Reviewed: January 2005
Released: 2004, Relentless Records
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.
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