Held Under | Dying Breed

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United States - Washington

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Metal/Punk: Heavy Metal Metal/Punk: Progressive Metal Moods: Type: Compilations
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Dying Breed

by Held Under

2 -CD set of killer underground 80s progressive US power metal from Seattle, featuring songs spanning the band\'s career from 1986-1997 first as Discovery then Held Under. Released on Stormspell Records.
Genre: Metal/Punk: Heavy Metal
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Screaming Down the Wires
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4:39 $0.99
2. Cross to Bear
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4:15 $0.99
3. Silver Chains
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5:08 $0.99
4. Dorian Gray
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4:58 $0.99
5. Aggressor Nation
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4:48 $0.99
6. Last Days
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4:48 $0.99
7. Madness in Your Eyes
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3:56 $0.99
8. Tomorrow and Forever
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7:04 $0.99
9. Masters of Illusion
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5:44 $0.99
10. Tyrant
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5:47 $0.99
11. Cross to Bear (Demo)
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4:05 $0.99
12. In Our Times (Kill What Will Not Die)
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4:13 $0.99
13. Suddenly Nowhere
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4:45 $0.99
14. Welcome to Generica
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4:51 $0.99
15. From My Window
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4:58 $0.99
16. New Horizons
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4:59 $0.99
17. Birds of Prey
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3:59 $0.99
18. Calm Before the Storm
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6:07 $0.99
19. Fool in the Promise Land
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3:16 $0.99
20. The Darkest Hour
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9:49 $0.99
21. Power of the City
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4:53 $0.99
22. Kill the Night
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3:05 $0.99
23. Isolation
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3:47 $0.99
24. Shatter the Spell
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5:52 $0.99
25. Cynical Eyes
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5:48 $0.99
26. Wheels Are Turning (feat. John Kirsch)
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6:37 $0.99
27. Wheels Are Turning (feat. Robert Shook)
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6:25 $0.99
28. Days of Glory
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6:28 $0.99
29. No Second Chance
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4:25 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This re-release by Stormspell Records. Digitally remastered, with brand new custom artwork by Bulgarian artist Dimitar Nikolov (Amulance, Steel Assassin, Drifter, Ilium, Cypher Seer, etc.), 16-page booklet with detailed band bio and all lyrics. Hand-numbered edition, limited to 1000!


