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DRAWN AND QUARTERED - interview
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DUSK - review
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BEST OF 2018 -... - special
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HELD UNDER / DISCOVERY
HELD UNDER / DISCOVERY
Anthology
(Stormspell Records)
149:44min

This ain't a split-album of two different bands, but an anthology release of Seattle's HELD UNDER who originally started out under the name DISCOVERY in 1884, but changed their moniker along the way because of various line-up changes. Even though they did a whole bunch of very promising sounding recordings (including a full length album "Dying Breed" in 1991) nothing major really came out of it internationally (I personally had never heard of them prior to this double CD). It simply must've been a matter of bad timing as Grunge was of course the big thing at the time and no label willing to sign a traditional Metal act. Really a pity, cause musically these guys had quite a lot to offer. Their rather epic sounding melodic Metal perfectly fits in among other acts from that area / era and if you listen carefully you partly even may detect elements of LEATHERWOLF's Michael Olivieri and HEIR APPARENT's Paul Davidson in the exceptional vocal delivery. The overall songwriting- and playing-abilities were first class, but unfortunately didn't seem to help them on the long run nevertheless. As a whole the band simply wasn't really blessed with luck anyway and decided to split-up for the first time after drummer Steve Oliver was facing a heart attack during a rehearsal in 1992. They did reform in 1997, but weren't able to continue on for too long anymore as singer Michael Stevens was involved in a terrible car accident in 1998 so that he couldn't sing anymore afterwards. This pretty much sealed the band's fate. A couple years later California's Stormspell Records finally did notice the band's qualities and compiled all their studio recordings on this double CD set (29 tracks in total). Disc one features HELD UNDER's "Dying Breed" album, including their cover of JUDAS PRIEST's 'Tyrant', plus five demo bonus tracks (from 1995 - 1997), while disc two had various DISCOVERY demo recordings from 1986 - 1989 on offer. The whole release is limited to 1.000 copies and highly recommended to lovers of traditional, yet melodic 80s Metal. More info at: www.stormspell.com

Frank Stöver

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