When Twisted Tower Dire recorded their third (and arguably most popular) album Crest of the Martyrs, it came fortified with with gleaming power metal production, reinforcing the band's melodic hooks and energetic riffs with lush reverb and choruses. It was, however, a bit of a departure from their grittier, more traditional USPM sound on 2001's The Isle of Hydra—this was due to the studio and label intentionally producing the album that way, adding several significant touches to align with more conventional power metal production. While I don't think it's at all a case of "screwing up" the record, as Crest of the Martyrs kicks ass, it's still not exactly what the band had in mind ahead of time. Now, Twisted Tower Dire sets the record straight via Crest of the Martyrs Demos, an alternate set of recordings from 2002 that's been produced with the band at the helm. We're premiering the new version of "Fight to Be Free" below as an example of what this sounds like.

...

...

The most notable differences between the 'demo' version of "Fight to Be Free" and the studio recording are the lack of vocal overdubs and the significant reduction in reverb and gloss—and while the former doesn't seem like a big deal on paper, the momentum and pacing of the track feels significantly different without them. Unchained from the extremely obvious verse-chorus indications that the overdubs and productions imposed, the track is an all-out war throughout that gives no quarter. While it's ostensibly a demo, the recordings are still a lot better sounding than most other USPM was in 2003—and hell, even now. On this demo recording, "Fight to Be Free" comes with significantly more grit and grime, and that appropriately gives its message a far more combative bent.

The band comments:

This version of "Fight To Be Free" delivers a very different feeling than the official 2003 release. We were really going for a Slayer type of feeling with this track, but it was neatly wrapped up in a power metal production and lost a lot of the grit. Both versions are good, but the demo has a little more meat on the bone. The raw production does it justice! FIGHT!

Crest of the Martyrs Demos releases March 3rd via Nameless Grave Records.

More From Invisible Oranges