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A Small, Hidden Thrash/Speed Classic - 85%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, June 6th, 2008

Back in the 80s, heavy metal was a genre mostly made by men and it was a bit difficult to find out some good bands with a female member in them, and even more difficult at vocals. The examples that now come to my mind are Znowhite (Nicole Lee), The Great Kat and these Détente. All the female vocalists I cited before are incredibly brutal and they keep high the flag of speed/thrash genre and in those cases I couldn’t even imagine those bands without their female vocalists because they were so personal and violent that you can’t go wrong even if the whole thing seems a bit strange.

This band was one of the most overlooked realities in those years and, as always, now it’s a rare and wanted object for the most avid collectors and surely the sound is worthy of attention by any thrash metal fan. “Losers” is pure speed/thrash but with an incredible brutal sound, thanks also the extreme performance of our Dawn Crosby. She screams the impossible during all the songs and her rough tonality is very similar to Nicole Lee but even more extreme and suffered. The following “Russian Roulette” gives us the time to absorb the impact of the opener, showing mid paced patterns and heavy structures.

The guitars riffs are always so raw and metallic, accompanied by hammering drums, especially if we talk about the loud snare drum. The solos are quite fast, alternating tremolo pickings and tapping technique to some less impulsive breaks where the dark melodies take the main part. The structures result easy to be listened and remembered, like the good and catchy refrain of “Holy Wars” (with a great guitar solo) and the old school speed metal riffs on the following, instrumental “Catalepsy”. Anyway, the music and the parts can vary quite often in a song and the impact is not always the main word; the structures are a good blend of speed restarts and some more mature breaks.

The lead guitar plays an important role for the gloom atmosphere in “Shattered Illusions”, while the open chords parts are really old style with that not always too marked melody. Also the length helps in avoiding this album to be dispersive because, yes, the songs are good but not masterpieces. To mark out the sudden and mind-blowing speed restarts in “Life In Pain” and “Blood I Bleed”. “Widow’s Walk” signs some more melodic vocals by the refrain but the main role is once again by the incredible guitar solos and, surprisingly, we can also find a mid-paced song to close the album, “Vultures In The Sky”.

All in all, a good, but forgotten, and sincere piece of burning speed/thrash metal with a good song writing and excellent solos. The Dawn’s vocals are perfect for the dramatic line that binds each and every song of this album with those dark melodies. Definitely worth a listen for the aficionados of this genre.