Death SS - Heavy Demons

Death SS - Where have you gone

Death SS - Heavy Demons

\r\nIt’s a fact that anyone can grow strong and great feelings about a band, feelings of either love or hate.. Such feelings I have for the Italian band Death SS, maybe the most famous Italian band (together with Strana Officina). And since Kostas Kyriakakis once had the idea for an article in the monument section about their ‘’Heavy demons’’ album I thought to leave my hate feelings about their late works behind, and write about their best, their most well known and the legendary work, ‘’Heavy Demons’’. After the release of the album ‘’Black Mass’’ (1990) the band’s line up faced a lot of changes and as result we ended to the best line up that the band ever had, since 1984.Death SS started preparing their new album during the July of 1990 with Kevin Reynolds as a guitarist and as a result we had a demo tape for the new album, which had a more hard rock attitude compared to their previous works. For example the demo version of the song ‘’Baphomet’’ has nothing to do with the song that finally appeared in the album, I would say that the only think in common it’s the name of the song. Right after Reynolds left and Al Priest/Jason Minelli joined Death SS, the band worked again on the songs and as a result we had ‘’Heavy Demons’’ which was released on 1991 from Contempo Records. \r\n

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\r\nThe first song is the intro song “Walpurgisnacht” where the great Oliver Reed narrates and right after that we listen to the song “Where Have You Gone?”, the album’s single, and the first official video clip that the band ever made. Mid tempo speed, great work in the mixing and the production (a characteristic of all the album) and while the song is speeding up we listen to the incredible solos of Minelli and Priest. One of the Italian’s best songs follows, the ‘’Heavy Demons’’ a song really made to be played live.(whoever had been in their concert in Gagarin club surely remembers what happened!). Then we listen to the song ‘’Family Vault’’ which reminds me of the band’s first works, with their classic mid tempo feeling, and the dark themes that the band used to deal with, since 1997 and on.. ’’Family Vault’’ is a song that truly determines the sound of heavy metal, with nice solos, acoustic parts, and unstoppable drums. Last song of the first side is ‘’Lilith’’, maybe the album’s less good song, with a more goth feeling in it, but still a heavy metal song, with a very dark and epic chorus, and an extended use of keyboards, a trait of almost all the album. Personally I am quite impressed form the ‘’malmsteen’’ solos of the great duet Minelli/Priest. In the second side we first listen to the amazing song ‘’Peace of Mind’’ which offers to us something completely different than it’s title promises. Great riffs, amazing solos and breathtaking rhythm section. Ok Steve is famous for his vocals, so there is no need to say anything more here. Next song is the ‘’Way to Power’’. Nice song, not anything extraordinary, just a nice semi-ballad song (once more I must mention the amazing result on the guitars). Third song of the second side is the ULTIMATE ‘’Baphomet’’. Speed, great riifs, rhythm section, and an ultimate epic and stimulating chorus… \r\n

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\r\n‘’Calling You, I ride The Lighting…’’ \r\n

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\r\nAnd of course Morby’s contribution (Sabotage,Domine), who sings consecutively with Steve before the solo, is just indescribable . Surely the best song that Death SS have ever written, after Chain’s exodus.. Next song, ‘’Templar’s Revenge’’ is another great one. Once more the chorus and the riff catch the attention of the listener. \r\n

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\r\n“I’m Dead – Guiltless, I Ask For – Revenge” \r\n

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\r\nLast song of the LP is the ‘’All Soul’s Day’’ a quite interesting song, with Moby singing again in the chorus. \r\n

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\r\nIn the re-release of the cd from Lucifer Rising on 1997, we have seven more bonus tracks. One is the 12’’ ‘’Where have you Gone’’ the we have a remix of “Where Have you Gone?”, a cover of Atomic Rooster’s (who have always inspired the band) “Death Walks Behind You”, and a live version of ‘’Horrible Eyes’’ a ‘’Black Mass’’ song. Finally we have the ‘’ Inquisitor” in a totally different form, than the one that used to be in the 7’’ Evil Metal (1983) \r\n

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\r\nHeavy Demons had to change it’s cover in some eastern countries. The most important different version is the Jigu Records’ one, a Korean distribution company, with a totally different cover but the same backside to the Contempo’s version. Some copies of the second version had an attached sticker with the notification that Death SS have nothing to do with the World War II famous group of combat. \r\n

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\r\nHeavy Demons was released under 11 different versions from 1991 to 1997 (LP/CD/CS) with the Korean LP and the Singapore’s cassette being the most rare ones. The 12’’ “Where Have You Gone?” was released in three different versions, 3000 copies in a LP form (1000 red – 2000 black) and in a cd-single form. There was also a 7’’ in Korea that contained “Heavy Demons / Baphomet”. Finally their Official Fun Club, released just 2000 demo sessions and outtakes of the album under the title ‘’Heavy Demos’’. \r\n

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\r\nLambros "Witchfynder" Tennes \r\n

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\r\nTranslation:Panagiotis Agalopoulos \r\n

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