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grow steam. It found fans at Britain’s Kerrang!, getting a write-up in issue number 91 (April 4 – 17, 1985). And Metal Inquisition was a favorite of smaller zines. The Corroseum, an outstanding resource for older metal, has 10 zines mentioning Piledriver in its archives and the countries of origin run the gamut: Germany, Mexico, Belgium, Brazil. The one English language zine, Canada’s Metallic Assault #1 from 1984, blessed Metal Inquisition with a fawning review, talking up the “heavy” music and instructing readers, in an unfortunately ‘80s way, to ignore the false album art. “Black metal from Ontario?” is the subheadline.
Part of the reason for Piledriver’s penetration in worldwide markets is because it was licensed to more established labels. Roadrunner Records picked up Metal Inquisition for Europe, while the US rights went to HME Records. It appears, though, that someone at HME must’ve gotten cold feet about the album’s contents. Instead of the real deal, it produced a censored version. The apocalyptic closer, “Alien Rape,” was retitled “Alien Raid.” And “Sex With Satan” and “Sodomize The Dead” were subbed off for two new songs: “Lust” and “Twister.” The replacements weren’t written and recorded by Leslie Howe and Louise Reny. They did, however, feature Kirchin’s vocals.
In the Beat Route interview, Kirchin asserts that Busic told him that Metal Inquisition “was barely making a mark” even though the songs seemed to be everywhere and zine mentions were piling up. Kirchin, then, was taken aback when Busic asked if he wanted to earn $250 for another fake band. This one would be helmed by Conrad Taylor, previously a guitarist and backing vocalist for Genya Ravan, a cultishly beloved singer whose work has been sampled by Jay-Z, N.E.R.D., and Black Moon, among others. Ravan was also a producer, working the boards for the classic Dead Boys recordings. That’s how Taylor also landed on Ronnie Spector’s punk-ish 1980 record, Siren. (I was unable to contact Taylor for this piece.)