Although James Ray is mostly famous for doing guest vocals on a Sisters of Mercy related recording, his own projects are a gold mine of vicious, industrialised, amphetamine rock and roll. In terms of their influence on Terminal Gods, this might be the single most important bootleg that I ever owned .The chaotic and nightmarish sound palette is strangely liberating and I’ve long aspired to write a set of songs that teeter so haphazardly on the edge of falling to apart. The way the guitars move from tight riffs to totally out of control noise and the layers of synths and drum machines only add to the sense of mania, keep me constantly coming back to this performance as a musical reference.
James Ray never really escaped the shadow of Merciful Release in the eyes of the wider music world – which is a real shame as this performance is a unique and monstrous beast all of its own. Like all great live albums it shows the songs in their most exciting and feral form, with all the fetters of studio production cast off.
Totally essential for fans of more contemporary acts like Ulterior or A Place To Bury Strangers.
This bootleg has recently been reissued as “Before And After The Storm” on d-monic records. I highly recommend you purchase it, although I personally prefer this pre-remastered version.