RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Pandemonium – Remasters
Retrospect Records

Heavy Metal Soldiers D+
Hole in the Sky C+
The Kill B

Pandemonium were a band of three brothers from the State of Alaska, who made the jump from their frosty climate to the hot and sticky streets of the Sunset Strip in the early 1980’s. The band worked hard and became regulars at clubs like the Troubadour and the Roxy, gaining a large fan base along the way.

Chris, Eric and David Resch and a Spinal Tap revolving door of drummers came THIS close to making the big time. The band played shows with Ratt, Wasp, Great White and others. The mighty Metallica even opened for them. The band eventually signed a three album deal with Metal Blade Records and seemed destined for the big time.

The first album, Heavy Metal Soliders is more of a demo than an album. It showcases the bands lickity split guitar solos and pounding rhythms. It is more of a preview of what was to come. Listening back now, it shows the band’s Achilles Heal was vocals. This was a band that probably sounded better live than in the studio.

The follow up album, Hole in the Sky, is a solid effort and shows the band maturing as songwriters. The best tunes are “Look of Death,” “Nothing Left to Say” and “After the Freeze.” Some weak spots include silly lyrics on the songs “Boys in the Bright White Sports Car” and the predictable metal radio type tune “Don’t Touch That Dial.” Still, this one sees the band making huge strides in their development.

The band’s third, and final, album is The Kill. This is the best of the bunch, as the songwriting, lyrics and vocals all live up to the excellent guitar riffage and solos.
The band was, by now, not just a bunch of guys rocking out on the Strip; they were a professional band ready to take the next step. That step, however, never came, as the band broke up.

The best tunes all appear at the front end of the album and include “Your Evil Ways,” “Cold Night,” “Last Star” and a rocking remake of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love.”

Pandemonium went on to open for all of the big bands of the day, culminating in a sold out show in front of 10,000 Alaskans opening for the Scorpions on their Blackout tour.
The band broke up as Hair Metal became the flavor of the day. They refused to relinquish their true Metal Roots and soon became a footnote in Heavy Metal History. While not the greatest band in the world, they deserved more than they got.

Retrospective Records has done the world of Hard Rock a favor by making these albums available. Please check out the band for a trip back in time to when the amps were cranked up to 11.

Pandemonium made their mark, albeit a small one, on the world of music, yet enough of one that any true fan of early ‘80’s Heavy Metal should know about them.

By Jeb Wright