And then there were two. Arkeyn Steel Records has been rummaging through their collection of basement tapes again. Started in the Ozone Park neighborhood of New York in 1989, they offer us Deliverance and Sword Of The Necromancer, a collection of two demos and several live performances. I had a double take upon seeing the name Deliverance. This band is not to be confused with the Christian thrash metal started some years earlier and still continues to this day. New York's Deliverance didn't such success, lasting only a mere three years.
First, to Deliverance's heavy metal style, theirs is essentially melodic heavy power metal with obvious New Wave of British Heavy Metal influences. Prominent are both twin guitar harmony and lots of shredding leads. The rhythm section has some gallop to it. The vocals are clean and melodic, with bass player and vocalist having a slight Geddy Lee timbre to his voice. The song arrangements are lightly complex and technical suggesting, if the band would have carried on, Deliverance was on the verge of becoming a progressive power metal band. The song Dreamscape is a good example of this.
As for the content of this compilation, it includes the only two demos Deliverance ever recorded, the self-titled Deliverance in 1990 and Sword Of The Necromancer in 1991. Curiously, for this presentation, the label has chosen to reverse the order, putting the latter first. There may be good reason for this. The second demo was a concept album (the sword vanquishing some militant dragons in a fantasy land) and has the embellishment of keyboard work for musical interludes. There are some similarities between the two demos. Both have a version of Dragon's Den, both are found here.
The rest of the compilation is filled out with five live songs recorded in 1990 at Nobody's in New York. This is also an interesting addition. According to press information, Deliverance, at the start, "agreed that if a song could not be performed live, it should not be recorded at all." With these live recordings, you can judge whether they succeeded. I think so.
One final observation should be made. The listener must remember that these recordings are better than 25 years old, and though there is general clarity to the sound from the re-mastering, they sound a bit muted. I had to give my ears several songs to adjust to the sound quality. Nevertheless, Deliverance's Sword Of The Necromancer displays a band, unsung and once forgotten, having an abundance of talent and creativity and delivering some fine American-made melodic power metal. Recommended.
Deliverance's Sword Of The Necromancer displays a band, unsung and once forgotten, having an abundance of talent and creativity and delivering some fine American-made melodic power metal.
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