Original vinyl transfer, audio restoration and mastering by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in February 2019.
Along with Mercyful Fate, Pretty Maids and Witch Cross, Copenhagen’s very own Alien Force were one of the earliest heavy metal bands in Denmark. Influenced by Judas Priest, Accept, Saxon and Iron Maiden, the band was formed in 1984 by guitarist Henrik Rasmussen (with Zeyking being the direct forerunner to Alien Force).
After talking to numerous different record companies, the band’s 1985 debut album »Hell And High Water« was released by Teleag in Germany. Henrik Rasmussen explains: “The album was recorded in a garage in Hvidovre, Copenhagen, on an 8-track tape recorder under tough conditions because the record company did not want to spend any money on recording. It was a low budget project but we thought: ‘What the hell - let's make an album.’ So we kept on working. Telaeg wouldn't press more than 500 copies, instead they released it on tape with our music but with another cover on the tape and another name! We ended up by forcing them to giving up their rights to our music.”
With the heavy metal scene in Denmark being so small, Alien Force did not play a lot of gigs supporting the record: “No, the time wasn't right for us.
At that time, it was difficult to convince record companies and concert organizers that heavy metal could sell, so it was very difficult to get through.”
But Alien Force did not throw in the towel and recorded a second full-length album called »Pain And Pleasure« in 1986. Henrik Rasmussen explains: “The album was released through our own company because we wanted to show the established companies that they should not decide what we should do and should not do… Therefore we released it ourselves. I can't remember how many copies were pressed! We sold the album through distribution in Denmark and when we were out playing concerts.”
Comparing »Hell And High Water« with »Pain And Pleasure«, Henrik would opt for the debut: “I think »Hell And High Water« is so honest and naked because of the sound of four people who may not be super musicians but made the best of their abilitiest despite difficult conditions. »Pain And Pleasure« may have better written numbers, but unfortunately the sound of the album makes me not so fond of it in retrospect.” And what about the peculiar cover of »Pain And Pleasure«? Henrik laughs: “To be honest, I don't quite know what we were thinking at the time...”