Alongside Exodus and Death Angel, San Francisco's Heathen were one of the numerous '80s Bay Area thrash bands asked to reform and perform in 2001's Thrash of the Titans benefit concert (set up to gather funds for cancer-stricken Testament singer Chuck Billy), who then felt encouraged to take another crack at success. 2004's Recovered album was the direct result -- even if its final tally of former members numbered only four out five, with original guitarist Lee Altus and bassist Mike Jastremski reuniting with second-album drummer Darren Minter, latter-day vocalist David White, and ex-Vicious Rumors guitarist Ira Black. Then again, Recovered isn't really a comeback album per se, more a set of five classic rock and New Wave of British Heavy Metal covers combined with dusted-off demos for what should have been the never released, four-track Opiate of the Masses EP. Starting with those covers, it's not just any band that has enough cojones to reconstruct Queen's viciously over-the-top masterpiece "Death on Two Legs" within a thrash framework, while retaining all of its demented glory; not to mention pull off nearly note-for-note renditions of Thin Lizzy's exquisite (and ever topical) "The Holy War," Tygers of Pan Tang's utterly frenetic "Hellbound," and Sweet Savage's underground classic "Eye of the Storm." Snuck in between these is a heartfelt, but momentum-killing ballad entitled "In Memory of..." (dedicated to departed friends and relatives), and it's therefore up to the final thrashing foursome to "recover" the most familiar Heathen songwriting tricks for the new millennium. And, if only for the purpose of creating a wrinkle in the space-time continuum and bringing the speed metal of 1991 (from whence these demos originate) out of cryogenic freeze, technical thrashers like "Hypnotized" and "Mercy Is no Virtue" are completely valid for resurrection. Still and needless to say, Recovered is predominantly the domain of devoted first-wave thrash and Heathen fans, but curious modern metal-heads may want to take a chance on it for educational reasons.
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia