. Am I talking about the birth of my baby girl? No. I’m talking about the 30th anniversary two-disc reissue of FIST HELD HIGH by Thrust. Following in the footsteps of their long running anniversary series of CD reissues (Armoured Saint, Fates Warning, Flotsam & Jetsam, Sacred Reich, Cirith Ungol, Lizzy Borden, Voi-vod) Metal Blade has added Thrust to that honoured list.

I remember buying the tape when it first came out back in 1984 or so and it became a life-long favourite. I was mildly surprised when it was announced that Metal Blade was reissuing this because, despite my enjoyment of it, not many people really got into Thrust, and of all the CD issued in the series this is by far the most obscure.

FIST HELD HIGH as a reissue is gorgeous. It is a two-disc set with no less than 11 bonus tracks and an entirely new album. It is housed in a little slip-case with the two discs. Disc One is the immortal (in my mind) FIST HELD HIGH with full colour booklet, tons of photos, lyrics and more. It also has five bonus tracks, (4 live, one track from a compilation). Disc two has the same presentation with all the bands demos and a full-length studio album called REINCARNATION.

REINCARNATION is a bit of a mystery. On the cover it says ‘unreleased’ but it does not say when or where it was recorded. It is an old album re-done, or a brand new album by the band? Either way, it is great to have and it is technically their third album following 2002’s obscure INVITATION TO INSANITY.

If you are not familiar with Thrust from the early days, they are basic meat and potatoes Metal form the US in the early 80’s. They could fit nicely in with Iron Angel, Warrant, (Ger.) and stuff like Laaz Rockit; namely not quite thrash, but fast and heavy in their own way. The quirky yelpy vocals of John Bonata were always a highlight perhaps a bit reminiscent of John Connelly. The lyrics were all very ‘Metal’ with great tunes like ‘ Metallic Attack’, ‘Heavier than Hell’ and my favourite ‘Posers Must Die!’ with a nice gang vocal chant of ‘Die!...Die!... Die! at the end. I still feel there are not enough songs about killing posers anymore, it's all hippie socially aware nonsense these days. The bonus live tracks were a nice treat and not horrible sound either.

Over to Disc Two and REINCARNATION the album is not at all bad. It might sound a bit dated by today’s standards and the cover and title are dull and Ron Cooke is the only original member but it is still good to see then back. They haven’t changed much on the ten track album, they are perhaps a little more melodic and polished. I do miss the vocals of Bonata but the vocals of Andy Beaudry are very serviceable. The album crunches along faithful to the conventions of Metal.

Normally we don’t go back and review old albums but it is fun once in a while to review these reissues and I’ll certainly treasure this gem and hopefully bring a little exposure to an old favourite. I have such a nostalgic soft spot for FIST HELD HIGH, my instinct is to rate it much higher, but the realistic side of me says this is a collectible treat for the few remaining loyalists only.
Track Listing

Disc One-Fist Held High

1. Fist Held High
2. Overdrive
3. Freedom Fighters
4. Metallic Attack
5. Heavier than Hell
6. Thrasher
7. Torture Chamber
8. Posers Will Die!

Bonus tracks

09. Iron Gates (Live)
10. The Wolf (Live)
11. Feast of Flesh (Live)
12. Hard Rider (Live)
13. Destructer (from Metal Massacre IV)

Disc Two -Reincarnation

1. War
2. Scream Girl Scream
3. God Only Knows
4. Hypocrite
5. Never Too Young
6. Wasted
7. The Fool
8. Get Crazy
9. Cheater
10. Fit Of Rage

Bonus tracks

11. Intensity (Instrumental) – Demo
12. No Mercy – Demo
13. Rockin The Night – Demo
14. Back On The Street – Demo
15. Evil Redeemer – Demo
16. Psycho Killer – Demo
17. Fist Held High – Demo
18. Stand Up And Fight – Demo


Disc One

John Bonata Vocals
C.B. Sebastian Guitar
Ron Cooke Guitar
Price Sowers Bass
Ross Cristao Drums

Disc Two (album)

Andy Beaudry Vocals
Ron Cooke Guitar
Angel Rodriquez Guitar
Ray Gervais Bass
Joe Rezendes Drums



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