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Thrash begins (and ends) here. - 99%

Stormrider2112, February 6th, 2012

Reign In Blood? Cute. Pleasure To Kill? Fluff. Bonded By Blood? Basket of cute kittens compared to this monster of yummy thrashy goodness. The only thing keeping me from giving this a full-on 100% is my neck. This album really should come with a coupon good for one free visit to your local chiropractor...trust me, you'll need it.

From the opening riff of Darkness Descends to the last note of Perish In Flames, Dark Fuckin' Angel just doesn't let up. It's just insane thrash riff after insane thrash riff after insane thrash riff after insane thrash riff after insane thrash riff after...you get the point. The solos are pretty much all a nod to Judas Priest's Dissident Aggressor whammy madness, but more Gary Holt shred than Kerry King cat-with-Tourette's. They're noise, but coherent, melodic noise.

Vocalist Don Doty sounds like he's about to get mauled by a pack of wild tigers, and gives one of the most over-the-top performances ever cut to tape. The entire band is cranked up to 11, but Doty's intensity level is pushing 15. Durkin and Meyer pretty much perfected the art of riff transitioning here, as every riff flows into the next. Gene Hoglan gives a very Gene Hoglan-like performance on the drums...tighter than a virgin midget.

Every track here ranges from fast (Merciless Death) to HOLYSHITWE'REGOINGTODIE (Burning Of Sodom), never coming close to "ambient" or even "mid-tempo." Eveything comes in at about the 4 minute range while still being fully developed songs (*glare at Reign In Blood*), other than the 6 minute title track and the 8 and half minute Black Prophecies (which only feels like it's 4 minutes long...no riff goes to waste, and not one second of boring). This is the next logical step from Hell Awaits as far as thrash progression goes...7 songs, 35 minutes, a metric fuckton of riffs, no filler. This is everything Reign In Blood wishes it could be, more violent than anything Kreator could dream of, and more insane and evil than Venom ever were.

This album eats AMAZING albums for breakfast, letting the less-awesome feast on the craptastic "thrash" that bands like Testament and Annihilator put out. 26 years later, and this still hasn't been topped.