St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
In my collection, H comes up surprisingly short in the death metal realm. (This is with apologies to rising local death metallers HOUSE OF ATREUS — we’re due to provide a local feature soon enough.) That leaves us with HETSHEADS, another lost entity from Sweden’s overstuffed Stockholm death metal revolution.
The “album” We Hail the Possessed is actually two early 90s demos pressed to disc back in 1994 by Spain’s Repulse Records (formerly Drowned Productions and now Xtreem Music). The promotional material at the time failed to make this incredibly obvious, but as the first installment in the small and awkwardly named “Resurrecseries,” this is indeed a compilation of demo materials rather than anything new. Sweden’s DARKIFIED and NYDM stalwarts IMMOLATION ended up receiving treatments under the same Resurrecseries banner.
Nothing too surprising to report on here: buzzsaw and bottom-heavy guitars; thrash-beat passages interspersed by doomy dirge and vomit vocals straight out of the LG Petrov school. Really cool artwork though! And enough decent riffs to keep you strung along. There’s good use of OBITUARY- or AUTOPSY-like tempos and nothing in the way of blast beats anywhere to be found, which always lends things a slightly more crafted air by allowing the riffs some breathing room.
The second demo material (tracks 5 though 8) tends to more songwriting patience, a less orthodox production and overall more maturity than the first demo recorded just six months prior. With additional time perhaps HETSHEADS could have produced a true full-length of material worthy of more than the mere footnote afforded to this effort. Instead they took the easy way out, changed names and jumped trends and have essentially been invisible to metaldom ever since.
Good luck finding this one; your best bet is to revisit ENTOMBED circa Left Hand Path, DISMEMBER’s Like an Ever Flowing Stream and UNLEASHED Where No Life Dwells for more refined version of these same ideas. Something out of BLOODBATH’s catalog or NECROPHOBIC The Nocturnal Silence may be good substitution candidates as well.
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