Heaven's Force – Aggressive Angel (Open Grave) 2009
Press releases for Heaven's Force compares the band to early Slayer. While there might be some early Slayer influence, especially from Show No Mercy, I hear more of that classic, speed metal sound of bands like Exciter, Venom and Raven. If a song like "Second Coming" or the title track had been on Exciter's "Violence & Force" or Venom's "Welcome to Hell", I don’t think anyone would have thought twice about it. This is classic speed metal! Dating back to 1983, this Christian thrash band may very well have been the first of their kind, as their demos predate demos by Tempest, Vengeance Rising and Deliverance.
The production on these demos actually isn’t quite as bad as one might imagine. For two demos recorded in the early 80’s on what was probably a shoe-string budget, the overall sound isn’t bad. Unfortunately the CD does reveal some problems with the source, which was obviously taken from an old cassette tape. There are a few minor drop outs, but overall, this isn’t a bad listen and is actually as good as some nationally released material from 1983.
Brought to us by the good folks at Open Grave Records, this CD is limited to only 500 copies and will quickly become a collector’s item. Unfortunately, the packaging is a little weak. Wrapped in a digi, there are no liner notes or photos, only the lyrics which are printed so small that most people will need a magnifying glad to read them. Apparently not much exists from this band’s past, other than the music, so what it presented here is all there is. Despite this, "Aggressive Angel" is worth investing in. Available $11 at Divine Metal Distro.