With one look at Wrathskeller, you know what decade their from and what type of music they play. Back in the day, that's what heavy metal bands, and often their fans, looked and dressed like. Leather. Studs. Bullet belts. Denim. Big hair and lots of it. Trying to look tough and badass. In reality, we looked like idiots. "Dude. That is harsh," you say. Maybe so, but that's what it was like back in the early to mid Eighties. The whole decade was one whole wardrobe malfunction.
Wrathskeller comes from Dayton Ohio, being active from 1985 through 1989 or 1990.In that time they recorded three four song demos in four years: 1986, 1987, and 1989. Also, over this period the only consistent member was founder and guitarist Randy Davis. Personnel turn over was the rule rather than the eaxception. The exception was vocalist Dan Turner who appeared on all three demos. All these are compilied in Eve Of The End which also includes Dwight Bowden audition for vocalist of Wrathskeller III. He never got a chance to make a demo with the band. Also included is an instrumental cut of the rhythm tracks for Witches Hill and a live recording of the song Bleeding Grounds. (It's pretty hideous.)
So then the bulk of this compilation is the demos. Wrathskeller basically plays traditional heavy metal of the time, highly informed by the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, with strong guitar leads and screamo vocals you can't understand. But that could be from the lean and low budget production. The riffs sound raw, the drums like tin. To be honest, the vocals are the bands weak link. I didn't care for them at all. Nevetheless, the boys in the band give it their best. I was most impressed with the lead guitar work. I'm not sure if it's twin lead guitars, but it was surprisingly good nonetheless. Some songs of note with fine guitar solos: Witches Hill, Dancing With The Dead, and especially The Flying Dutchmen, where they move between fusion sound to blistering heavy metal.
By way of conclusion, of all the finds by Greek label Arkeyn Steel this Spring, this is likely the weakest, but only for production and vocals. The re-mastering didn't do much to improve upon what was already low-caliber recordings.
A compilation of three demos and some bonus material, Wrathskeller basically plays traditional heavy metal of the time, highly informed by the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, with strong guitar leads and screamo vocals you can't understand.
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