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It’s always strange the fact of meeting a thrash metal band from lands and countries that were not that famous for this genre. Airdash played thrash in a country, Finland, which was far more “famous” for the death metal bands at the time. Yes, the bands playing extreme metal were quite numerous even if they only released few demo tapes before disappearing, leaving us few pieces for avid collectors. However, the first album I bought for Airdash was the last one in their discography, Both Ends of the Path. It was a quite lame album and surely it didn’t force me to listen to the other opuses, but somehow I managed to get into the older stuff and I think this was worth because they are not bad at all.
Airdash before putting out that weird, progressive album called Both Ends of the Path, was a quite simple thrash metal act. Hospital Hallucinations Take One is the second effort in their discography and here we cannot say that bands like Anthrax and Metallica were not used as a sample. The influences are strong even if the style is not extremely weak or dull. “If” is the track that opens the album with its tempo changes and the hint of groove. The vocals are not screamed and probably this is the most important point of comparison with Anthrax. The riffs are not devastating and often they remain quite melodic and dynamic, pointing also on good duets and tapping solos.
The production is clear, especially if we consider the riffs and the snare drums. The bass also is pounding in the background with its metallic march. “Youth Hostel” is a bit more violent for few riffs even if the groove always counts a lot and the tempo is often quite mid-paced and linear, without too many fast overtures. “Jungle Jim” is a bit more various for the dark introduction but not that much if we count the slow progression this song has. The riffs are not that slow but the tempo yes and there are not too many variations. This does not contribute to maintain the listener’s attention. “Decent Citizen” features a bit more dynamic riffs even if the speed doesn’t want to increase and this is becoming a bit risky.
“Vengeance through Violence” features few up tempo sections and even the riffs are more pissed off. The gang choruses add nastiness to the sound and this is better. However, don’t expect too many variations… “Trigger Happy” takes a lot of its style from the …And Justice for All album and this is good for the variety of the riffs that however often is not enough to be catch. The refrain is a bit more present and there are even few restarts on up tempo. “Forbidden Thoughts” despite the slow riffs has remarkable fast sections to break a bit the monotony that was taking the dominion over this album. The good thing about this song is the lead guitar work that sporadically appears to give that dark touch.
“Sleepwalk” has a good melodic intro with obscure vibes and lots of solos and this can be easily labelled as the most various track here. I think that the things are getting better here because the level of the songwriting has improved since the middle part of the album. This is also the last track of the album, an album highly impersonal but somehow easy and not that bad. The groove here reigns supreme but it’s not a terrible album. By the way, I wouldn’t recommend it to a fast thrash metal fan.
During this review, I'm going to be throwing out a lot of song comparisons to Anthrax. Because that's what it sounds like, only bad. I mean CHRIST, even their logo shares characteristics of Anthrax's.
But without the comedy I guess. The thing I notice most about this album is how fucking weak it sounds. The guitar riffs, when heard/understood correctly (you have to hear them to understand what I mean), are pretty fucking lame. Whenever they're not chording pointlessly about, the riffs are simply bad Crossover. At 3:12 in "If..." they actually pull out a semi-enjoyable riff that sounds like some reject from Persistence of Time, only slower and more meaningless. "Youth Hostel" has a good riff to start off that any thrash fan can enjoy, if you've never heard the Anthrax original.
I don't know what the fuck it is, but the vocals are fucking weak! They constantly go in and out of tune, with no real feeling for which note they were going for in the first place. Who honestly thought this guy would make a good thrash vocalist? The vocals on this album sound a lot like on the Deafen EP. Imagine Joey Belladonna with literally nothing (we're past the point of castration here) below his waist, and you get Juha Laine's vocals.
One highlight of the album has to be "Jungle Jim." It starts off with an acoustic intro that sounds extremely similar to "Be All, End All." Then the drums come along slightly reminding me of The Enemy, only nowhere near as awesome. Then the mid-paced sound Metallica's Death Magnetic has captured so well shines on here, not sounding a bit more original than that. Now that I mention it, fans of Death Magnetic might enjoy this if they enjoy their thrash with literally no thrashing. The reason this song is a highlight though is that it doesn't actually flat-out suck. The riffs, for being as mid-paced as they are, are enjoyable and comprehendable. "Decent Citizen" and "Forbidden Thoughts" follow suit here, being in pretty much the same vein, though quite a bit more sterile and same-y. "Forbidden Thoughts" in particular tends to rip off the intro to "Caught in a Mosh," just a ton more boring. It turns into a competent thrasher though with second rate riffs, but hey! It's good for them. "LAAAAAAAAW AND ORDERRRR" is one of the worst vocal lines ever. Then the gang vocals show up to back those pussy vocals up by going "ORDER!" and it's just a fucking weak mess. They manage to throw out a little bit of an Acid Drinkers sound, especially in the drums. I wouldn't be surprised if this album influenced Acid Drinkers. Thankfully, AD did crossover right whereas this album doesn't seem to do anything right.
"Vengeance through Violence" picks up the pace but still manages to bore the living fuck out of me. "Trigger Happy" fares no better. When this band thrashes, don't take notice, because it's not worth it. "Sleepwalk," while having nothing to do with new Megadeth, sure makes me wish I was listening to Megadeth instead. The leads in this song are literally A) Copy and paste any Kirk Hammett solo or B) Copy and paste from "Jungle Jim" or "Youth Hostel."
Fuck this album. If you think Anthrax has too much balls and you ABSOLUTELY FUCKING HATE IT, get this.
EDIT: Arrangement of words to make more sense.