ULYSSES SIREN - ABOVE THE ASHES (Relentless Records)
(Review by Stefan)
I feel responsible for the fact that this awesome CD from Bay Area Thrash Metal act Ulysses Siren was not added to our homepage until now. Damn shame on me but as the proverb states, better late than never. Ulysses Siren was formed in –as I called- the best era of my life, the 80s! I'm not exaggerating, these words come straight from my heart… the entire 80s Hard Rock/Metal scene has given a different turn to my life at that time. I can hardly write a book about what I have experienced during this timeline. The scene back then was totally different in comparison with the nowadays Metal movement, an infinite number of great bands offered me unforgettable times but I can hear you think, what had this to do with the review for Ulysses Siren?
Well, these guys were formed back in 1983 somewhere in South Francisco by guitarist Steve Pickering and singer Manuel ‘Manny’ Lopez as they studied at the same high school. They were to determined to form a band so the hunt for other musician started. First they recruited the brothers Clegg, J.R. on guitars, Danny took place behind the drumkit but not for a long time. They had been replaced by Steve Heuser (drums) and bassist Joe Jimenez afterwards. Finally this last mentioned also called it quits and it was Jon Torres who joined forces as both bass/guitar player.
The guys were ready for the recordings of a first demo tape called “Terrorist Attack” (1985) followed by a second Thrash Metal assault on the ears fulfilled with four songs, released two years later on. Characteristic for the 80s period was to collect as much as possible cassette tapes and vinyl editions of our favourite bands. That made the underground 80s Metal scene so beautifully attractive, exchanging our Metal stuff with people from all around the world… those days, the appreciation and friendship was beyond description. We were all bonded by the almighty forces of Metal, united as one !
Distributed by Scrap Metal Records, Ulysses Sirens’s both demo’s are available on CD and vinyl under license from Relentless Records, “Above The Ashes” offers Bay Area Thrash Metal as it should be, no further questions required. As mentioned before, first three songs are coming from their “Terrorist Attack” demo and immediately reflect the pictures of an outstanding US Thrash Metal band. Fast guitar riffings, dynamic double bass drum actions, ruthless killer leads, fiery bass lines and last but definitely not least the screaming, pure thrashing vocals coming to my ears as a blend of Tony Portaro (Whiplash), Patrick Lind (Morbid Saint) and Paul Baloff (Exodus).
Ulysses Siren’s first demo has been released in days where many US Thrash Metal soldiers marched in line to compete a concerted fight among. The competition was hard but in the end there were no losers or winners to me. I really respected those who couldn’t catch a record deal like for example Ulysses Siren as much as my dignity went out to mid-eighties classics as Hallows Eve, Whiplash, Dark Angel, Agent Steel, Vio-lence, Heathen, Forbidden, Slayer, EvilDead, Blind Illusion, Exodus, Tyrants Reign and so many others… US Bay Area Tharsh Metal from the 80s, I still cherish the scene like it was yesterday!
The second part of “Above The Ashes” consists of songs from their second demo, be prepared for a lethal dose of genuine Thrash Metal. Four songs delivered with such a tremendous force, even better than demo number one… they’re might be an unknown band for some of you out there but in my opinion and while following my own heart, this is pure Bay Area Thrash Metal magic. More technically ‘short’ solo’s, unyielding fast riffs, better song structures, more high pitched vocals lines like wise Forbidden/Dark Angel,… I have nothing else to ad here, Ulysses Siren means world class Thrash to me! To conclude, I can tell that both breakneck demo’s deliver the very best in the history of US Thrash Metal. Relive it all – order your own copy right HERE. Fans of very early Vio-lence, Forbidden, Dark Angel, Exodus, Wargod, Papsmear, Sacrilege BC, Epidemic, Cynic, Aftermath, Potential Threat … better purchase right away !
Excellent news to expose on Ulysses Siren: they’re still active and ready to release a brand new album through Malevolence Records in October 2013. Thanks to CEO Nathan McLeod I had the opportunity to hear one song in advantage at the “Perseverance 2013” compilation album. First impression is that Ulysses Siren still know how to Thrash in style, I’m astonished and will review both compilation and full album when the time is right. So stay tuned and be ready for “Justifiable Homicide” presented by one of the greatest Underground Thrash Metal acts; Ulysses Siren.
My Points: 95 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish