The classical Roman poet Virgil wrote in ‘Aeneid’, one of his most well known epics, to “be wary of Greeks bearing gifts”. Of course, Virgil was referring to the historically significant delivery of the subterfuge Trojan horse by the Greeks in order to gain access inside the fortified walls of the Trojan stronghold in the midst of a ten year siege. Ol’ Virgil, though, never could have, in all his poetic grace, imagined the Greeks handing the metal world the offerings of Hellenic Acid Death. Floga Records announced on March 10th that they were releasing the long buried first album from the legendary death/thrash/prog/tech metal collective known to the world as Acid Death. This album is finally seeing the light of day after a quarter of a century (25 years!) of staying in the shadows of someone’s long forgotten stash. The band originally formed in 1989, and “Balance Of Power” was recorded in 1992 by the fledgling group who would go on to release several albums: “Pieces Of Mankind” (1997), “Random’s Manifest” (2000), “Eidolon” (2012), and most recently “Hall Of Mirrors” (2015). The gorgeous grounds of Greece spawned this apocalyptic philosophical quartet, apropos, considering the rich history of the country. Comprised of Savvas Betinis (ex-Brainfade and ex-Kinetic) on vox and bass, Kostas Alexakis (ex-Braindfade and ex-Kinetic) keeping the beats busting on drums, John Anagnoston (ex-Released Anger and ex-The Crucifier) on rhythm guitar and last but certainly not least is axe slinger Dennis Kostopoulus (ex-Infidel) on the lead. Despite some breaks over the years, the band returns to its’ core roots more often than not and have firmly cemented themselves as one of the major innovators and mainstays of the Greek metal scene. Acid Death have shared the stage with such titans as KREATOR, THE HAUNTED, IMPALED NAZARENE, CHILDREN OF BODOM, ROTTING CHRIST, MAYHEM, PESTILENCE, and SEPTIC FLESH over the years, alongside some epic and raved about performances on the festival circuit.
“Balance Of Power” was recorded when the average age of the band members was 18, with a mere 40 hour recording budget from a bunch of determined artists who had absolutely no previous professional recording experience. Floga Records (a Greece based thrash/black/death metal label that’s been pushing the scene there since its’ formation in 2008) and Acid Death both have teased the release of this treasure via their respective websites, offering brief snippets of this embryonic nexus that was recorded using 11 channel analog equipment. Even with the ‘limitations‘ of the circumstances, “Balance Of Power” is a great peek into the early beginnings of the band’s sound, which has only been sharpened like a battle axe over the years as the members gained in skill and experience. While somewhat raw in its’ execution, this album is an amazing glimpse at a juggernaut that continues to pump out excellent thrash laden progressive death assaults upon the masses, and that rawness only adds to the overall presentation and nostalgic feel. Just short of 24 minutes long, ‘Balance Of Power’ finds the Grecians experimenting with melding progressive elements with a smattering of thrash and death, elements that would come to define their sound on later albums such as the polished “Eidolon” (a frontrunner for my personal favorite of theirs). Effectively a window into the past, “Balance Of Power” showcases a hungry, young band bearing their teeth to unleash their worldview upon to all with open ears, sneaking in like the Trojan horse of yore. While it’s not been immediately made clear why it took 25 years to unearth this gem, it is definitely a treat to behold for longtime fans and the new alike that are interested in hearing the progression of one of Greece’s great gifts to the metal world. Virgil may not approve of the gift but here at Metal Nexus, we play by our own rules and have posted below a link to the tasty teaser that’ll leave you craving more. The album is currently being offered on vinyl and cassette only (condolences, dear digital fans) via Floga Records’ webstore, as well as on Acid Death’s official merch store.
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