DISC ONE (2009)
01. "Sanctuary" (6:55)
02. "Faith Awaken" (7:48)
03. "Amazing Grace" (4:51)
04. "Here I Am" (7:29)
05. "Altar of Sacrifice" (4:52)
06. "Death to Asherah" (5:53)
07. "Raptor" (4:48)
08. "One Way Out" (7:33)
Back in the late 80's and early 90's I was heavily into Christian heavy metal. I looked for any new band that released any demo tape and bought it up immediately. One of those bands was a speed metal band from Pennsylvania USA called Thresher. I had already discovered bands like Deliverance and Vengeance Rising, as well as a local band called Rapture at this time. (Rapture changed their name to The Moshketeers in 1989). I purchased the six song "Totally Possessed" cassette demo. Chock full of chunky speed metal riffs, hooky choruses, skillful guitar solos, etc. Thresher had more in common with Deliverance and The Moshketeers, as they steered away from pure speed for speed sake, and offered a lot more melody as well as more mid-paced riffs. At the time I remember they reminded me slightly of early Metal Church. Also unlike most speed and thrash bands in the 80's, Thresher added a moody, ballad-esque song, similar in style to Metallica's "Fade to Black". I wore that tape out. Over a decade later I could still sing the chorus to the title track on a moments notice, even though I hadn't actually played a cassette tape in years since CDs became my obsession.
A few years later I picked up a CD compilation on R.E.X. Records with a Thresher song called "My Reality" and once again, I played that song over and over again. The song had that same Thresher sound; crunchy guitars, hooks galore and faith based lyrics. This time around the lyrics seemed less Revelations based and were instead worship lyrics. Though I did read that they recorded a full length album after the "Totally Possessed" demo, it never saw the light of day. That was the last I heard to Thresher until Winter of 2009.
Roxx Records managed to hook up with Thresher to get the previously unreleased album from the early 90's pressed onto CD. As an added bonus, the first 125 fans that pre-ordered the "Here I Am" CD, would receive a 2-CD version with the "Totally Possessed" tracks on disc two. Of course I had to jump on that offer. "Here I Am" is 8 songs of crunchy heavy metal that continues in much the same style as "Totally Possessed", crunchy fast to mid-paced heavy metal with plenty of melody and hook. When the CD was originally announced I was bummed that "My Reality" from that old compilation CD wasn't going to be included. After popping in the CD for the first time, much to my delight that song was included but is now titled "Sanctuary". This song is a slightly progressive track that starts off with some clean, acoustic guitars before bursting into a up-tempo speed metal number. "Faith Awaken" continues with the up-tempo heavy metal, once again reminding me slightly of early Metal Church, riding a fence between classic heavy metal and thrash metal. "Amazing Grace" slows the tempo down and is a groove meets thrash based take on the classic hymn. The title track is a darker song, but picks the tempo back up and is yet another song that rides the fence between traditional heavy metal and thrash metal. The entire 8 songs pretty much stays within this same formula, although the songs offer plenty of memorable hooks so that the album doesn't start to sound like one long song. Actually, "Here I Am" pushes the boundaries of thrash metal much more so than "Totally Possessed" did. Regardless, both albums are great. "Totally Possessed" brings back fond memories and "Here I Am" is yet another excellent metal platter in my collection.