HEDSTONE from Downers Grove, Chicago, Illinois, USA are a special case of a band. They became known to the underground scene, thanks to “Air Raid”: their one song participation on the “Chicago Metal Works, Battalion 2” compilation, released back in 1986 on Silver Fin Records (HAMMERON, PARADOXX etc). I know that those names are ringing some bells on many of you but wait until you discover HEDSTONE.
Well I got some good for you: the band actually recorded many more songs. Songs that were included on the two demo tapes that the band produced: the “Six From The Crypt” demo (1987) and the untitled four song demo (1988). These tapes were never sold and only handed out to band members, fans and the local radio station. As you can easily imagine, those tapes were quickly disappeared and the music of HEDSTONE became one of the most obscure secrets of the Chicago Metal scene.
Arkeyn Steel Records have managed to track down the band and release all their recordings in one CD.
How could someone describe HESTONE’s music? Well for sure HEDSTONE did not play your typical everyday Metal. Their music is dark and epic, it is complex and melodic, it is mysterious and beautiful.
The band developed their riffing on a very special way. I mean yeah we are on the mid 80s Chicago and -almost- everyone is looking for the next catchy riff to compose the next radio hit, but HEDSTONE had chosen another way: To compose complex, long still very into the point riffs. They would put extra lead melodies or harmonies anytime and yes this is the guitar basis of their sound.
I could write paragraphs and paragraphs analyzing it but I would better advice you to listen to the “Nuclear Winter” song, an amazing composition that brings to the foreground this amazing HEDSTONE riffing and yes it has one of the most amazing intros ever written -fan statement, and here is a fun fact: I keep on playing the intro of the song on the repeat mode, don’t ask me how many times, I stopped counting-.
Am I allowed to add some more songs on the list? Yeah? Great: “Hell On Her Side”, “Break The Spell”, “The Black Knight”, “Mind Over Metal”, and “Rest In Peace” are enough I guess.
I would like to take a minute to write about the amazing vocal melodies and the voice color of the one and only Kurt Slavik. His voice is a trademark for HEDSTONE. Oh yes and those outstanding bass lines of his brother Scott Slavik.
Ok let’s get back on the reissue itself and see what we got in here: Well as I pointed “Out Of The Crypt” includes both the band’s demos plus the “Air Raid” track and some amazing bonus live recordings from “Thirsty Whales”. Yeah this is the legendary club where bands like HAMMERON, TYRANT’S REIGN and SLAUTER XSTROYES have delivered their steel, live!
Kostas Scandalis remastered all the material at Infinity Studios, for the best possible sound quality. Now the HEDSTONE anthems sound really great!
The front cover of the CD is based on the original banner that HEDSTONE used on their live shows back on day. A complete biography including tones of info written by Kurt Slavik himself, can also be found on the booklet. Plus lots of unreleased photos and of course song lyrics.
Do yourself a favor and check out this reissue you will discover on of the finest band’s of the Chicago Metal scene. HEDSTONE some really inspired Metal. It is now presented the way ut deserves through this first class reissue.
Well that was abut it for tihs review. I am off to listen some more HEDSTONE…. Ah yes, you want the usual US trivia. Ok, well one of the HEDSTONE’s guitarists, Mr. Clay Yoksas, entered the mighty SEVENTH OMEN back in 1988. But this is another long and interesting story…
You can order the CD here.