26 March 1991
Victims of Deception is the second album by the US thrash metal band Heathen, which was released in 1991 by Roadrunner Records. It was re-issued by Metal Mind Productions in 2006, as a digipak in a limited amount of 2000 numbered copies.
The bonus track "Hellbound" is a cover of Tygers of Pan Tang. The intro of "Hypnotized" features excerpts from a speech by evangelist Jim Jones. It was the band's last studio album for 19 years until the 2010 release of The Evolution of Chaos.
Heathen's lineup changes, tours, and financial issues stalled the recording process of this album, which lasted from 1989 to 1991. The band began to work it in 1988 after David White was replaced by former Exodus singer Paul Baloff.
After recording a demo with Baloff in the fall of 1988, the band broke up after the departure bassist Mike "Yaz" Jastremski, but reunited some time later, with former Metal Church singer David Wayne replacing Baloff and Manny Bravo replacing Yaz. Wayne's tenure with Heathen lasted for only a few days, and White soon returned to the band. Bravo would also leave the band; he was replaced by Blind Illusion bassist Vern McEllroy. The lineup of White, Altus, Piercy, McEllroy and Minter recorded a demo in March 1989 and entered the studio later that year to begin recording their second album under the name Fear of the Unknown, which was intended to be released in 1990. However, due to monetary problems, the album's release was delayed. When the album was recorded again, Heathen did not have an official bass player; the bass tracks were handled by Blind Illusion guitarist/frontman Marc Biedermann. The band had many bassists on this album's supporting tour.
Singles were released for the cover of Rainbow's "Kill the King" and "Prisoners of Fate".
This album is considerably more technical and progressive than its predecessor. It features many tempo changes, complex song structures, odd time signatures, longer song lengths, and more frequent guitar solos. It is considered among the most technical thrash albums ever, and part of the so-called "technical/progressive thrash" movement of the late 80's, early 90's (other pivotal albums in this era chronologically) included Metallica's …And Justice for All, Toxik's Think This, Watchtower's Control and Resistance, Megadeth's Rust in Peace, Dark Angel's Time Does Not Heal, and Coroner's Mental Vortex).
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