ACE OF SPADES, Ace of Spades (1994, demo)
The odd angle of the skull and the random floating junk, combined with the green palor, immediately made me think that maybe this is some macabre jello-mold. Just out of frame to the right, there’s probably a chunk of pineapple, or a maraschino cherry. Revenge is a dish best served cold. And lime-flavored.
Although nominally thrash, Ace of Spades don’t sound obviously like any other thrash band, or really any other band that I can think of. It’s not that they have an original sound, it’s just that they seem to have just mashed together every kind of heavy-but-not-extreme style they came across in the late 80s and early 90s and called it a day. Like, 90s Loudness meets Machine Head, maybe? It’s not really good, but at the same time, it’s sort of refreshing to hear a band that’s not trying to be anything in particular. Just metal. I kinda like the singer, whose throaty, more-or-less melodic vocals kind of mix the best and worst of Japanese vocals. He has an accent, but his warbling delivery is fun nonetheless. The riffing occasionally reminds me of weak Megadeth or Annihilator, or even some reject Black Mark power metal band. I dunno. This is a weird thing. Not great, not even very good, but still weirdly endearing. The band released only this one demo, and it doesn’t appear that any of the members went on to do anything else. It’s a time capsule, this one; that’s for sure.
— Friar Johnsen