Ordained Fate - Demo Anthology (CD)

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Artist: Ordained Fate
Album: Demo Anthology
Year: 2014
Genre: Power/Thrash Metal 

Ordained Fate is heavy metal/power metal/thrash metal band initially known as Cryptic Axe and founded in the early eighties by Pam Scott (lead vocals & rhythm guitar), Annette Cvengros (lead guitar) and Marge Curtner (bass).  

The Ordained Fate Demo Anthology includes the demo tracks of the 1986 Cryptic Axe Demo. It does not include the "Mask of Fear" and "Temptation I" because the master-tapes of those songs are lost. It also includes the songs of the Ordained Fate Demos I (1989) and II (1990).


Tracklist

Cryptic Axe Demo  (1986)
1. Minions Of The Adversary 04:37 
2. The Pit 06:03 

Ordained Fate Demo I (1989)
3. Midnight Exodus 04:44 
4. The Light Bearer 03:58 
5. Sweet Dreams 04:53 
6. Trick Of The Night 05:13 
7. The Election 04:09 
8. Mystic Wind 05:16

Ordained Fate Demo II (1990)
9. Let's Make A Deal 04:57 
10. No Death 04:31 
11. The Hunted 06:24 
12. Temptation II (Instrumental) 05:02 
13. Wonderful Love 04:29

Total playing time: 1:04:16

Ordained Fate is heavy metal, power metal and the thrash metal band.  Initially known as Cryptic Axe and founded in the early eighties by high school friends Pam Scott (lead vocals & rhythm guitar), Annette Cvengros (lead guitar) and Marge Curtner (bass), the group came together with the goal of “(being) the first female rock band that was actually ‘good’, and not just for women but ‘good’ period!”  By 1986, Cryptic Axe had rounded out its roster with drummer Terry Cvengros and entered the studio to start work on its debut 4-song demo.

During the groups formative Cryptic Axe years, none of its members were believers, but after changing its name to Ordained Fate, first Marge and then Pam followed by Annette and Terry came to the faith.  In a sense, Ordained Fate walked a similar path as Sacred Warrior and Scarlet Red in starting as a mainstream act only to later have each band member become a Christian.  Ordained Fate proceeded to record a pair of demos, the first six songs from 1989 and second featuring five and released in 1990, before its Cornerstone 1991 performance, which led to it signing with Wonderland Records.  The groups self-titled Wonderland debut came out in 1992 and independent sophomore effort Glimmer Of Hope three years later.

Even though the band chose the Ordained Fate moniker prior to it becoming a Christian band, the name stuck due to the fact (as taken from the groups press material) “our fate was predestined to be with the Lord and to be with each other at that time.  Now we see that the Lord had kept us together to minister to each other, especially since each one of us had become a Christian at a different time”.

The three Cryptic Axe/Ordained Fate demos, as one might imagine, have long gone out of print and are hard to find collectors items.  The good news, however, is that in the summer of 2014 StormSpell Records re-mastered and re-issued the three under the title Demo Anthology.  Included are 13 of the 15 demo songs, with two of the four from the Cryptic Axe demo missing due to the original master tapes being lost. 

Repeat listen reveals a group that (again) specializes in ‘crossing over’ several different branches of metal.  What I hear is a foundation of straightforward metal akin to the heavier material of Barren Cross but fused with the darker and more portentous metal to thrash leanings of early Bride releases Live To Die (1988) and Silence Is Madness (1989) .  Strong Deliverance influences are found as well, including technical metal elements similar to Stay Of Execution (1992) in addition to equal doses of old school thrash from the self-titled debut (1989) and Weapons Of Our Warfare (1990).  Rounding things out are periodic hints of majestic power metal not unlike Sacred Warrior.

What cannot be denied (in my opinion) is how the demos come across more powerful than the polished album tracks, which should not surprise when factoring how the three were recorded live in the studio.  When placed alongside one another, the albums almost sound sedate in light of the passion, energy and intensity pouring forth from the demo material.  Hence, I agree with those who suggest the demo do the better job representing the true soul and character of Ordained Fate.

Also standing out further is vocalist Pam Scott.  I always felt the two albums placed her vocals a bit low in the mix, with the upshot the listener not ended up exposed to the full nuances of her vocal abilities.  However, such is not the case with the demos in that her delivery reflects that much more guts, heart and emotion.  Yes, she makes priority to exhibit some serious muscle and projection filled backbone (with the falsettos to match), but when need calls she can also reach down for some courser, lower register angst.  It adds up to a performance I see appealing to those into fiery vocalists such as Nancy Jo Mann (Barnabas) and Christine Steel (Arsenal) in addition to the grittier flavorings of Lisa Faxon (Ransom) and Anji Cornette (HarvestBloom).