Soothsayer
To Be A Real Terrorist Re-issue

The downside to the resurgence of the thrash sound (which I consider a very good thing) is that now you have labels digging back into the catalog to find a bunch of never-were bands, re-release their stuff and try to make them sound like underground legends. Occasionally you find a gem, but usually the re-release reinforces why the band never made it in the first place. The latest to get that treatment is Canadian band Soothsayer.

This record combines a 1986 demo, To Be a Real Terrorist, with a performance recorded live in Montreal in April of 1987. While it’s not awful, it’s probably not something that needed to be dug up and offered again. The demo part, from start to finish, is a nice little exercise in early Slayer worship with the occasional Kill ‘Em All riff thrown in. The only standout track on the first half of the record is the final one, “Deadly Fear,” which features a nice, dark bass-driven bit that repeats throughout the song. The fast screaming part is actually distracting on that track.

The live portion of the disc, as you’d expect from a self-recorded live performance in the mid 1980s, sounds pretty rough, but there are actually some signs of promise scattered throughout it. The band reigns in the frantic pace on “Buzz Fly,” a performance heavily influenced by Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, but as on “Deadly Fear,” they just can’t seem to keep the tempo down. They have to launch into that sloppy, same-sounding, edging on out of control verse. They miss a point that a lot of would-be thrashers in the 1980s missed – speed isn’t everything.

Maybe if I’d heard this when it was originally recorded in 1986, it might have excited me a little more. All these years later, it sounds derivative and amateurish (as most demos do). This one’s probably only for collectors of closet demo tapes.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
October 27th, 2007

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