Original tape transfer, audio restoration and mastering by Patrick W. Engel at TEMPLE OF DISHARMONY in August 2020.
Considering that The Saga of Nemesis came out in April 1986, meaning just about three months after Assassin´s debut demo Holy Terror, the group had taken a big leap forward – not least regarding its production values, making the four songs plus intro an abrasion-proof set of thrash from a time when the German scene was maturing at a frantic pace.
“This time around, we recorded with Rudy Graf at Warlock´s studio,” remembers guitarist Jürgen “Scholli” Scholz about working with said band´s co-founder, who by then had moved on to a short liaison with up-and-coming speeders Rage and showed a keen ear for the demands of the still new extreme sound seething during the mid-eighties.
Getting their first taste of professionalism, Assassin were sure to make each moment of those days count, putting everything they had into the sessions. “I still have some rehearsal room recordings from that period,” Scholli reveals, “which consist of half-finished songs that even now sound not bad at all. However, we agreed on keeping them for ourselves and won´t break that vow.”
As it was and is, The Saga of Nemesis stands on its own with dignity, comprised of what turned out to be the strongest tracks of The Upcoming Terror, the five-piece´s time-honoured first full-length from 1987 – the vehement storm ‘Forbidden Reality’ followed by frontman Robert´s peak performance in ‘Holy Terror’ before ‘Nemesis’ highlights Assassin´s melodic side and the re-worked ´Speed of Light´ shines again without any word sung or barked.
Usually not one to wax nostalgic, Scholz inevitably went down memory lane once he revisited the musical sins of his youth: “When we did the second cassette, I was the only member with a driver´s license, thus becoming the others´ chauffeur. After we had packed at the end of the recordings, I was afraid my father´s 1976 model Audi 80 would break down with all the gear and five metalheads inside. Maybe it´s for this reason that I´m still driving an Audi 80 today … albeit it a 1992 model!”
The Saga of Nemesis was carefully restored and remastered by Patrick W. Engel at Temple of Disharmony Studio in August 2020 from the original tape source; High Roller’s ultimate vinyl re-release is limited to 500 copies (200 ultra clear/red splatter, 150 black or double-mint green) and comes with inside-out printed sleeve plus inlay. Together with the first demo, it is also compiled on one CD as Holy Terror/ The Saga of Nemesis in a slipcase.