Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pacific Metal Project (1985 Restless Records)

This was a compilation of local Seattle based bands. It also happens to be one of my favorites. Unlike many compilations of local talent that sample a wide variety of musical styles, this one is nearly 100% metal. All tracks are exclusive except where noted.

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

LP includes insert with band info.
Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

1. Heir Apparent – “Tear Down the Walls”: There were quite a few bands on the Seattle scene that were inspired by Queensryche’s early success, but none match the brilliance of Heir Apparent. Their very first official release is featured here and is one of the catchier tracks from their 1986 Graceful Inheritance LP. This version is slightly different.
2. Myth – “Let Me Hear the Thunder”: Not to be confused with the band from Connecticut (the page on metal-archives is dead wrong), this is the infamous Kelly Gray Myth that once featured Geoff Tate on vocals. His replacement is no Geoff Tate, but he’s still pretty good and actually reminds me of Ann Boleyn despite being male. This is a great song, but it seems to be missing something. Perhaps there are too many keyboards?
3. Mistrust – “Running for My Life”: Mistrust was formed from the ashes of a couple other Seattle based bands. The guitarist and bass player are from Rottweiller and the singer is from Culprit. Decent song that sounds a bit like Metal Church with a hard rock edge. The same version appears on the 1986 Spin the World LP (their only other release).
4. Manchild – “Keep on Believin’”: Fairly typical US metal, it has a decent chorus but overall is too predictable.
5. Ransom – “Throw the Stone”: Some heavy dark sleaze here (sort of like W.A.S.P.) The melody actually reminds me of the self-titled track by Sacred Few.
6. Look Out – “Burning Steel”: This intro to this song is a rip off of “The Lady Wore Black”, but the rest sounds more like something from Canada’s Black Knight.
7. Phaze – “Where Can We Be Alone”: Phaze plays decent but unremarkable heavy hard rock in the style of Dokken.
8. Arson – “Caught in the Web”: An excellent speed metal track, and unfortunately another band who never released anything else.
9. Xinr – “Everpresent Angel”: Now this is the reason I track down all these obscure compilations. Completely unknown band, and one of the most original I’ve heard in a long time. They sound kind of like a cross between Cirith Ungol and Hell. The vocals certainly aren’t for everyone but it’s a great song nevertheless. Tragically, members Tony Saiz and Shaun Tramel died in a motorcycle accident just weeks prior to the release of the Pacific Metal Project LP and the band soon disbanded. Second guitarist Roger DeCarlo went on to join Cruella, but until recently it was thought that no other recordings survived from the original Xinr lineup. Fortunately, Stormspell Records were able to track down the remaining members and acquired the rights to some long lost demos. The CD, Beyond Woodward, was released on December 1, 2008 so get your copy now!
10. D.C. Lacroix – “Rip It Up”: This is the same as the version on their 1986 Crack of Doom LP, but without the brief vocal introduction. Shortly after this compilation was released, the band was contacted by New Renaissance Records to have the song included on their Ladykillers compilation (which I reviewed a couple weeks ago). This inspired the band to move to L.A.

Available Formats: Vinyl and cassette.

Value: $8-10 (vinyl), $3 (cassette)