Hallows Eve - History of Terror
Metal Blade
Speed/Thrash Metal
Disc 1: 21 songs (75.24) Disc 2: 14 songs (69.43) Disc 3: 18 songs (75.43) Disc 4: 45 songs (Over 3 hrs)
Release year: 2006
Metal Blade
Reviewed by Jeff

Hallows Eve is a band that I still listen to more now than I did when I first discovered them back in the mid 80's. "Lethal Tendencies" was one of the first tracks I heard from them. It was probably one of the earliest "death metal" kind of tracks that I actually liked. It was used in the movie "The Rivers Edge". The song was enough to peak my interest in checking out their other albums like their first release, "Tales of Terror" and their third disc, "Monument'. I feel there were many characteristics that made Hallows Eves music unique and stand out when compared to alot of the other bands that were cropping up around that time. Hallows Eve mixed in speed and thrash with slower to mid paced rhythms. Their songs included lyrics that mostly dealt with horror and death. The guitar tone sound was not over saturated or overdubbed. The vocals of Stacy Anderson included a trade off between clean, strong vocals and more gruff, death metal styles. They were a band that improved both in song writing and production with each release but unfortunately their run lasted as quickly as it started.

"History of Terror" is a pretty good retrospective of anything and everything Hallows Eve ever did. It is a three CD/one DVD box set. It contains all three Hallows Eve Metal Blade releases: "Tales of Terror", "Death and Insanity" and "Monument", fully remastered. There are also some demo tracks, rehearsals and numerous live tracks. The DVD contains over 45 live tracks recorded from four different performances, timing in well over three hours. The box set is packaged in two double jewel CD cases. There are liner notes by some of the band members, as well as lyrics to all three albums and lots of pictures.

The purchase price alone of $15 makes this box set worth getting; especially for the remastered versions of the original albums. I have all of the original Metal Blade releases on CD and after comparing these to the sound on the box set, I must say that the remastered versions are one hundred times better sounding. The music has been beefed up considerably and is crisp and clear.

The quality of the demos is pretty good. The very first versions of "Hallows Eve" and "Metal Merchants" are represented here. The quality of the rehearsals is sub par. Included here are cover versions of Exciter's "Scream In the Night" and Alice Cooper's "Eighteen" as well as "Hallows Eve" and "There Are No Rules".

The part of the package that has lot to be desired is the live material. Most of it is not very good. It borders on very poor bootleg audio recordings which are tinny, yet the performances were pretty good. The mix on the songs is horrible because the performances sound like they were recorded from one mic. Depending on where the mic was, the mix will vary. On some tracks the guitar over powers everything. On others you can hardly make out the vocals. Through most of the concerts the drums have alot of high end to them while the bass is muddy sounding. Out of all of the live performances on Disc 3, the ones recorded at CBGB's sound the best.

As for the DVD, the same can be said as that which I mentioned in the last paragraph. The audio and video quality varies on each performance. The show from "The Chance" in Poughkeepsie, NY uses a few different cameras and switch off in order to get different shots of the band from the front; panning left and right, zooming in and out. The video quality is good but the sound is average considering the recording devices used. At one point the cable to Tommy Stuart's guitar falls out! The performance from Middletown, NY is filmed from the right side of the stage. Visually, it is pretty dark and hard to see the band. The sound is shit! The live performance from Brooklyn, NY was taken from an opening show for Anthrax and The Crumbsuckers. It clocks in about 30 minutes and is shot with one camera from the back of the audience. Overall this is a sub par recording. The video quality from "Swizzles" in York, PA is pretty clear. It is shot really close up with one camera. This performance also includes an unreleased track, "Evil Offerings". It was originally intended to be on "Death and Insanity" but was left off. It's too bad that it gets an unfair representation in the live setting because of the sound quality. In fact, I'm a bit disappointed that Hallows Eve didn't take better preparation when they had themselves recorded live both in video and audio. It's hard to believe that this was the best they had to offer on the box set. In all honesty, it was hard to sit through these performances. Unless you are a die hard Hallows Eve fan or like bootleg quality material, you will probably never listen to or watch the live stuff more than once. Consider this the "bonus" material if you will.

Like I said before, this purchase is still worth buying despite the quality of the live stuff because you are getting three remastered albums, which are only available on the box set. If you want the shitty sounding original versions you will pay over $30 easily! What's the sense in doing that?

I'm glad that Hallows Eve is one of the few bands from Metal Blade to get a "quality" updated enhancement. Hopefully this will happen for many of the other underrated bands on that label.

As a side note, Hallows Eve does have a new album out. Yup, it actually came out last year. Somehow is slipped under my radar. It is called "Evil Never Dies" and is available on Hallows Eve Records.


Killing Songs :
DISC 1: "Tales of Terror" album (tracks 1-8), "Death & Insanity" album (tracks 9-19), DISC 2: "Monument" album (tracks 1-8), "Tales of Terror" demos (tracks 9 & 10)--- DISC 3: Live 11-27-85 "CBGB's", Manhattan, NY (tracks 1-9)
Jeff quoted 75 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 6 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:29 pm
View and Post comments