There's a certain appeal to the old-style Bay-area thrash. It was straight-ahead no-frills testosterone-laden metal with impressive guitar work and good melodies sung well. It was inspired by '70s rock acts such as Rainbow, Deep Purple and NWOBHM, and at its epitome were now-classic acts like Exodus and Metallica. And there seems to be a new fashion in the bay area, in which old thrash bands re-form and re-release re-mastered compilations from their glory days.
Heathen enjoyed a short-term success in that genre before the band fell apart, selling well, touring with well known acts, and featuring on radio and on MTV's Headbangers' Ball. And now, in an attempt to recover their earlier status they have recovered some old archival material, and re-released it as Recovered.
The track listing is roughly divided into 3 parts: There are four original tracks from the demo Opiate Of The Masses This is a very solid block of metal with multi-part harmonies, virtuoso solos and solid, imaginative rhythms. There's an excellent power ballad dedicated to the memory of a late band member and his wife. Some power ballads are rightfully criticized as being soppy and sentimental. There's no questioning the very real sentiments in this song, but it has balls, it is played with sincerity and may be one of the better ballads you've heard in years. Then – there are four covers of songs by Thin Lizzy, Queen, Sweet Savage and Tygers of Pan Tang. There are particularly well executed, but they're still covers.
The five original tracks are good enough that if the band's musical capabilities are still up to their early standards, an all original, all new album of a similar standard would be a real pleasure.
01. Death On Two Legs (Queen cover)
02. The Holy War (Thin Lizzy cover)
03. In Memory Of...
04. Hellbound (Tygers of Pan Tang cover)
05. Eye Of The Storm (Sweet Savage cover)
Opiate Of The Masses (Remastered Demo)
07. Opiate Of The Masses
08. Timeless Cell
09. Mercy Is No Virtue