Free cassettes are great. I usually expect that they will suck however
something stuck out in my mind when I came upon this promo in my local
record store. If I recall, it was the inherent awesomeness that seems to
follow Greg Fulton everywhere he goes? Maybe it's his ability to craft
compelling arrangements that capture the energy that he maintains in a
live setting, on record. Don't get me wrong, Znowhite was a great band
but after hearing the tracks available on this, sadly, short demo/promo
Greg has pushed forward into uncharted territories. His perfectly placed
triplets would make Jon Schaffer weep. Now, now. I am aware that I am
missing a vital part of the puzzle here. The frame of the puzzle so to
speak. You can't separate Fulton from the his side-kicks Schafer (Bass)
and Slattery (Drum batter). While Fulton lays a great crunch, Schafer
and Slattery provide a stunning example of their capability to create
twisted thrashing impulses in the structure of songs on second track
"Why." While this musical backbone pounces all over the tape, Brian
Troch gives a great vocal performance - pulling the words, seemingly,
out of the depths of his heart. It is a very natural performance with no
over-blown vocal choirs or added effects. Just a clean yet rugged, due
to Troch's natural vocal grit, showing of the well thought lyrics.
For a release in 1991, the guitars have less of an edge as I would wish.
This is the year of releases such as Human and Effigy (not that there
is a relation in terms of genre however this promo was released by the
same label that released the Death promo of Human) and I would have
expected a slightly heavier tone. The tone on this demo is more in line
with some five years past.. possibly Heathen's Breaking the Silence
though with more treble and a more "punchy" bass. I think you catch my
drift however. Tonally, one could possibly consider it outdated.
Although I do enjoy the tone, I would thrash just slightly more if there
was that extra level of heaviness. Troch, although performing admirably
just seems to strain on going to the higher notes. Straining to reach
the level of emotion vocally that the lyrics express.
For a two song demo, this is a mighty showing of the powerful writing
trio of Fulton, Schafer and Slattery. With a competent vocalist and
memorable melodies, these songs can really strike a chord (no pun
intended). "Why" is a potent thrasher while "Words are Just Words" makes
me headbang every time I have played this demo since I have gotten it -
already too many times to count.