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.

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LP includes insert with band info.
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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)


zakanda said...

Thanks for the comment about the song, I was the singer for Arson at the time (Caught In The Web). That was the only relese we had besides some demo stuff. Man seems like forever ago we did that, I was a 17 year old kid back then. Anyhow thanks for the plug brother, I didn't k ow there was coppies around, like to know how you got ahold of it Keir, I don't even know if I have a copy. Would you happen to have it on you computor?

Keir said...

Nice to hear from you! Sorry I didn't have more to say about your band. Shoot me an email at

AT said...

This stuff is of particular interest to me. I'm originally from Oregon and I think I remember seeing Cruella at some point. The name XINR is also really familiar. May have seen them, too. Both Seattle and Portland had fairly active metal scenes back in the '80s. I have a few other compilations (of varying quality) with some of these same bands on them. I also have known the guy who ran C.O.M.A. Records (Jeff Gilbert) for 25+ years. He put out albums by Mistrust, Myth and Mace--apparently only bands whose name started with "M"!

Anyway, great post, Keir.

AT said...

My bad, Myth, of course, never released an album or EP. It was Strike that I was thinking of. So I guess at least one C.O.M.A. band didn't begin with the letter "M."

Keir said...

Darn! I was really hoping that there was some unknown release from Myth. :)

I have a few more compilations from the Northwest scene (I tend to lump Portland and Seattle together though I know that's really not accurate): Northwest Metalfest and Metal Meltdowns 2-4. All of them have good tracks, but none are as consistently good as Pacific Metal Project.

Anonymous said...

Dave (zakanda), the album even made it around the world..... Got a copy an I live in the Netherlands. Must say that around that time mant good bands were operating in the Washington (North west US) area (as can be heard on the North West Metal Fest compilation as well).

Anonymous said...

was a musician in one of the bands on PMP. The album did sell very well around the world. Germany, Spain, Japan to name a few. Too bad none of the musicians made a dime from the sales. I'd like to see this released on a CD somewhere. I can't convert the old vinyl to digital.

Anonymous said...

Serpent's Knight with Warrel Dane was to be on this CD, but got bumped to give tribute to the Xinr deaths. Should of had 11 bands on it!

Mike said...

i had this cassette when it came out. Xinr always stood out for me as well...loved that sound they had.

kenny stocks said...

a lot of great bands on that one! i was the bassist for xinr. so long ago, and im still writing and playing METAL, ill never quit. anyways thank you for the awesome write up! Kenny stocks.