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Speakers Never Healed: HERESY 1985-87

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If you were to make a list of the most influential U.K. hardcore/punk and metal bands, you could not avoid putting Heresy on the list. Those that know the band know that they're were a force to be reckoned with. Known for their breakneck speed songs and unparalleled live energy, Heresy set out to destroy everything in their path.

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The early years of Heresy, namely 1985-87, are sometimes considered their best (depending on who you talk to). The band was at their rawest, most vicious stage. Amongst the constantly shifting lineup changes and some of the members transitioning from the raging Plasmid, Heresy was actually at their most experimental in their early stages. Arguably, they ushered in newer sounds to the hardcore/punk genre in smoother ways than other bands. The earliest of Heresy's records could even be argued as being very crusty with heavy metal influences such as Slayer or Amebix, though they're far from lacking the hardcore/punk vibe.

There are plenty of bands that fused metal and hardcore long before Heresy stepped up to the plate. Bands like Void, Napalm Death, and Siege had long since started to usher in more metallic sounding hardcore but Heresy managed to capture the it in a different way. For the first six months the band didn't even tune their instruments until Kalv Piper insisted on tuning his bass (which resulted in him receiving a lot of crap from the rest of the band). Not only that, but drummer Steve Charlesworth was told by a recording engineer that drums weren't meant to be played that fast at the time.

When listening to the earliest demo workings of the band, it sounds more like they were recording explosions and putting vocals to it. From the first few notes of the blistering “Never Healed” to thrash-y, crusty metallic licks in “Mentally Conned” and bloody beats in “Cries of Want”, the demo is an absolute smasher. The anarcho fueled and anti-war sentiments crank up the voltage and bring to mind bands like Discharge.

The follow up flexi EP Never Healed is just as crushing as the demo. Though the band thought the flexi's recording turned out kinda shitty, it is still a menacing release that captures the insane energy the band was known for live. Songs like “More Blood is Shed” are epic step ups. The near five minute track thrashes and blasts start to finish, only picking up more momentum as it fires forth. Other tracks like “Anguish of War” is a blast-a-second killer that sets fire to everything in its wake. And still the classic “Never Healed” (which kicks off the record) sounds just as maddening as it did on the demo.

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The band did move past their political and anti-war lyricism and move on to more personal songs when the Thanks! EP saw release in 1987 (and John March from Concrete Sox stepped up to do vocals). The three song EP was just as explosive as ever. The opener “Trapped in a Scene” is a raging piece of criticism about cliques and cliches and remains a classic, and a phrase used for both a book by Ian Glasper (the third in his documentation of U.K. punk) and a compilation released on 625 Thrashcore and Give Praise Records (and featuring bands like Hatred Surge and Endless Blockade).

Early Heresy is still explosive to this day. The 1985-87 years have been captured in an awesome digipack with historical notes by Piper (though a more in-depth look on the band can be found in the pages of Glasper's Trapped in a Scene, you know that book I just mentioned named after that song of the same name?). Though the package was released 2008, it's never to late to check out these incredible pieces all collected on one disc/vinyl. Heresy paved their way in petrol throughout the waves of metal, hardcore, punk, crust, and thrash as one of the most influential bands of all time with an insane live set to back it up. Sure they did more after 1987 but that's a whole 'nother story.

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