Precious Death
Precious Death were an inspired Los Angeles metal band that struggled for years without a label while metal thrived. They finally signed with Metro One in 1993 when metal was beginning to lose it's stride to grunge and alternative. Unfortunately, they made the decision of following those trends and fell apart. Precious Death had four fabulous and unique musicians: Andy Kohler: bass, Christopher Scott (Christopher Neiswonger): vocals, David Bishop: guitars, and founder Roger Sampson :drums.

Precious Death - Our Stinkin' Demo (demo) 1991

1. "The Depth of My Soul"
2. "I Will"
3. "Forcefed"
4. "Walls"

I love this demo! I originally heard it while Vengeance Rising were touring. Before VR came on stage, they were blasting this demo over the PA. I had to find out who it was. Precious Death sound like no other on this tape. It's almost like a mixture of thrash, funk and a side of Motley Crue. If "Southpaw" ever gets re-released, I hope these tracks will be released as bonus tracks.

Precious Death - Southpaw
(Metro One) 1993

1. "Southpaw" (4:15)
2. "Shine" (4:20)
3. "Hello" (5:20)
4. "No-Can-Do" (5:31)
5. "Strange To Me" (4:59)
6. "Talk About the Weather" (6:32)
7. "King of Siam" (4:57)
8. "Force Fed" (5:33)
9. "One Day to Live" (4:23)

Precious Death
"Southpaw" is fabulous - a masterpeace! After wearing out their "Our Stinking Demo" tape, I was anxious to get the full length disc, which only has one song off the demo ("Force Fed"). The first song starts out with a HEAVY Metallica crunch but mixes in the extraordinary vocals of Chris Scott, who is one of the most unique vocalists ever. "Shine" totally changes style, going for a heavy funk sound mixing it with California thrash. I absolutely love this album. It is one of my all time favorites.

IF You Must -autographed Precious Death - If You Must (Metro One) 1994

1. "You Can't Break Me" (4:17)
2. "You're Gone, I'm Here" (3:04)
3. "If You Must" (3:06)
4. "All Over Now" (3:27)
5. "Blindside" (3:35)
6. "Oscillating Fullwave Bridge Rectifiers" (2:08)
7. "Some New Song" (3:02)
8. "E" (3:23)
9. "Deathtrap" (3:15)
10. "Outside My Window" (3:30)
11. "I Remember" (2:33)
12. "So Far Away" (4:13)
13. "Moments" (4:25)
Precious Death ticket

Roger and his band of cohorts, known as Precious Death, release the follow-up to their brilliant debut. With this album, Precious Death brings in some new influences. Unfortunately for Precious Death they struggled in the Los Angeles metal underground for years before finally scoring a record contract in 1993. During those years in the underground heavy metal was still flourishing. By the time "If You Must" was being recorded, heavy metal had lost it's legs in the mainstream to grunge and alternative. Pantera were one of the few heavy metal bands still making waves in the mainstream at this time and were obviously a huge influence on Precious Death. Fortunately for Precious Death their sound and their vocalist were already far removed from the angry Pantera sound, so mixing that influence in does not get them pegged as a clone. However, that heavy groove element is present in many of the songs. "Some New Song" is a perfect example of that fat, heavy groove. The 'funk' element that was present on some songs on "Southpaw" is still mixed throughout here as well. On "Outside My Window", for example, the band weaves a musical tapestry by combining funky verses with a heavy crunch for the chorus. Christopher Scott still sings like no one else and Roger Sampson's killer drum work is still present. These two guys help to give this band a charisma that is unlike any other band I know of. My favorite cuts are "Some New Song", "I Remember", "So Far Away" and the somewhat bizarre "Moments." "I Remember" is an acoustic ballad in which Chris simply wails on with his power-house voice.

Unlike the solid "Southpaw", "If You Must" seems to have some filler thrown in. While the majority of the songs are good, there is a bunch of silliness as well like in the "Oscillating Fullwave Bridge Rectifiers" which, I am sure, was meant as a joke. The problem with joke songs is that they are only funny the first or second time you hear them, after that they make the skip button a necessity. I do confess, my initial reaction to this album wasn't as positive as this review. I thought perhaps the direction the band had taken here was either a slight mis-step or an indication of a downward spiral. Still, after a few spins I grew to appreciate "If You Must". Despite some criticism, "If You Must" is a mostly stellar release from Precious Death. Unfortunately it would be their last stellar effort as well.

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Precious Death when Ultimatum opened for them in 1994 at UNM in Albuquerque, NM. Had my copy of "If You Must" autographed by all four members.

Precious Death Precious Death (Metro One) 1996

1. "All We Have is Now" (3:17)
2. "I Was Free" (3:21)
3. "(What's The Name) Of This Song" (4:52)
4. "Another Form of Slavery" (3:27)
5. "The Ocean" (2:56)
6. "Did You Know" (4:14)
7. "New Music for a Quiet Revolution" (4:19)
8. "When the Rain Comes" (3:06)
9. "One and One and One" (3:44)
10. "Psa 1M" (6:36)
13. "untitled/unlisted track" (2:44)

Uh, what I said about the last album being a mistep or a indication of a downward spiral . . . well, it was a downward spiral. This album just sucks! I can't even believe this is the same band that recorded the brilliant "Southpaw" and "Our Stinking Demo." First of all Chris Scott has decided that he no longer sings metal and joined a crappy alternative band called Blackball. He is on this album, but I hardly call it singing when compared to the last two albums. He even raps on "All We Have Is Now" and "Another Form of Slavery." Second, band leader, song writer Roger Sampson is gone as is bassist Andy Kohler (Although Andy does have one song writing credit on this album.). Last, this is just bad alternative music. Where are the chunky riffs, the funky bass. Argh! I'm just frustrated but I am glad that this was their last album if this was the direction they planned on going in.

Also on cassette tape:
Some New Songs Precious Death - Some New Songs (4 song EP) (Metro One) 1994

Back to Index



es New Roman, Times, serif">Back to Index