"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Intruder

Formed: 1984
From: Nashville, TN, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Background

INTRUDER, who hails from “Thrashville,” Tennessee, has a very rich history, from their
early days as AVATAR and TRANSGRESSER to the Live To Die release on Azra/Iron
Works through the entire Metal Blade era up until now. The group began as a four-piece
cover band that simply played in the basement. They went through name changes,
member changes and record label changes, just like most young bands. It wasn’t until
they signed with Metal Blade and released A Higher Form Of Killing in 1989 that
INTRUDER became a viable force on the suddenly overcrowded Thrash scene. Their
little known, but excellent debut, Live To Die, was recorded as a quartet in the Speed
Metal vein. The Metal Blade years saw INTRUDER add a rhythm guitarist and make the
jump to the popular Thrash Metal style of the day. They handled this style shift with
aplomb. The 3-year period on Metal Blade was fruitful for the band as they put out a
release for each calendar year. There were two classic Thrash albums that acted as
bookends for the very hard to find EP, Escape From Pain. While all the Metal Blade
releases are aesthetically pleasing and quite impressive musically, the record label pretty
much let the band fall by the wayside. The label obviously put some money into the band
as the amazing Fastner and Larson album covers and lengthy librettos replete with lyrics
and thank you lists will attest, but there was very little done in the way of promotion.
Nonetheless, INTRUDER was able to tour for each release in the US, Canada and Mexico
and shared stages with the likes of HELSTAR, FATES WARNING, SLAUGHTER
HOUSE, MORBID ANGEL and D.R.I.

Each INTRUDER album has its own personality. Psycho Savant, their last album is
widely regarded as their best effort. Their only Metal Blade release to feature all original
songs had leanings more toward Progressive Thrash Metal and was masterfully produced
by Bill Metoyer. This was their first departure from using the steady and trusty Tom
Harding, who still works with the band today. Psycho Savant, not only contained some
technically proficient playing and excellent songwriting, but also some great lyrics.
Drummer/founder/lyricist, John Pieroni, is an avid reader and based a lot of his lyrics on
deep books he had been reading at the time. Like many Thrash bands of that era, horror
movie influences and non-metal cover tunes also crept their way onto their albums. In
fact, Escape From Pain, actually opens up with a remake of Chicago’s “25 Or 6 To 4.”
This EP was essentially put out as an excuse to tour. It featured only one brand new song -
the title track - an epic number that clocks in at just under 9 minutes. The rest of the
offering included three cuts from the Live To Die debut that most fans were not familiar
with. One of those tracks, “Cold-Blooded Killer,” was actually re-recorded at the time as
a quintet to give it somewhat of a thrash treatment. The EP was the only one of their
Metal Blade releases not to be issued on all three formats of cd, cassette and vinyl. For
some reason, Escape From Pain was not released on record, which is a shame since the
artwork is so incredible and would’ve been great to see extended to a full 12” platter.

Fastner and Larson, famous comic book artists, truly outdid themselves with the three
INTRUDER covers they drew. Some Metal fans were familiar with their work through
fellow thrashers, OVER KILL. Finally, in backwards retrospect, we come to
INTRUDER’S Metal Blade debut, the now classic A Higher Form Of Killing. A terrific
and well-balanced album, AHFOK, introduced the metal world to an absolute Thrash
classic, “Killing Winds,” which the label included on its compilation, Metallic Overdrive.
Pieroni took on double duties and sang on the funny cover of “(I’m Not Your) Stepping
Stone,” by THE MONKEES. Over the years, fans have complained at how difficult it is
to find these titles on compact disc. Those fortunate enough to score a copy on eBay are
sometimes paying through the nose. More great news in the INTRUDER camp is that
Lost & Found Records has recently reissued A Higher Form Of Killing and Escape From
Pain! No word on the other two Metal Blade releases being reissued but there is always
hope.

Recently INTRUDER has performed at some major metal festivals over the last couple
of years, such as the Keep It True Festival, Headbangers Open Air and the Classic Metal
Fest 2. Hopefully we will see a full live album on the horizon next!

[Source: Drummer, John Pieroni]

Below is a summary of Intruder coverage and information on Metal Underground.com.