FAITH OR FEAR BIOGRAPHY FOR "INSTRUMENTS OF DEATH"
Formed in 1985, Faith or Fear hailed from the once quiet Philadelphia suburbs of Southern New Jersey. From it's humble beginnings rehearsing in a former chicken coop, to it's rapid and dynamic rise into the active circuit of hard metal, Faith or Fear quickly became one of Philadelphia's largest and most influential thrash metal bands of that era. Having been influenced largely by both thrash and hardcore music, an original sound was forged that soon had Faith or Fear sharing the stage with such bands as Sepultura, Overkill, Death, Flotsam and Jetsam, Crumbsuckers, Metal Church, Nuclear Assault, Dark Angel, Forbidden, Hallows Eve and Biohazard among many others. Their first successful song "Dehumanized" was featured on Metal Blade's Metal Massacre 9 compilation album and soon led to a deal in mid 1988 with one of the most powerful thrash labels of that time, Combat Records.
FOF's first full length release on Combat titled "Punishment Area" as well as a live performance on Combat's "The Ultimate Revenge II" video, propelled the band to immediate international recognition through strong record sales, worldwide radio airplay as well as repeated exposure in the most influential music magazines and publications of that era. A full U.S. tour co-headlining with Sepultura soon followed in late 1989. Although a strengthening experience musically, touring took it's toll and FOF guitarist Bob Perna and drummer Rich Lohwasser departed shortly thereafter. In early 1990 replacements were finalized with the addition of drummer Ed Schwegel and guitarist Merritt Gant. This proved to be yet another interesting, musically diverse and proficient line-ups in FOF's history. 10 months later however, despite another recording contract offered by Maze America ( Biohazard), founding member and guitarist Chris Bombeke decided to depart from the music industry in general and FOF was disbanded. Bombeke also declined an offer from Overkill to join and replace their guitarist but passed the position onto fellow FOF guitarist Gant who went on to record and tour with Overkill for the next 4 years. In 1993 Bombeke was involved in a nearly fatal motor vehicle accident which took him several years to recover.
Having recently reformed with the original "True Life" lineup (vocalist Tim Blackman, guitarist Chris Bombeke, bassist CJ Jenkins and drummer Ed Schwegel) in the summer of 2008 after a 19 year hiatus, FOF embarked on succesful string of aggressive and energetic live performances which quickly attracted the attention of Lost and Found Records ( an independent label from the Midwest known for it's original thrash and hardcore re-issues) who had a vision for making public many lost FOF archives as well as reintroducing FOF back into the thrash music scene. "Instruments Of Death" represents extremely rare, unreleased material which spans from 1987 through late 1990. The 14 tracks are divided into 3 sections since they were all recorded at different times.
The 1st section, (tracks 1-4) represent the "Dehumanized " Demo from 1987 which was responsible for catapulting FOF to national music industry notoriety with the title track "Dehumanized" which was featured on Metal Blade's Metal Massacre 9 compilation release. Also from this section is the title track "Instruments Of Death" which was available on FOF's Combat release Punishment Area in 1989 but only as a bonus track on the cd and cassette versions. What makes section 1 of this new cd special is that it has been entirely re-recorded in it's original version in February 2009. Nothing has been significantly changed, just simply a great opportunity to record and play these FOF classics all over again 22 yrs later, as they were written in 1987.
Section 2 (tracks 5-9) represent the original recording sessions once FOF had regrouped from a lineup change and re-solidified itself with not only 2 new members but also a bold new and aggressive style and sound. This section is important in the sense that it was material which was written and recorded in late 1990 as preparation for a follow up release to "Punishment Area". Often referred to as the "True Life" recordings, it was and still remains some of the most progressive and innovative songwriting that FOF has ever created including FOF's only instrumental "Straight To Hell".
Section 3 (tracks 10-14) , often referred to as the Power Lies Demo, conclude this new cd with some of the most rare material that FOF has ever recorded. The original reels to this section were re-discovered, restored, and over an arduous 2 month period, painstakingly re-mixed as best as possible considering that these recordings from late 1989-early 1990 were substandard due to studio limitations in 1989 as well as poor tape quality due to degradation over 20yrs time. Nonetheless, this material represents FOF at a particularly difficult and transitional time while regrouping into what would become the very successful True Life lineup. FOF as well as L&F Records both strongly felt that "Instruments Of Death" would not truly be complete without the inclusion of this last section. A mixture of old and new, "Instruments of Death" is a realistic history of music which best describes Faith or Fear to it's very core.