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'The Experience Of Horror' (re-issue)
(Vic Records)
Release Date: 22nd February 2016

Johnny Main

johnny main

assorted heap

Assorted Heap were a cult Death/Thrash Metal band from Aurich, a town in Lower Saxony, Germany formed around 1987 by drummer Thomas Marter and guitarist Gunter Groen.

It wasn't until 1988 when their first demo, 'Killing Peace' was recorded and subsequently received good reviews from many of the underground Metal magazines.

The band's career was lifted in 1991 when they recorded their debut album, 'The Experience of Horror' at Dust Music Studio located in Hilchenbach, Germany with German based vocalist, guitarist and producer S. L. Coe (Morbid Jester, Torchure) behind the production desk.

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The completed album, originally supposed to be just an EP/mini album, was released on the 1MF Records label and contained six original tracks on the album with additional bonus tracks 'Terrorized Brains', 'Grave New World' and 'Frisia Non Cantat' on the CD version.

On the back of the release of the album, the band toured Denmark, France and the Netherlands with groups such as Atrocity, Pestilence and Paradise Lost and in 1992, they released their follow up album, 'Mindwaves'. Unfortunately the writing was on the wall for the band at this point after problems with their label surfaced which eventually saw the band break up later that year.

Following the break up of Assorted Heap, some members of the band regrouped in 1996 under the BK 49 moniker, but this band too proved to be short-lived, splitting up in 2003 after releasing two full length albums.

Fast –forward to 2016 and Vic Records have dug out the Assorted Heap name and dusted off 'The Experience of Horror' album and given it a long-overdue re-issue. Nothing has been done to these tapes and the nine tracks that were originally on the CD version have all been retained.

I'm a huge fan of Thrash and the Assorted Heap releases bypassed me back in the day so it's good to hear these releases now and with a fresh ear. The band's sound, of course, doesn't date at all and it sounds as good now as it did back in the day – hardcore Thrash songs that could have been written and recorded in 2015 not 1990!

Album opener 'Unexpiated Bloodshed' sounds very Metallica influenced (remember that this was pre-Metallica Black album days) with its straightforward guitar riff dominating as the drums almost seem to be pushed to the back of the mix. It's a solid number that doesn't lack commitment from the band, and is ideally placed as the opener.

'The Experience Of Horror' is rightly the title track with its epic feel. Once again, it's up to drummer Thomas Marter who does well here with the stop-start intro while the main guitar riff pushes on before the drum pattern settles into an almost metronomic one. The short stabby lyrics are neatly done and overall, it's a great vocal performance from Dirk Scheimann to boot.

The band's signature seems to be long instrumental intros as seen on 'Remembrance Of Tomorrow' and 'Sold Out Souls'. The tempo of the former doesn't take the long to speed up once the intro has been negotiated and the backing vocals give this song a different feel compared to some of the others.

The latter meanwhile, has the guitar and drums working together well during the intro before the stop-start guitar riff heralds the vocals. It's a much deeper vocal performance from Scheimann giving the song extra texture, along with a slightly screechy guitar solo.

'In Vain' is the ubiquitous ballad number adorned with some excellently played acoustic guitar as the drums pile in. The guitar track with here is exceptional and this track has certainly supplanted itself as a favourite of mine – even though it serves only as an intro to 'Sold Out Souls', but still needs to be highlighted to show the band are much more capable than just trashing their instruments to pieces.

All in all, it's an enjoyable album now as it was when it was first released, and hopefully this new edition from Vic Records will give those members of the band something to be proud of and, perhaps, encourage them to play a few low key live shows – I'd certainly be up for that!

'The Experience of Horror' Track Listing:
Unexpiated Bloodshed
Experience of Horror
Remembrance of Tomorrow
In Vain
Sold out Soul
Trick to Your Mind
Terrorized Brains
Grave New World
Frisia Non Cantat

Assorted Heap are:
Dirk Scheimann – Lead Vocals
Klaus Kessemeier – Guitar
Gunter Groen – Guitar
Joachim Meyer – Bass Guitar
Thomas Marter – Drum

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