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.