Culprit is an American heavy metal band first formed in Seattle, Washington, United States, in 1981 by vocalist Jeff L’Heureux, guitarists John DeVol and Kjartan Kristoffersen, bassist Scott Earl, and drummer Bud Burrill.
Culprit was the result when two Seattle area bands named Orpheus and Amethyst united in 1981. Guitarist John DeVol, bassist Scott Earl, and drummer Bud Burrill played in Orpheus while vocalist Jeff L’Heureux and guitarist Kjartan Kristoffersen were in Amethyst.
These guys met during a mutual live appearance and decided after a while to join forces in one new band, which they named Culprit. Culprits’s NJ in 1982 when their debut song «Players» was selected on Shrapnel Records’ U.S. Metal, Vol. 2 compilation.
Here we are dealing with a brilliant compilation cd by Lost Realm Records, that gathers the early recordings of this cult U.S. Metal cult band. A deluxe edition limited to 500 CD copies, comprising a 12-page booklet with band biography and rare photos. «First Offense» features their first recordings (Demo 1980 & Demo 1983 plus «Players» was selected on Shrapnel Records’ U.S. Metal that we’ve mentioned above) where all songs are digitally remastered from the original tapes. Their unreleased demos officially released for the first time as it shows the band just before their one and only full length “Guilty as Charged”. An album that is highly acclaimed by classic Heavy Metal fans as a genuine gem of the 80’s. Of course despite the cult status of the band its quality can’t be measured in sales or platinum records. But the love of the Heavy Metal worshipers is something that worth more than money and it can’t be measured in numbers.
Back on our compilation, Culprit showcase a pure 79’s inspired speedy traditional Heavy Metal in the veins of early Riot that honors the Seattle based scene of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal that flourished 35-40 years ago on the north-western state. The songs are well written even though we are dealing with rough editions of them as these are the demo versions and I believe that the composers had in mind on how the songs would sound in live environment.
The choruses stick to your mind and are easy to remember while the guitar parts are more or less extended, giving space for the ideas to breathe. The soloing offers a great deal of pleasure as in all songs flow full of energy and deliver extra doses of ….The production is raw, but this is something you expect in a demo, yet clear in order to let the instruments be audible and “dirty” as much as it is needed to make the final result cult for the 80’s aficionados.