Monday, December 7, 2009


In the mid 80’s an extremely underrated and little known hardcore outfit from Florida released some extremely intense and LOUD albums. They played a brand of hardcore/punk that had an East Coast vibe with some So Cal feel. They did play Cornerstone several times and received rave reviews. That band was known as The Lead.

I say little, because I never hear anyone discuss them these days, even though they were popular in Christian circles. Having said that they did make a dent into the East Coast hardcore scene with a well received gig at New Yorks CBGBs. That really is too bad as they were doing true extreme hardcore before the entire Christian thrash/metal movement even had a glimmer.

However Retroactive Records has put together a complete anthology of The Lead. Their original demos plus all three of their vinyl releases appear here, remastered in full glory. Lovers of extreme metal should be grabbing this up. Yes there are punk elements but out of 49 songs there are more than enough face mashers to get your money’s worth. This is a double disc package that is worth every penny.

The Lead was a three piece comprised of Julio Rey (guitars/lead vocals), Nina Llopis (bass/lead vocals), and Robbie Christie (drums). They did add a second guitarist, Andy Coyle, for their final (and most metallic/thrash album) 1989’s “Burn This Record.”

Their original demos “The Lead” and “Three Equals One” were followed by three vinyl releases 1986 “Automoloch,” 1987 “The Past Behind” and 1989 “Burn This Record.” The last two releases were originally on REX Records and because of that there was a little bit more budget which did enhance the original recordings.

One of my favorite songs by The Lead was definitely ‘Calling out to You’ from “Automoloch.” It’s fast hardcore with a totally metal chorus that sounds so heavy and dirty it just rips. Another favorite of mine from “Burn This Record” was the thrash heavy ‘Internal Pain.’ It’s a true speed burner that is heavy as a tank. From “The Past Behind” ‘Abomination/National Pride’ a hardcore tune with punk attitude. They even did a Resurrection Band cover of 'Alienated' on the "Automoloch" release.

Lyrically they spoke more about social injustice, injustice in the church but most importantly salvation through Jesus. Fantastic commentary that we don’t see a lot of today.

This was released as a limited edition of 1000 units through Retroactive. Honestly I’m surprised there are any left because this is a treasure trove of great extreme music with a Christian conscience.

8 axes.

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