MILITIA - The Second Coming  LP
MILITIA - The Second Coming  LP
MILITIA - The Second Coming  LP
MILITIA - The Second Coming  LP
MILITIA - The Second Coming LP

HRR 147, limited to 1000 copies, 250 x silver vinyl, 750 x black vinyl, spot uv varnish, 4 page insert, A1 poster

Mike Soliz - vocals
Tony Smith - guitar
Jesse Villegas - guitar
Robert Willingham - bass
Phil Achee - drums

-Objective Termination (The Sybling EP 1986)
-Salem Square (The Sybling EP 1986)
-The Sybling (The Sybling EP 1986)
-Thrash to Destroy (Regiments of Death Demo 1985, completed 2008)
-Onslaught (Rehearsal 1984)

-Metal Axe (Regiments of Death Demo 1985)
-Search for Steel (Regiments of Death Demo 1985)
-Regiments of Death (Regiments of Death Demo 1985)
-Talking to the Stone (No Submission Demo 1986)
-No Submission (No Submission Demo 1986)

Remastered by Patrick W. Engel at "Temple of Disharmony" in January 2011


No need to exaggerate: Miltia’s "The Sybling" EP from 1986 is probably one of the rarest and most sought-after collector's items of all time! The holy grail for all serious US Metal collectors. So it was high time to re-issue this legendary piece of American Metal history on vinyl. Bassist Robert Willingham gives you the whole story behind the pressing of "The Sybling": “It was difficult to come up with the money for studio time, and all we had been able to afford was to do the ‘Regiments of Death’ demo. But when we set up our own headline show at the Ritz Theater in Austin, Texas, we made considerably more money than any previous show. We invested this money into the project that would become ‘The Sybling’. It took all the money we had to purchase a package that included 20 hours of studio time and the pressing of 100 copies of the record. We had the choice to do 10,000 copies on the first pressing, but we couldn't come up with the money for that. The album was recorded during the Spring of 1985. We waited nearly a year before finally receiving the finished product in 1986. We sold them in local record stores and fanzines for $6 each! We also sent the EP with promotional information to several record labels. Because we had a self-financed release, we hoped Militia would be more attractive to labels, because there would only be the initial expense of pressing more copies of the EP. As it turned out, we had absolutely no label interest. Then, vocalist Mike Soliz left the band to join Assailant. As far as I was concerned, this meant the end of Militia. We did try to find another vocalist, but nobody even came close to filling Mike's shoes. Militia was done by the end of 1986. And that's how we ended up with only 100 original copies of the EP. Around the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, we began to hear rumors of the original EP selling for over $1000, but it wasn't until 2003 that we saw the first proof: an original ‘Sybling’ EP was sold for $1,136 in an ebay auction. We heard from a few sources in 2007 that a Japanese buyer paid $4,000 for an original, but we were never able to verify this. The original sold by our drummer Phil Achee is the highest price I've seen, when a German buyer paid $3,000 in December 2007. Since we reunited, I've seen three of them sell on ebay for between $1,800 and $2,500.”
"The Sybling" was bootlegged on a 7" single in the 1990's. Obviously, totally without the band’s permission: “We learned about the 7" bootleg in around 1998. This was the first indication that anybody even cared about Militia or ‘The Sybling’. It was hard not to feel annoyed that somebody else was making money off our music, but at the same time, we were proud that Militia was worth bootlegging in the first place. We are all actually very glad this happened, as it helped keep the band alive in a time when we were very much in ‘hibernation’. We are very glad that ‘The Sybling’ has now been offcially re-released on vinyl by High Roller Records! Probably the most asked question by our friends/fans in Europe is whether we would ever re-release ‘The Sybling’. It is exciting to be able to tell them finally: YES!”
There are quite a few extra tracks on the album, partly taken from the
"Regiments of Death" and "No Submission" demos. How does the band judge those compositions in comparism to the songs which ended up on "The Sybling"? Robert Willingham: “The ‘Regiments of Death’ demo consists of our earliest material, composed when our original lineup was intact. This demo is the foundation of the band. The ‘No Submission’ demo was recorded after both original guitarists (Tony Smith and Jesse Villegas) were no longer in the band. At this time, we were trying to be more musically ‘mature’. The songs reflect a very different style to either the ‘Regiments’ demo or ‘The Sybling’ EP.”
