Heathen: A deep dive into their 1991 album
Heathen: A deep dive into their 1991 album

Thrashcast Episode 5: Heathen's "Victims of Deception" from 1991

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Thrashcast is the place to find riveting discussions on classic thrash albums, news and reviews. Your hosts are three thrash loving maniacs who grew up during the golden age of the genre. Kenneth, Billy and Jim will get together weekly to bring you a deep dive on some of your favourite thrash records.

Show Notes:

Episode Five: Heathen's Victims of Deception (1991). This is the second studio album released April 12th, 1991 on Roadrunner Records as part of the San Francisco Bay area thrash scene. Heathen were mentioned among other distinguished acts like Testament, Violence, Death Angel and Forbidden. This album is considered to be a landmark release based on moving towards a more technical and progressive direction than it's predecessor. The record features many tempo changes, complex song structures, odd time signatures, longer songs and more guitar solos.

The group consisted of Lee Altus and Doug Piercy on guitars, David White on vocals, Darren Minter on drums and the bass parts were recorded by Blind Illusion's Marc Biedermann. Heathen did not have a regular bass player and struggled at that position, however Marc agreed to record bass for the album. Unfortunately, the band had many bassists on tour; including Randy Laire from the band Vision.

The album had two singles and one of them was a cover of Rainbow's Kill the King and the other single being Prisoners of Fate. Victims did receive high praise from many critics, despite the constant line-up issues and many hail this as one of the best progressive thrash albums ever produced.

Fun Fact: The album is often considered a twin to Metallica's ...And Justice For All for it's bold musical direction and style. There is also a B-side recording of the cover song Hellbound from The Tygers of Pan Tang that was added to the Japanese Edition.

Kenneth Gallant, HMS

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About the artist(s):

Heathen is an American thrash metal band originating from the San Francisco Bay Area, active from 1984 to 1993 and again from 2001 onwards. Despite never achieving commercial success, the band is often credited – alongside Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, Death Angel and Vio‑lence – as one of the leaders of the Bay Area thrash metal scene of the mid‑to‑late 1980s, and they have gone through several lineup changes, leaving guitarist Lee Altus as the only constant member. To date, Heathen has released four studio albums: Breaking the Silence (1987), Victims of Deception (1991), The Evolution of Chaos (2009) and Empire of the Blind (2020). – Wikipedia

Social Media:

Music videos:


Victims of Deception

Heathen: Victims of Deception

About the author(s):

Kenneth Gallant is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of horrormetalsounds.com. Ken originated the webzine as a column (on another Heavy Metal webzine) that paid homage to horror films incorporating the theme, or a soundtrack, of heavy metal music. Horrormetalsounds.com embodies his passion for horror films, comics and heavy metal music.

Billy K and Jim Harrison are co-creators of the Thrashcast and active music journalists.