"Heart of a Killer" (Century Media)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Originally released on Massacre Records back in 1993, Winters Bane's debut CD has been re-released by Century Media. Winters Bane's power metal/true metal blend sounds just as good today as it probably did when it originally came out. "Heart Of A Killer" most closely resembles the thrash-y power metal of Destiny's End, to my ears anyway, although I must say I much prefer Winters Bane over Destiny's End.

When original Winters Bane vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens took over as the frontman for the legendary Judas Priest, there was money to be made by re-releasing "Heart Of Killer." But this re-release isn't some lame attempt to score a few bucks. There's quality metal here and it makes me wonder why it was so overlooked back in '93 (oh yeah, media-darling grunge bands prevented good metal from breaking through).

But you also get value for your money: "Heart Of A Killer" comes with a bonus CD that includes nine live songs and three demo songs. The live material is poorly produced, yet it does give off a really cool vibe as the band is captured with no overdubs and you get to hear them really stretching out and expanding on their ideas. The three demos provide more insight into this underrated act. 

Fans of Judas Priest will want to check this out to hear Ripper Owens before he joined the English monsters of metal. Other power metal/true metal fanatics would be wise to consider adding "Heart Of A Killer" to their collections as it proves to be a decent album along with some very interesting historical tidbits.

Century Media has a long history of screwing up song listings, making obvious errors with artwork, and other assorted faux pas. My copy of Winters Bane's "Heart Of A Killer" was no exception - the CD booklet was missing all the pages except for the outside cover - as such I was unable to look at the liner notes and lyric sheet. (Editor's note: Other copies of the CD have the booklet in its entirety).

Winters Bane is Tim "Ripper" Owens on vocals, Lou St. Paul on guitar, David Hayes on guitars, Dennis Hayes on bass, and Terry Salem on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 27 May 2024 14:00:23 -0400.