In 1983, aspiring metal guitarist Patrick Stevens met John Kirsch in a high school guitar class. Soon they were meeting to jam on their favorite hard rock and metal covers and eventually began practicing with other musicians. By 1984 they hooked up with drummer Scott Bender after placing an ad in a local magazine. Patrick\'s brother Mike was then convinced to handle vocals and the four called themselves DISCOVERY. They began working on original songs while continuing to audition bass players. Scott was eventually replaced by Robert Sumpter who brought his double kick drum attack to the band. John was also playing with another singer who introduced him to bassist Dave Patterson. Dave joined up and the band began working on new material. In 1986 DISCOVERY entered TDS Studio in Seattle to record a four song demo. In 1988 DISCOVERY entered ESP Studios to record a five song EP titled \'New Horizons\'. The EP was sent out to record labels but received little interest. Sumpter then left the band and drumming duties were taken over by Tod Hobart, a friend of Dave\'s. DISCOVERY re-entered the studio to record a new three song demo, but after playing just one show in the summer of 1989, differences between band members caused John and Dave to leave.
Mike Stevens then introduced friend and guitarist Bob Shook to the remaining members of the band. Bob took over the spot vacated by John, and after finding another bass player, the band held a handful of rehearsals before disbanding once again as the core members of the group were getting burned out. The trio of Bob Shook, Patrick and Mike Stevens reconvened in late 1989 at ESP to record a few songs with the help of Tod Hobart and Dave Patterson. The band did not reform as Tod and Dave had their sights on forming a band of their own.
In early 1990, after placing an ad for a drummer in a local paper, Bob found the exceptionally talented drummer Steve Oliver, who fit right in with the rest of the group. Another ad for a bassist produced Phil Collier, who learned the songs so quickly that it seemed as though he had written them himself. The new lineup took the name DORIAN GRAY, and began writing new material that was heavier and more technical.
After playing several shows around Seattle, the band won a contest for free studio time at the Art Institute of Seattle, and recorded \'Cross to Bear\' with a class of twenty students performing the engineering duties. The band hit it off with the class instructor, Jim Rivers, and decided to return later in the fall of 1991 to record a full length album with Rivers engineering. After finding the name \'DORIAN GRAY\' already in use, a friend of the band suggested \'HELD UNDER\' after a punk song of the same name. When the recording was finished, HELD UNDER sent out demo tapes and again found that the record labels weren\'t interested. However, the band did receive a positive review in a local music magazine, and were compared favorably with bands like Megadeth and Iron Maiden.
With no label interest, the band decided to start their own label called \'Frightfully Groovy\' and release the album themselves. The band kept playing shows into early 1992, yet it became apparent that Seattle\'s grunge movement had taken over the Seattle music scene, and metal was on its way out. Frustrated, Mike Stevens left the band for a short time and Phil took over on vocals. Mike later returned and performed in what would be Held Under\'s final show at an all-day grunge and alternative music festival.
Rehearsals continued, and the band stretched out into even more of a progressive metal vein. It was during one of these rehearsals when drummer Steve\'s heart stopped during practice and he was rushed to the hospital. After spending a week in a coma and a lot of recovery time, the band began rehearsing again. However, Steve\'s heart problems persisted and he made the decision to give up the drums. Not wanting to continue without Steve in the band, HELD UNDER decided to fold.
Mike and Patrick continued to write a few songs when they could get together. The two kept in touch with Bob, who after attending audio engineering school, began working at Triad Studios where such acts as Queensryche and Heir Apparent had recorded.
The three recorded several songs in 1995 at Triad Studios with Steve Oliver returning to handle drumming duties on a few songs, as well as appearances by past DISCOVERY drummers Tod Hobart and Scott Bender.
In 1997, Bob, Mike and Patrick reformed a vastly different Held Under with Scott Bender on drums, and Bob and Patrick sharing bass duties. The music was stripped down hard rock akin to AC/DC, The Cult and Black Sabbath. Tragically, soon after the recordings with Scott were nearly finished, Mike Stevens was in a car accident in which he sustained brain injuries. Although he recovered (and still is recovering), he can no longer sing. The core of Bob, Mike and Pat still keep in touch, write music, and plan to record again in some form or another in the near future. Also former Discovery members John Kirsch, Dave Patterson, and Tod Hobart have all remained friends and musical collaborators.


Reviews


to write a review

Robert Shook

Thank you
As one of guitarists for this band, I just wanted to thank those who have commented here on our CD. After so many years of not having a way to get our music out in the world, it's fantastic and humbling to know that people are enjoying the songs that we put so much work into. Hopefully we'll have some more material for you soon!

Clinton E. leipold


Great progressive/power metal from a virtual unknown American act.Can hear a lot of great metal band influences,but at the same time,have an original sound,with great vocals and musianship,and great production as well on this re-mastered double cd.

Patrick

Review from Voices From The Darkside (Germany)
This ain't a split-album of two different bands, but an anthology release of Seattle's HELD UNDER who originally started out under the name DISCOVERY in 1884, but changed their moniker along the way because of various line-up changes. Even though they did a whole bunch of very promising sounding recordings (including a full length album "Dying Breed" in 1991) nothing major really came out of it internationally (I personally had never heard of them prior to this double CD). It simply must've been a matter of bad timing as Grunge was of course the big thing at the time and no label willing to sign a traditional Metal act. Really a pity, cause musically these guys had quite a lot to offer. Their rather epic sounding melodic Metal perfectly fits in among other acts from that area / era and if you listen carefully you partly even may detect elements of LEATHERWOLF's Michael Olivieri and HEIR APPARENT's Paul Davidson in the exceptional vocal delivery. The overall songwriting- and playing-abilities were first class, but unfortunately didn't seem to help them on the long run nevertheless. As a whole the band simply wasn't really blessed with luck anyway and decided to split-up for the first time after drummer Steve Oliver was facing a heart attack during a rehearsal in 1992. They did reform in 1997, but weren't able to continue on for too long anymore as singer Michael Stevens was involved in a terrible car accident in 1998 so that he couldn't sing anymore afterwards. This pretty much sealed the band's fate. A couple years later California's Stormspell Records finally did notice the band's qualities and compiled all their studio recordings on this double CD set (29 tracks in total). Disc one features HELD UNDER's "Dying Breed" album, including their cover of JUDAS PRIEST's 'Tyrant', plus five demo bonus tracks (from 1995 – 1997), while disc two had various DISCOVERY demo recordings from 1986 - 1989 on offer. The whole release is limited to 1.000 copies and highly recommended to lovers of traditional, yet melodic 80s Metal. More info at: www.stormspell.com

