Released: 2014, Roxx Records
From the time vaults of metal comes this release from Taker, a Virginia based white metal band that was an active and influential part of that late 80s scene despite never being signed to a major label. Roxx Records has carefully compiled as much of the band’s demos and recorded material as could be found, working with former member Robert Bussey. The best recordings were sent for re-mastering and now, twenty-seven years later have been released as a special 14 track anthology with only 300 copies sent out worldwide. Four of the songs have been offered in a different version from their original release, and serve more as bonus tracks.
Considering the time period and that this is mostly self-recorded material, or Indie at best, the album sounds decent. Nevertheless, to ears accustomed to modern, always in tune and loud production, IT IS FINISHED sounds primitive in some places, but never unlistenable. Singer Kevin Potter, quickly displays his formidable range on lead-off signature track “Open Your Heart”, which features a prominent bass thump and music that is a mix of early Queensryche, Shok Paris, and Villain. Another stand-out track, “11 O’Clock News” is an unmistakable product of it times, harnessing vintage U.S. power metal despite a muffled recording. The band’s weapons were guitarist Robert Bussey, who clearly had the chops to have made a go at the big time and front man Potter. Peppered through the anthology are epic solos and solid riffs that point to a potential that was never fully realized, the band breaking up before reaching a mature and fully-realized sound.
Naturally, there are reasons Taker never hit big time early in their career, mainly because while quite decent, the songs are not quite up to the standards of the upper tier bands. However, Roxx Records deserves credit for making available an important historical album in the tale of White Metal. For those that remember the excitement of underground bands and their self-produced albums, complete with the limits of recording technology and budgets, you will find IT IS FINISHED a nostalgic walk down memory lane. Recommended for fans of Villain, Shok Paris, early US Metal and White Metal completeists