Slaughter “Live In ’85” Review

Live In ’85
Cursed Blessings Records
Released: February 25, 2022

A new recording of Slaughter, opening for Corrosion of Conformity and D.R.I., at Toronto, Canada’s Starwood on November 24th, 1985 hits record shelves later this month.

There is no doubt about the importance Slaughter holds in the metal halls of fame. Nor is there any lack of interest in hearing them play a show so early into their career, to a local crowd at a show that also brought two great bands to the stage.

Slaughter was a Canadian thrash metal band. They were formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1984 by Dave Hewson, Terry Sadler and Ron Sumners. Originally, they released two demos and two full albums. Slaughter was disbanded from 1989 to 1995 but returned in 1996 to record a cover of Celtic Frost’s Dethroned Emperor for a tribute album called In Memory of Celtic Frost. In 2001, they re-released Strappado under the Nuclear Blast label.

Still, it is pretty intriguing to hear the between song stage banter, and to be able to transcend time and experience a show such as this, holds its own form of magic. If this had been recorded off a soundboard, I believe it would have true historical value, and would have seen the light of day long ago. To say the audio quality contained within is raw is a serious understatement. The question has to asked, though; do we really need this? Would you I have wanted to be there? Hell yes! Will I ever reach for this release in the future? Probably not.

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The sound quality here is so piss-poor, so badly recorded and so painfully amateur that it boggles the mind as to why anyone felt the need to release it all these years later. It sounds as if recorded on a handheld walkman, and it was in fact recorded by a fan in attendance on that day, using a Sony WM-R15 walkman and a EDM-1015W external microphone pinned to a leather jacket – it says so right on the album sleeve. For those too young to know, this was an average walkman, nothing at all special.

At best, Live In ’85 should have been released as a digital-only release, on a pay what you wish method and that should have been the end of it. A recoding of this ill-quality, has no place being printed on physical media – and that is coming from an advocate for physical media. I fully understand the importance of preserving history, but sometimes, a piece of shit is nothing more than a piece of shit.

Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on vinyl, Live In ’85 is available through Cursed Blessings Records, also available as a digital release from the same location.

For Fans Of: Sacrifice, Corrosion Of Conformity, D.R.I
Track Listing:

01. The Curse
02. Disintegrator
03. Incinerator
04. Main To Please
05. Strappado
06. Tortured Souls
07. Fuck Of Death
08. One Foot In The Grave
09. Into The Crypt Of Rays
10. Parasites
11. Death Dealer
12. Bloody Karmageddon

Author Rating

  • overall
  • composition
  • enjoyment
  • production
  • variety
  • memorability
Pros & Cons
  • Low-cost digital release at best
  • Interesting piece of metal history
  • Sounds absolutely awful
  • Not worth the cost