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HELLHOUND- Submit or die Demo Tape (selfproduced, USA, 1985)

HELLHOUND were (and are) the unsung heroes of the Bay Area Metal scene. The band was formed in 1981 and apart from this demo had never released anything officially during the groups first life span. Why is that?
The six songs on this cassette are all highly memorable and show competent song writing, combined with lyrics that thankfully are not limited to Metal’s ordinary thematic catalogue. It’s simply not possible to pick out one track in particular because they all sound so damn good. “Ice Age” opens with a short twin guitar harmony that will make you close your eyes in pure entrancement and when the final notes of the last song “Repression of Life” fade away, you simply cannot believe that this pearl has never been officially re-released or that HELLHOUND was not given the chance to record an album.
I was lucky enough to meet Rich Pelletier, the band’s bassist, in person when I was in San Francisco. Even though I must admit that I don’t recall very much of our short get together at our common friend John Scharpen’s house (correct me if I’m wrong, guys!), he’s one very friendly and, if I may say so, bright and interesting person (another exception from the golden Metal rules). Unfortunately, when I interviewed him for my fanzine in 1985, I on the other hand wasn’t the most clever guy (and fluently english speaking, which must be added), looking at the rather silly short article in “Megawimp” No. 1, haha. Oh well, tempus fugit and all that.

Music historically, we’re on a very interesting crossing point here. You can exactly hear how the NWOBHM, Speed Metal and Power Metal come together on “Submit or die”. And maybe this is also the reason why HELLHOUND’s status was limited to the one of the “best unsigned band”. Had they sped up the songs, they would have slipped into the Thrash Metal category, had they slowed them down, they would have been associated with the Doom Metal genre. In retrospective, it’s always so easy to tell “how it’s done”. But it’s so obvious to hear that HELLHOUND would have had the potential to release a fantastic album. Since the band recently reformed, maybe the judges of Rock’n’Roll will see reason to give HELLHOUND the exposition they always had deserved. And somebody please release this demo on vinyl officially. You may contact the band through its Myspace or Fecalbook sites.

Thanks Rich  for giving me the permission to rip  & upload this.

Download the entire “Submit or die” demo here.