Join the Dead – “Armed for Battle” (ep)


Roxx Records has released a taste of old-school thrash from Join the Dead, a lone track from an album that never happened and a couple of Deliverance cover tracks featuring Michael Phillips on guitars/vocals with Jim Chaffin on drums and Scott Waters on vocals.

Bay Area thrash band Join the Dead was one of the early Christian thrash pioneers and featured Michael Phillips who was in the band Deliverance for their Stay of Execution album and was with The Sacrificed for their album III , which was released by Roxx and Century Records  and received a good bit of critical acclaim.

Before Join the Dead finally disbanded, they did record one last track, “Walking in Darkness” which was to go on their next album, an album that never happened.  The band donated the track to Metal Pulse radio for use in a tribute to Dale Huffman, but otherwise it hasn’t been released until now.  On this ep, it’s combined with two Deliverance cover tracks, one from a Michael Phillips solo album Mirrors Within Mirrors, and the other unreleased until now.

“Walking in Darkness”  is one of those tracks that make you long for the days where thrash was king.  Galloping drum lines, fast riffs, and vocals shouted over the top of it all with some blistering guitar solos characterize the song and genre.  The recording has the general feel of what one would expect to hear from Metallica in the Kill Em All years.  The two Deliverance cover songs included on this release fit very well from a music standpoint but are much rougher in terms of overall  recording and have the feel of demo tracks, both of which make me wish they’d been fully produced/mixed/mastered as the songs are very good examples of thrash even in their unfinished state.

Fans of Deliverance and those looking for a great, rare thrash track will appreciate this ep.  Kudos to Roxx Records for making these available.

Rating: 8/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Walking in Darkness – Join the Dead
2. What a Joke (Phillips/Chaffin/Waters)
3. It’s the Beat (Phillips/Chaffin/Waters)

Band Members
Michael Phillips – guitars, bass
Jim Chaffin – drums
Scott Waters – vocals

Paul White
Tim Kronyak
Frank Perez
Gary Shipman

Record Label: Roxx Records, Feb. 2018

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