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Dead Head - Haatland (Reissue)

Dead Head
Haatland (Reissue)
by Metal Wim at 31 December 2021, 8:05 PM

DEAD HEAD is a Dutch thrash collective that started in 1989 and made quite a name for themselves from the very beginning. They certainly made the right kind of racket for the era. Not only that, but because they did that very well, they got easily noted and booked for live shows. They were electric. The band made some remarkable albums, and this “Haatland” is one of the later ones, being originally released in 2005. Now we have a reissue on our hands, and if you look at the amount of extra's you get, this is quite the treat.

In case you're wondering what kind of thrash DEAD HEAD plays, you only need to look at the name of the band and use your imagination. It's filthy, it's degenerate, it's intense, but most of all it's as fast as a speeding bullet and as heavy as Arnold Schwarzenegger after a good night out. What is very obvious is the rather high voice of Ralph de Boer, who has a sound that is in between your regular thrash singer and a black metal screamer.

The “Haatland” album on its own emphasises these treats to the hilt, just because it has a proper production, making sure you can hear all that is being played, without sounding too smooth or clean. No, this is downright dirty fast action thrash in the vein of more bands at the beginning of the nineties, especially the German and British ones. Whereas the Americans usually have a clean production, here they've allowed it to keep a lot of the original rough edges, making this quite the pleasant listen.

As for the extra album, just wow. First you get treated to six bonus tracks, but who would have thought DEAD HEAD could reproduce “Total Eclipse” so perfectly. Even though the voice is so different from the original, it actually fits. After those you get all the demo tracks that were recorded for this album. That's when you realise that some of those recordings are even more impressive through the mix, as it has more of a live feel than the regular album. Especially the drums sound a lot more organic, making the addition of the songs all certainly worthwhile. In other words, you get the full package.

I must admit that listening to the twenty-nine songs in one go is a bit much for me, but I understand if it is peanuts for you. If so, go for this reissue. You'll love it.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Haatland (CD 1/LP)
1. Faust II
2. Montana
3. Phantom Palace
4. Supreme Forgery
5. Last Server Down
6. Serial Divorce
7. Mesfeken
8. Dog God
9. Desire
10. Nosferatu

1. Undefined Ceremony
2. Murder
3. Hateland
4. Total Eclipse
5. Identity
6. Phantom Palace (Demo)
7. Serial Divorce (Demo)
8. Dog God (Demo)
9. Faust II (Demo)
10. Mesfeken (Demo)
11. Undefined Ceremony (Demo)
12. Desire (Demo)
13. Hateland (Demo)
14. Murder (Demo)
15. Montana (Demo)
16. Last Server Down (Demo)
17. Nosferatu (Demo)
18. Supreme Forgery (Demo)
19. Identity (Demo)
Ralph de Boer – Vocals, Bass
Ronnie van der Wey – Guitars
Robbie Woning – Guitars
Hans Spijker – Drums
Record Label: Hammerheart Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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