Die Happy
Die Happy formed after four of the five members of Vengeance Rising decided they want to go in a different musical direction, leaving sole member, Roger Martinez to forge ahead with Vengeance alone. The band released two albums and a live EP before calling it quits. Robin Basauri went on to form Red Sea with ex-Fear Not guitarist Chris Howell. Larry Farkas went on to form Sircle of Silence with ex-Accept/Bangalore Choir vocalist David Reece.

Die Happy Die Happy (Intense) 1992

1. "Renaissance" (3:11)
2. "Perpetual Motion" (3:21)
3. "Die Happy" (4:52)
4. "Bone Doctor" (3:16)
5. "Cage" (4:07)
6. "Real" (5:10)
7. "Slide Rule" (5:54)
8. "Painted Truth" (3:11)
9. "Celebration" (5:38)
10. "Melrose" (4:12)
11. "Silver Cloud" [instrumental] (6:05)
Roger & Larry
Larry Farkas & Roger Martin,
here performing with Vengeance Rising.

Die Happy's debut featured four members of Vengeance Rising and vocalist Robin "Kyle" Basauri, who was suppose to just be a guest vocalist. The music is still heavy and retains some of the Vengeance sound, but adds a bit more groove. The fast thrash riffs are still present in songs like "Cage". ("Cage" was originally written for the third Vengeance Rising CD and was originally titled "The Wailing" and was played this way on the "Once Dead" tour.) However, for the most part this CD sports a more mid-paced heavy metal approach. Of course Robin's vocals are what really separated this disc from the Vengeance sound. Where Roger Martinez was a rough, aggressive thrash growler, Robin has a powerhouse singing voice with a wide range that reminds me slightly of Ray Gillen (Badlands) or even Rob Rock. The lyrical themes are less serious than on the first two Vengeance discs as well. Songs like "Bone Doctor" show the band's sense of humor. Others, however, echo the more evangelistic and serious side of the band. This is probably one of the best discs most people have never heard. My copy is autographed by Glenn Mancaruso (drums), Doug Thieme (guitars) Larry Farkas (guitars) and Roger Dale Martin (bass).

Volume II
Die Happy - Volume II
(Intense) 1993

1. "Sticks and Stones" (3:55)
2. "Justified" (3:32)
3. "Love Sick Dog" (4:11)
4. "Tear Gallery" (5:57)
5. "Blue" (4:18)
6. "Talk" (5:29)
7. "Eden" (5:15)
8. "Cole's Atomic Funk Thang" [instrumental] (2:05)
9. "Temple of the Soul" (5:02)

Die Happy gets even further away from the Vengeance thrash metal sound and adds more funk and groove into their sound. New bassist Greg Chaisson (ex-Badlands) had an obvious hand in the style change as his bass is featured quite a bit, especially in the instrumental "Cole's Atomic Funk Thang." His writing with Badlands is quite apparent throughout this disc. Robin Basauri is back on disc number two and is now listed as a full fledged member of the band. Another big difference in this disc from the debut is that Die Happy has added a few power ballads to the mixture. Robin's powerful voice does an excellent job on both the heavy and the mellower numbers. To be quite frank, his voice was a major contributor to what I liked so much about this band. Two of the best tracks on this disc are very different sylistically from each other. "Justified" is a heavy groove metal number with a hook that could catch a whale, while "Temple of the Soul" is a tender ballad that is every bit as compelling. "Volume II" is a great follow-up to the debut. My copy is signed by Larry Farkas, Doug Thieme, and Glenn Mancaruso.

Intense Live Series Vol 4 Die Happy - Intense Live Series Vol. 4 (Intense) 1993

1. "Justified" (3:57)
2. "In studio" (:07)
3. "Painted Truth" (3:48)
4. "In studio" (:07)
5. "Temple of the Soul" (5:57)
6. "In studio" (:10)
7. "Celebration" (5:39)
8. "In studio" (:36)
9. "Endless Love" (4:16)
10. "All Over Me" (5:57)

A short live in the studio EP that was released as part of a series along with Deliverance, Mortal, Tourniquet, and Rose. If the liner notes be true, then most of this was recorded without edits and in one or two takes, proving this to be one tight band. The "in studio" stuff is just bits of the band talking or goofing around in the studio. "Temple of the Spirit" features an extended acoustic jam in the middle and Greg Chaisson's vocal premier. While it was interesting to hear, Greg is nowhere near the vocalist of Bassari. His raspy, 'can't sing, don't care' style would sound better on a down and dirty blues record. Overall the entire disc is a rather mellow affair for the most part, with much of the material being acoustic. The heaviest song is album opener "Justified" although the studio version of Volume II is heavier. "Endless Love" is a new, unreleased ballad. "All Over Me" is a smokin' blues cover that was originally written by Petra.

A tid bit of useless information about the five "Intense Live Series" discs. When you put the five together, the spines create a complete photo of a red electric guitar.

Doug Thieme on the beakup of Die Happy: This is my version, When we started the Die Happy Project it was an opportunity to write another album and to enjoy recording an album purely for enjoyment. Larry, Glen, Roger and myself wrote recorded and produced the album along with Dave Hackbarth. (Dave was the most enjoyable person to work with and he worked his but of,f to make that first album sound so good.) I have to say that it was the most enjoyable time for me in music. After that album Roger Dale left and although he wasn't the musical leader he was the cornerstone of the band. He was the person that maintained balance in the band. When we added Greg Chaisson and officially added Robyn the musical and idealogical directions changed, and it just fell apart. I still had a 2 album contract with Intense which I walked away from, decided to call it quits and started coaching my kids baseball and soccer teams. I have never looked back or thought about doing anything until Bill from Roxx Productins approached us (about the Vengeance reunion 2004). I don't know what Robyn's musical direction changed to, Robyn was incredible to work with, and one of the nicest people I have ever met. I miss him and I haven't spoken with him since the break up. So I am not sure about his musical direction, but he had a major impact on the direction of the second album and did a bulk of the writing.

Related collections:
Vengeance Rising | Badlands | Red Sea | Joshua | Greg Chaisson | Sircle of Silence

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