Thresher was a thrash metal band from Pennsylvania, USA. They started out in 1983, then as Lazarus. After releasing a demo tape in 1986, they changed their name, and went for a more full-on thrash metal approach. A full-length demo album, entitled 'Totally Possessed' saw the light of day in 1989. Thresher received much praise, and many thought they would become the next big Christian thrash metal band, ranking alongside the likes of Deliverance, Believer and Vengeance Rising. But the band remained unsigned, and since the musical climate didn't work in favor for metal during the 90's, the bands sophomore release was left unreleased, and the band soon folded.
HERE I AM / TOTALLY POSSESSED (1992/1989, 2009) ROXX RECORDS
|CD1: 'Here I Am'
Rod Braun - Guitars
Dave Kurtz - Bass, Vocals
John Mark Buchanan - Vocals, Guitars
Jeff Newman - Drums (on 'Totally Possessed'?)
Greg Yarborough - Drums (on 'Here I Am'?)
Steve Bowen - Drums (on the band picture, but never played a gig with the band)
|CD2: 'Totally Possessed'
Thresher is sort of a legendary band in the Christian metal circuit. Whenever Christian metal fans discuss what band that should have been signed to a label back in the days, the name Thresher seems to pop up every time. They only got to release a 6 track demo in 1989. But that demo, entitled 'Totally Possessed' made enough waves in the thrash metal scene that people were sure they Thresher was to become the next "big" Christian thrash metal act to be launched by any of the leading companies at the time. But even though R.E.X. Records included one of their songs on the 'Demolition' compilation CD, and the band recorded what was to become their sophomore album in 1992, the band unfortunately crumbled. Soon the 'Totally Possessed' demo tape became a sought after gem, and sold for up to 50$ on eBay. The fans demanded a reissue. But the unreleased album was seldom talked or heard about. Then in 2009 Bill Bafford of Roxx Records got a hold of the band members, and worked closely together with Dave and Kurtz on finally releasing the long shelved record. So in May, 2009, 'Here I Am' was finally released to an awaiting fan mass. And the first 125 people who pre-ordered the CD was also treated to a remastered CD with the 'Totally Possessed' demo as a bonus.
'Here I Am' opens with a song called "Sanctuary". This is actually the song that originally appeared on the 'Demolition' compilation CD, then named "My Reality". It starts with a nice acoustic guitar-intro, before kickin' in to a mid-paced metal mood. Then it evolves further, and becomes this full throttle thrash metal monster, a style more associated with the Thresher name. But I guess that they always had that borderline power metal/thrash metal thing going on. 'Here I Am' is a more diverse album than 'Totally Possessed', and the sound quality is leaps and bound better. The band grooves, thrashes and even puts some quasi-blues in the song "Amazin Grace"! And guess what is going on in the cleverly entitled "Raptor"! The title track is a slower, moody number, that also picks up tempo-wise as it goes along. All in all Thresher seemed to have grown immensely as songwriters, and as a band. 'Here I Am' is an album recorded by a tight band. Songs like "Sanctuary", "Faith Awaken" and "Here I Am" should have put them on the Christian thrash metal map, if it had been released in 1992. The vocals are rough, but at the same time clean enough to here what is actually being sung. And I take it that this was done intentionally, as the message in the lyrics was important for the band to get across.
'Totally Possessed' was the reason I wanted this reissue in the first place. I've owned a CDR with the songs for some years. But it is always a goal to own the real deal. So I was glad when Roxx announced that the first 125 people pre-ordering this CD would get 'Totally Possessed' as a bonus. The demo is a classic. It's packed with chunky riffs, hooky choruses and speed/thrash metal galore. But they also slow down the pace, and delivers a semi-ballad with "No More Lies". They have much in common with bands like Consecrator, Sacrament and old Deliverance. I'm glad to have this demo on CD, but I hope they can reissue it on it's own some day, and maybe add the Lazarus demos as a bonus.
Killer tracks 'Here I Am': Sanctuary, Faith Awaken, Here I Am, Altar Of Sacrifice
Killer tracks: 'Totally Possessed': Totally Possessed, No More Lies, Apocalypse Prepare