The song "Onslaught" was taken from a 1984 rehearsal. The sound qauality of this rehearsal tape was not too hot, finds Militia’s bassist: “None of the songs from this very early rehearsal had very good sound quality, but ‘Onslaught’ was a song that never made it onto any of our demos or EPs. We didn't even know this rehearsal tape existed until our guitarist Tony Smith found it after we reunited in 2008. So we decided it would be neat to feature an old song that was new to many.”
There does not seem to be much more left in the band’s archives, not even some decent live recordings: “There are hardly any live show recordings that we are aware of, and all of them sound terrible! There isn't enough technology in existence that can make them sound good. ‘The Second Coming’ may be the final chapter for the original music. Our next release is an all-new, full-length album called ‘A Call To Arms’. We are recording at this time and are aiming to release the new CD sometime in 2011.”
How close to getting a record deal did Militia come back in the mid-1980's? It was rumored that Metal Blade was interested in putting out a Militia album back then. True or false? Robert Willingham: “As best as we understood, we were never close to a deal with Metal Blade. We would have been ecstatic to be signed by Metal Blade, but we never received any indication of interest from them. In fact, our drummer Phil Achee traveled to California to hand deliver a copy of ‘The Sybling’ EP to Metal Blade. They told him ‘no thanks’, and that was that.”
The 1980's Texas Metal scene was always a bit different, leaning towards
the more technical and progressive style of US Metal. One only needs to think of bands like SA Slayer, Helstar or Watchtower. Robert Willingham explains in more detail: “This is one of the most fascinating things about the Texas Metal scene. I believe Watchtower had a lot to do with this. Their musicians were at a much higher level than most Metal musicians, with music that was way ahead of its time. Perhaps the exposure to their technical/progressive style had a subtle influence on some of the bands. We never viewed ourselves as being progressive or technical, mostly because we were so exposed to the musical insanity Watchtower was creating! Compared to them, we were straightforward. Looking back, it's easier to see that we were indeed quite progressive, and we're proud to be able to incorporate those technical elements in parts of our songs.”
Miltia shared the stage with most of Texas’ legendary bands: “Yes, our very first show was on July 3rd, 1984, opening for Watchtower and Wyzard. Our second show was three weeks later, opening for SA Slayer and Karion. In those first two shows, we shared a stage with some phenominal musicians: Ron Jarzombek, Billy White, Pete Perez, Doug Keyser, Rick Colaluca, Art Villarreal and Dave McClain. Playing with those guys motivated us to reach for a higher level of musicianship. Plus they were fun to watch!
Watchtower definitely led the way, as they got started a couple of years ahead of us. They did shows with SA Slayer and Helstar as early as 1983. Jason McMaster (Watchtower vocalist) was a great friend of ours and helped get Militia some great shows. He was (and still is) all about growing the local scene. Jason can be considered the Metal Ambassador of Texas!”
After the relative success of Helstar and Watchtower in Germany, it was also in this country that Militia achieved cult status. Robert Willingham: “I wish we would have had the internet in the 1980’s! We knew only a little about the band's popularity in Germany, and we had a difficult time believing it! During the mid-1980's we had a good following in Austin and San Antonio, and it was common to see 400-800 people at the shows. But outside our local area, Miltia was virtually unknown. We never quite grasped the band's popularity in Germany until we created the Myspace page in 2008 and started hearing from so many people there. Of course, our performance at the Keep It True Festival in 2009 made it very clear that we have more fans and friends in Germany than in the USA!”
When you consider Riot and Y&T leading the first wave of US Metal in the late 1970’s and Anvil and Exciter shortly after them, Militia belong to the third wave of the original US Metal movement. Robert Willingham goes back to the very beginnings of the band: “Militia formed in January 1984. Each of us had different influences and favorite bands. Most of us were into bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and many N.W.O.B.H.M.-era bands. Most of us attended the Raven/Metallica show in Austin in 1983, which took things to another level. For me personally, it was at this show that I decided I wanted to play in a metal band! When Phil and I began to seek guitarists for this new band, we wanted to combine many of the elements of our favorite bands. Of course, our music ended up having a style all its own, as both guitarists Jesse Villegas and Tony Smith brought great variety and very unique elements to every song.”
Matthias Mader