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Poltergeist - The Demos

The Demos
by Metal Wim at 08 February 2022, 3:47 PM

POLTERGEIST isn’t exactly new to the scene, as they have released five full length albums over the years. They are a Swiss Thrash Metal band that was formed in 1987 and have made two demos before they became one of the first acts that got signed to Century Media, which was a new record label at that time. “The Demos” contains both those demos. The first three albums POLTERGEIST made were done before they disbanded in 1993 and became GURD. They decided to reform in 2013, and after looking for replacements for some original members, they started up again, and have released another two albums since then.

About “The Demos”, I can understand why they were signed after these. When you listen to the second demo “Writing On The Wall”, which starts the album and contains three songs, it all sounds like SLAYER did during “Hell Awaits”, mixed with early SACRED REICH and FLOTSAM & JETSAM. It all together gives these Swiss metallers an altogether American sound. And yes, you will still hear some Teutonic tones as well, as they are mixed in left, right and centre, but never too obvious.

The first demo “Poltergeist” is placed on the album after the second one, and it is a totally other matter. After the church organ intro, you get to hear something that sounds like it has been recorded in one take in the rehearsal room. This is mainly noticeable because the snare drum sounds more like a carpenter hitting nails than an actual drum kit. Plus, the vocals are a lot less convincing. What I do need to address is that my choice of the best songs on the album is the last one “Ziita”. It is from the first demo, and has a mix of BLACK SABBATH opening followed by a more mellow vibe ands structure, giving it a lot of depth and substance. Even though the sound is anything but optimal, you can’t ignore the class of this song.

Thankfully it is the music that saves the day, and the contract, I gather, as POLTERGEIST has always used a mix of straight forward thrash added with some more sophisticated structures. This means it’s hats off to the A&R department of Century Media to be able to see through the crappy sound of the first demo and recognise that there is a lot of potential in both the tapes as a whole.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Writing on the Wall
2. Inner Space
3. Shooting Star
4. Intro
5. Prophet
6. No more Faith
7. Ziita
Andre Grieder - Lead Vocals
Ralf Winzer Garcia - Bass/Backing Vocals
V.O. Pulver - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Chasper Wanner - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Reto Crola - Drums 
Record Label: Vic Records


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