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Earthly Homicide (1989)

Now here’s a band that I’m keen to hear more from. Jamie Sarno (vocals), Mike Delmore (guitar), Bob Allen (guitar), James Harris (bass) and Dan Voykin (drums) create the original and interesting sound that is Chicago, Illinois-based Stygian.

At first the name conjured up a doom metal band or Satanists, but that was soon dispelled with ‘Lead Foot’ which is typical of the demo; power metal with plenty of variety and guitars. This track is similar to Kublai Khan’s ‘Death Breath’, but isn’t as thrashy. The vocals are very similar to Kublai Khan’s Greg Handevidt, but prove to be more powerful and with a greater range.

‘Hope Not War’ eases up on the speed but not on the power. Time changes and good guitar work are its highlights; great stuff. Finally, there’s ‘Earthly Homicide’, an instrumental which could easily have lyrics added, but they would spoil the majesty of the song. The news sheet with the demo describes it as “an epic masterpiece”. A boast? Sure, but an understatement. From a subtle intro, building gradually into a rip-roaring thrasher with class stamped all over it, the song shows that Stygian aren’t afraid to try something different and this is their strength. Stygian have produced a debut demo to be proud of.

Chris Emblem

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 40 (1989)

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