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Extreme fucking thrash. - 98%

Minion, December 27th, 2003

DUHDUHDUHDUHDUHREEEEEERRCRAAASHTHUNKASMASHBOOM!

That's a pretty accurate description of what you get on Darkness Descends. This, the greatest thrash album EVER, is one giant beast of noise ready to rip your spine out and shove it down your throat. Every riff in every song is like a thousand nuclear explosions simultaneously converging upon the listener, viciously bludgeoning them with brutal riff, after riff, after riff, after riff. After riff, even. There are so damn many riffs on this album it becomes difficult to remember them all.

Such technicality may sound like it would be incoherant, but it isn't at all.The riffs are flattening but crystal clear, even melodic at times. Even when the band is at their most brutal you can still make sense of it all, and headbang until your head falls off. And thats what a thrash album should be, folks. Rust In Peace was damn good, but even Mustaine and company couldn't have this kind of heaviness mixed in with melody. They, ultimately, went with melody over all-out heaviness, and while it did work very well, well, why settle for a glass of milk when the whole pitcher is free is what I'm saying.

Granted, the above paragraphs didn't really tell you much about the musicianship expressed here. First, I must talk about drum and lyric master Gene Hoglan, who, as always, pounds his kit into utter oblivion. This is the kind of thrashing I was talking about in my Terria review. The guitarists? Oh fuck yeah, total thrash riffmeisters. You would be hard-pressed to find guys as talented and creative as these. The bassist is great too. Nothing like, say, Steve DiGiorgio, but definitely a passable job, too say the least. Our singer is good too. Now, in '80s thrash, there were almost no good singers. Sure, Tom Araya could scream, and Chuck Billy was harsh as hell, but this guy really brings a sense of pure EVIL to the music, and it complements it perfectly.

Highlights? Everything! But especially Black Prophecies, The Burning Of Sodom, Merciless Death, and of course the exquisite title track. But everything totally slays. This is truly the best thrash album ever created and a metal classic, one of which that should not be missed.