Frank Stöver

Patrick Stevens

Metal To Infinity review (Belgium)
Metal To Infinity review:

Thanks to Stormspell Records some of those well hidden or forgotten US Power Metal jewels are re-released and even re-mastered. To be honest I'm worried about the amount of those masterpieces we have missed thanks to the bashing of True Metal in the nineties. As far as I see the denying is still going on, also by the so called important Metal Media who are too much influenced by the big labels and their money. I can only thank Stormspell Records for the good work they're doing, worshipping the true spirit of US Metal and giving bands like Amulance, Cauldron Born and this Hell Under a second chance.

Held Under is a band that was already formed in the eighties but under the name of Discovery. Mike and Patrick Stevens are brothers, bonded by blood and Metal, who felt the strength of the Heavy Metal spell in the eighties. Overwhelmed by this kind of music they started their own formation. Influenced by the American Metal scene at that moment, thinking about bands like (especially) Leatherwolf, Liege Lord, a bit of Helstar and Fifth Angel, Metal Church (the Mike Howe era), they created their own original songs. I must admit the first tunes blew me away because these guys are performing songs the way I like it so much.

As a big fan of US Power Metal I hear high energetic melodic songs, ripping guitars, fast fingered emotional guitar solos, plenty of breaks, clean vocals (similar to Mike Olivieri) with high soaking screams (the American way!),... Held Under is receiving the goal to mix technical elements with good structured rhythms and melodic parts. What does a fan need more to be satisfied? Right! 'Screaming Down The Wires', the mighty 'Aggressor' Nation' (what a song!), the fast 'Tomorrow And Forever' are the perfect songs to make this album one of the most precious one for the next months. The album also contains a very good Judas Priest cover, 'Tyrant'.

Nevertheless Discovery wasn't able to break through in the eighties. Although a demo was recorded they couldn�t convince a label. In Seattle, the capital of the horrible grunge scene, they didn't receive honest chances in a period when true Metal was as good as dead. It seems the band played a lot of gigs but nothing helped. Meanwhile the band name changed to Dorian Gray and into Held Under. The band released a private pressing cassette, because of the lack of interest but it became a well hidden treasure in the Heavy Metal movement. Since the very beginning several members left and were replaced. Misfortune seems to be the fate for these guys as Steve Oliver (drums) suffered problems with his heart and Mike Stevens got involved in a grave car accident which makes it impossible to sing in the future.

We can't tell if there is still a future for Held Under, maybe this release will change their destiny. After multiple listens to this first class CD I can only hope for it. On this release you can hear a re-mastered version of the original Held Under album and an extra CD with the entire Discovery history, inclusive the ''New Horizons'' demo. This release is a 'must have' for every US Power Metal fanatic. Fantastic release!

My Points: 95/100
(review by Officer Nice)

Vince

Classic!
Wow! This band should have made it bigger. I only found out about them a few years ago on a trip to Italy of all places. My cousin who's a big fan of obscure US metal played this for me after he had downloaded a few songs. When I saw this re-release I had to buy it. The Held Under stuff is a bit more pro than the Discovery stuff, but it's all great original metal played very well. Even the bonus tracks which are way different to the others are just great solid tunes. I'm a big fan of bands like Helstar, Vicious Rumors and Leatherwolf and this band had all the influences and made them their own. I absolutely love singer Mike Stevens' voice, not totally over the top but very unique with just the right amount of aggressiveness. The guitar riffs are really catchy too (makes you want to sit down and learn them!).

Vince