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You Can't Kill What's Already Dead: Anthology 1985 - 1988
(Evil Legend Records)

Canada's DEATH MILITIA rang a bell to me first and foremost because of the fact that they used to play quite a lot of shows with SACRIFICE back in the 80s. They also appeared in various tapetrader lists, so I even might have owned something of 'em myself at one point, but it probably ended up on some dusty tape somewhere in my collection so that I simply couldn't recall their music at all. Needless to say that I appreciated the idea of this CD compilation of their demos a lot, huh?! So, what do we get here? Well, from a band that went by the name DEATH MILITIA I honestly spoken expected some furious and raging Thrash Metal, a style that these guys not necessarily delivered! The only songs that fit this category on this disc are those 4 from 1985's "Onslaught Of Death" rehearsal tape. At the time it seemed as if SACRIFICE had quite an influence on their writing as it was musically along those lines. Despite its immatureness to me still their best stuff. Their 1987 and 1988 demos "To Serve And Protect" and "One Day Closer To Hell" (both with surprisingly good sound quality for the time they got released) showcase a band that seemed to be way more rooted in traditional NWOBHM / Power Metal (not the type of crap that mostly gets released in this genre these days!). Of course DEATH MILITIA used to be a lot heavier for its time, but the vocal style (angry, yet understandable) and guitar work recalls stuff that easily could've been released on Neat Records at the time. The disc's opener for example 'Beneath The Crosses' (taken from "To Serve And Protect") even has a VENOM 'Bloodlust' type of section to it. The CD gets completed by 4 instrumental rehearsal songs from 1987 / 1988 (unavailable on any other recording of the band) on which you'll also recognize DEATH MILITIA's pretty obvious love for MERCYFUL FATE (when it comes to the complex writing). This musical diversity over the years (that you couldn't exactly pinpoint the band's style) plus the fact that they had like ten members coming and going in their rather shortlived career might have resulted in the fact that DEATH MILITIA weren't really able to reach the popularity of their countrymen RAZOR, SLAUGHTER or SACRIFICE. So, their entire musical legacy is available now on this CD. The whole packaging it is quite exceptional: the disc is accompanied by a 20-pages fat booklet that features a short introduction (courtesy of Laurent Ramadier), an interview with the band, lots of old pictures, covers and flyers as well as comments of the members about each single song on offer here. So, even though their band name might have been a bit misleading, everyone into traditional, crushing and definitely very honest sounding 80s stuff is adviced to risk an ear here! For more info check out the label's website at

Frank Stöver

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