Few bands have managed to leave such a lasting impression on the underground Metal scene as the painfully short-lived ACID BATH. Since their disbanding in 1997, after the tragic death of their bassist Audie Pitre, their fan base has done nothing but grow. Until now, ACID BATH fans had to content themselves with only “When The Kite String Pops”, “Paegan Terrorism Tactics” and “Double Live Bootleg (DVD)”. Now, it’s not to say that the band members stopped making any music, as Dax Riggs went on to form the excellent AGENTS OF OBLIVION, and later DEADBOY and the ELEPHANTMEN, and Sammy Pierre Duet did a stint in CROWBAR and now GOATWHORE. But as good as their respective bands are, fans still longed for more ACID BATH. Enter “Demos: 1993-1996”.
When I first heard that the demo albums had been re-released, I asked myself if it was really necessary. I love “When The Kite String Pops” and “Paegan Terrorism Tactics” is musical perfection, so what is the point of this album? Surely the demo versions of these songs wouldn’t bring anything new to the table. Boy was I ever wrong!
The album opens up with “Dr. Seuss Is Dead”, and already we know that magic was created in January 1993. From the opening guitar riffs, to the first vocal lines, we know that this is a whole different monster than the one on “When The Kite String Pops”. Sure, it’s the same song, but little tweaks here and there enhance the listening experience so much more. The listener will notice right away that the vocals are much rougher and as a result add even more intensity to the song.
“Scream Of The Butterfly” was my introduction to ACID BATH, and so after hearing the subtle changes in the first couple of songs, I was quite excited to hear what would become of my beloved song. The early version of this song is much faster than the CD version, and gives the song a feeling of urgency. When reading the lyrics to the song, the listener will understand what I mean when I say that the said feeling fits the song perfectly well. As well, fans will notice slight variations to the lyrics, and while in itself doesn’t affect the song in any way, it’s always a pleasure to hear the little changes, especially after being starved from new material for such a long time. Finally, the guitar tone is altered a bit from the album version, giving it a surreal, dreamlike quality.
I could go on forever, describing each track, but that would be redundant. These little variations are present throughout the CD, be it lyrically, tweaked riffs or added guitar solos. Being a longtime fan of this band, listening to this release made me giddy with fanboy pleasure, and has been glued to my stereo since it arrived. Needless to say, this is a must for ACID BATH fans. However, newcomers to this band should probably start elsewhere, as the rougher production makes it harder to swallow than the other two albums. That said, I couldn’t imagine myself rating this any lower than 10. We’ve waited a long time for another ACID BATH release, and while this isn’t a studio album (we can always wish…) there’s more than enough here to satisfy! (Online February 19, 2006)
Guest reviewer Janvier Rousseau