MESSIAH (Che): “Powertrash/The Infernal Thrashing” Cd 2006 Iron Pegasus

MESSIAH (Che):

This is the second of the recent Iron Pegasus reissues, this time consisting in the demo reissues of the two demo tapes of this great band from the canton of Zug in the middle of Switzerland, the smallest of that country’s cantons. From such a small area however, the cancer called Messiah was evoken to release one of the darkest Thrash/Death/black Metal alnums of all, the amazing “Hymn to Abramelin”, and prior to that the “Powertrash” (without the “h”?) and “Infernal Thrashing” demos. This time the packaging is cosiderably inferior I have to complain, compared to the very good Poison reissue: sure they played a bit on the shocking value of using silver pantone everywhere, but while it’s cool to see band pics (hey, I forgot the band used to wear corpsepaint!!), it feels a bit out of place to have four pages out of eight occupied by full size close ups of the band members on stage! I really would have liked to see some liner notes, comments, lyrics, old flyers, whatever, but you really only get a 2 page spread of old school picture collage and some pics, and that’s it. The cover art looks neat and elegant so nothing to object, but why there is not even a scan of the original demo covers inside?

Musically this is a tough review to make, becouse when I think of Messiah, my mind goes immediately to “Hymn to Abramelin”, that splendid LP with the big logo on red/black that’s possibly one of my favourtite recordings ever by any so called Thrash (Death?) Metal band, so for me it’s difficult to put anything in comparison, even if it’s by the same band. I have to admit that for once, the studio recordings you have on “Hymn to Abramelin” (rumours have it that it was produced by a Celtic Frost roadie who later put up a label: the infamous Chainsaw Murder) really give full justice to the obsessive obscurity of this thrashing madness. But hearing rawer, cruder versions of these songs is really a great pleasure. Messiah does play a weird mix of different styles of extreme old school metal which mix suprising well in a totally unique blend. You have total wicked guitar trips a la early Morbid Angel, powerful thrashing stage-diving inducing riffs a la early Whiplash, hypnotic bridges a la Hellhammer (well, the band probably took their name from their song as well), even touches of doom like early Black Sabbath (does the beginning riff in “Total Maniac” ring any bell?) yet the concoction is so solid and unique that you can figure why this band really deserves to be remembered as one of the major contribution to the modern Death Metal sound! The mix in the demos is crude and genuine, with lots of reverb, which in the end make the slower, moodier songs absolutely infernal. seems like these songs are coming from a desecrated grave. I challenge you to hear “Space Invaders” and don’t shiver in the anguishing, agony ridden sulphuric atmosphere it evokes. And if Attila was inspired by anything when he recorded De “Mysterris Dom Sathanas” it’s fucking sure it’s THIS song he had in mind, or the gigantic hit “Messiah”, no shit! Tschossi’s vocals had all the abrasive non-musical vibe of old Venom yet way more tormented, always changing from the classic distorted thrash metal a la Exodus down to almost Kam Lee Death Metal growls, and all distorted by this distant echo. These songs are real classics of the genre, you don’t really want to miss something like this. And for 11 euros it’s quite a deal to order it from Iron Pegasus. Right that you’re at it, buy also Massacre and Poison like I did, you cannot joke when bands like these are in. The Cd also includes their first show from 1985 (probably the one with Celtic Frost which gained them a record deal). Personally if I didn’t have anything by this band I’d start with “Hymn” but right after that one, here is the way to go. If only there were some major zeal for details…

Vote: 9.5

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