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Dare To Face The Preyer

Posted by THE DUKE on October 31, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Preyer- Terminator

1986 Ebony Records

Reissue: 2006 Marquee Records


Preyer is a band from Wales that was considered a second wave entry in the prestigious N.W.O.B.H.M.. They released two demos just prior to the 1986 release of the album under review, "Terminator." "Terminator" was released by Ebony Records in 1986, and was and still is a very impressive piece of metal. All eight songs on the release are heavy and melodic. There is not a wasted moment on the release. Each song has a perfect mixture of a thunderous rhythm section, extremely catchy riffs, blistering solos, and ballsy vocals in a style similar to Paul Dianno. I'm not going to break down each song individually, because although each song is a stand-out in it's own right, the work needs to be listened to in it's entirety in order to fully appreciate it.

Two of the stand-out tracks are "Leather and Chains" and "Shout It Out," which have strong, powerful and memorable mid-paced riffs running throughout the songs. I am of the opinion that if this album would have been released a few years earlier and with better production values, it could very well have been considered a towering achievement of British metal might. I am not overstating this. This disc could have gone toe-to-toe with Priest's "British Steel," "Screaming For Vengeance," or any of the killer British metal albums released by Maiden, Quartz, or Savage. It's just that good. What may be even more impressive is how heavy the album was for 1986. Most metal bands in 1986 were going in a more commercial direction even at times adding keyboards. In contrast, "Terminator" did not bow to the trends. 

The only shortcoming regarding the release relates to the production values. Because the album was Recorded and mixed by Daryl Johnston at Ebony studios, it suffers from a deep, bass-driven mix. Johnston always had a reputation for producing such a sound. Sometimes, as with Savage's "Loose N' Lethal", the production added something positive to the sound. Most bands, however, were less than pleased with Johnston's work. I vividly remember an interview with Grim Reaper where the band said that they were unhappy with the recording to "See You In Hell." Johnston said that it would be fixed when it was mixed, which it never was.

The production on "Terminator" takes a little getting used to. I had to turn the bass down on my car stereo to hear the riffs clearly. But the riffs are so good that it's worth it to do so. Although the production of "Terminator" could have been better, it's really not any worse than most N.W.O.B.H.M. releases of the time. With the exception of More on Atlantic Records or Tygers Of Pan Tang on MCA, most N.W.O.B.H.M. releases were under-produced. The toned-down production and do-it-yourself ethic is what made and still makes the N.W.O.B.H.M. legendary.

In conclusion, if you like your metal heavy and catchy in a style similar to Judas Priest or Accept, and don't mind the production of the early Grim Reaper releases, then this disc is a must have. The added three demo tracks are icing on the cake.

Categories: The Duke's Classic Metal Journal