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Cerebus - Too Late To Pray (Reissue)

Too Late To Pray (Reissue)
by Grigoris Chronis at 05 September 2006, 7:37 PM

Well, here is a re-release that all lovers of the 'obscure' 80s US Metal scene will be interested in. Greece's premier Metal label Sonic Age Records just issued a whole set of classic 80s Metal gems (you can check out the respective reviews for TITAN FORCE and BRAINFEVER) with the ample quintet of CEREBRUS to start with.

Heavy Metal music was (mainly) born in England, (mostly) educated in the USA and now (chiefly) preserved in Germany; not that harsh, but just to give a quote. CEREBRUS took shape in the late 70s as the brainchild of - basically - bassist Eric Burgess. After solidifying their sound via playing classic Rock / Metal covers and opening up in concerts of renowned - at that time - acts such as BLUE OYSTER CULT and FOGHAT, it was time to move on to the next level. A participation in the late 1985 SATAN's "Revenge" compilation was the appetizer, soon to be followed by a two-record deal with the New Renaissance label. It was the time for the band's debut album to hit the stores. And what a blast it was!

"Too Late To Pray" - offered here for review - is the proper album proving the previous paragraph's first sentence to be 100% true. Clearly influenced by the IRON MAIDEN typhoon of that time, but also dealing with the wider thesaurus of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal sound span, this legendary album features eight songs of immaculate US Metal majesty. Sharp guitar riffs, roaring rhythm section and the astonishing vocals of Scott Board - all followed by a primordial production - sum it up to a set of amazing headbanging rhythm tracks; no tune would be of higher level, still the supremacy of "Taking Your Chances" (the most NWOBHM song of the album), the wandering of "Distant Eyes" & "Longing For Home" and the straightforwardness of "Rock The House" Down are some personal favorites. As an extra hint: CEREBRUS - in my opinion - are mistakenly considered as a Speed-to-Thrash Metal act; I'd rather place them in the field of British-influenced US Metal 'mode'. The vocals and the general approach of the band reminds me of 'old' Riot (Board's 'vibe' brings Rhett Forrester to mind) plus the 'obscure' Canadian legends BLACK KNIGHT. A relation with contemporary bands would end up to acts like LIEGE LORD (at times) or ARMORED SAINT (rarely, though). Not to forget, again, the 'ghost' of 1982-1984 Iron Maiden is all around here…

Apart from the certain musical value of this release, a total of eight bonus tracks serve as the perfect extra gift. Some of them are from the rare-as-hell 1987 "Banshee On The Loose" EP with the rest being tunes that never saw the light of day so far; this is a truly nice addition to the dissent 'main dish'. For the lover of 80s Heavy Metal music, this is an essential purchase.

4 Star Rating

1. Running Out Of Time
2. Taking Your Chances
3. Distant Eyes
4. Too Late To Pray
5. Rock The House Down
6. Catch Me If You Can
7. Talk Is Cheap
8. Longing For Home
9. She Burns (Bonus)
10. Stay In the Night (Bonus)
11. Banshee On The Loose (Bonus)
12. All Night Long (Bonus)
13. Easy Money (Bonus)
14. Change For The Worse (Bonus)
15. Untitled #1 (Bonus)
16. Untitled #2 (Bonus)
Scott Board - Vocals
Chris Pennell - Guitars
Andy Huffine - Guitars
Eric Burges - Bass
Joby Barker - Drums


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Edited 05 June 2023

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