All the best things come in threes, as these linked releases from Golden Core ably prove.


Formed by guitarist Dan Lorenzo in January 1978 HADES – taken from his own self-ascribed nickname – released their first single in 1982 and went on to be a notable force on the burgeoning US metal scene. ‘If At First You Don’t Succeed’ is their second album, originally issued by Torrid Records in 1988, and is a prime example of American power metal – not quite speed, not quite thrash, yet a tad off the wall for traditional metal. A bit like Helstar, perhaps, or early Anthrax. The band is highly rated by Alexandros Anesiadis who writes in his excellent – every home should have one – ‘Heroes Of The Metal Underground – The Definitive Guide To 1980s American Independent Metal Bands’: “If you are a fan of early American metal or a speed/heavy metal fan and you’re not familiar with Hades, you have no excuse: you should check out their first two full LPs (‘Resisting Success’ and ‘If At First You Don’t Succeed’) because both are incredibly mature, not only in musical terms but also lyrics-wise. Wish there were more bands like them in the 1980s.” That just about says it all.


Although Hades put out their third album ‘Exist To Resist’ in 1995 and continued to issued albums up to 2001 Lorenzo had already started moonlighting and 1990 saw the release of a self-titled EP by NON FICTION. Three full-length releases – ‘Preface’ (1991), ‘In The Know’ (1992) and ‘It’s A Wonderful Lie’ (1996) – followed from this more Nineties-orientated outfit. ‘Preface’ in particular sounds very much at times like something Alice In Chains would release, especially given Alan Tecchio’s plaintive vocals and Lorenzo’s downtuned, crashing guitars. “We played heavy / angry music,” Lorenzo notes in the booklet, “and had fun.” Their second album ‘In The Know’ in particular is both heavy and focused, with the title track and ‘First And Lasting Impressions’ making, well, quite an impression. ‘Non Fiction – The Collection’ brings together these three albums and adds three bonus tracks (including two previously unreleased live cuts). Meanwhile, ‘Preface’ has now been given a standalone vinyl release by Golden Core.


Fast-forward to 2022, when Lorenzo hooked up with former Type O Negative drummer John Kelly in PATRIARCHS IN BLACK and released a couple of singles and an album ‘Reach For The Scars’. Its follow-up ‘My Veneration’ appeared on CD last year but Golden Core have now given it a vinyl outing. It gains a bonus self-penned track ‘Dragon Attack’ but is stripped of the CD’s two covers, ‘I Stole Your Love’ and ‘Hole In The Sky’. With each track completed by a line-up of guest musicians and vocalists ‘My Veneration’ is a downtuned paradise, doomy and gloomy and nicely straddling the divide between Type O and Sabbath. ‘Show Them Your Power’ and ‘My Veneration’ itself skip along nicely (the latter, incidentally, could easily have come off Sabbath’s ‘13’ album), and it’s quite an interesting touch that ‘Dead And Gone’ and ‘Digital Lies’ are basically the same track with different vocalists singing different lyrics with different phrasing. Which I the better version? Your call...

Video clip: ‘Dead Or Dying’ -

Incidentally, there's a new Patriarchs In Black album, entitled Visioning, due on 19 July on MetalVille Records. As a preview, here's 'What Do They Know?':

© John Tucker May 2024