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Drifter - The Demos: 1985 & 1986 (7/10) - Switzerland - 2006

Genre: Thrash Metal / Power Metal
Label: StormSpell Records
Playing time: 53:58
Band homepage: Drifter


  1. Dark Kingdom
  2. Fire Of Dragonia
  3. Drifter
  4. Inquisition
  5. Land Of Fantasy
  6. The Elder
  7. Banners On The Battlefield
  8. Burning Circles
  9. Drunken Drifter
  10. Live Bonus 18.03.2006
Drifter - The Demos: 1985 & 1986

Formed back in ’84, DRIFTER have been tearing up the Swiss underground with old-school Thrash for as long as I’ve been in existence. This is Metal as it should be; dirty, rough, and fierce. This collection of demos spans the first two years of the band’s recorded material, oozing nostalgia and instantly grabbing the listener with a plethora of instinctually head-bangable classics.   


The unique sound of the band features a sprinkling of melody which is integrated with the supreme riffage in the most satisfying of ways. Comparisons could be readily made to HEATHEN, but one would be hard pressed to not admit DRIFTER possesses an identity of their own which is immediately recognizable. With such classic cuts as “Fire Of Dragonia” and “Drifter” flowing back-to-back and repeatedly driving your skull into the ground with excellent hooks and those godly choruses, one cannot help but scream at 11 until blood is trickling from every orifice.


The elevated quality of the riffs spread about these 9 compositions make this collection of demos mandatory. We are also blessed with a rather broad range of tempos and feel spread across the tracks, as one minute we can be raging along to “Inquisition” and then be swept into the calm eye of the storm of “Land Of Fantasy”. “The Elder” even possesses a bit of a Doom feel with the impending vocals and thick battery. These unexpected twists and turns work wonders in keeping you focused and ready for the next onslaught. 


Consistency is key and DRIFTER pulls it off quite remarkably. If you wish to pick up this classic I would not hesitate, for the re-press of these demos is limited to 1000 copies, the first 250 of which are die-hard special editions with glossy UV-coated slipcases that are hand-numbered. Do yourself a favor and listen to the band’s self-titled track; you’ll be pinching pennies and selling off children to attain that die-hard copy. 

(Online February 26, 2007)

Charles Theel

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