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No shit! Gene said it himself in the liner notes for Time Does Not Heal, to wit: "...my mom has my copy of Darkness, she likes 'Perish in Flames' so much!" Well then, she must be the most metal mom since Jane S. (if you don't know her, please assume the fetal position and quietly die in a corner.) So what do you expect from a 'mom's favorite album'? Brutality, apparently and riffs down yer fuckin' throat!
Let's analyze one by one shall we:
1)Don 'Fucking' Doty, the madman on vox. Without a doubt, he is the best singer D.F.A ever had. Yeah, Rinehart has his moments but he ain't got nothin' on Doty's frenetic, possessed delivery. Check out "The Burning of Sodom," how the hell does he remember the lyrics? I mean, the lyrics were penned by Hoglan. How does he remember the lyrics AND sing that fast? I don't know, but it's a shame he didn't stay for the band's future efforts.
2)The twin guitar blenders Meyer and Durkin, they are frickin' machines! Throughout the album, the tempo never drops below 'too fast my ass' and dammit, these guys just keep on going! The riffwork is absolutely fantastic, check out the pre-verse riff of the title track, the one after the part Metallica stole, oh lord in heaven! The instant I heard that, I just headbang and windmill until my neck hurts like a bitch! And just when you think the guitars can't be any better, here comes the solos! Sure, technicality and overall tonality need not apply and when you take them out of context, it sounds like some doofus 'shredding' at 240 bpm. But personally, I'd rather listen to the solo in "Death is Certain (Life is Not)" than say...Necrophagist.
3)Rob 'Flamin' Yahn plays bass here (although Gonzales was already in the band at that point,) and boy can he play! You can actually listen to him throughout the entire album, he's mixed louder and clearer than the guitar for some reason. His playing is pretty damn great, check out the intro to "Merciless Death" and the double bass part in the title track. You know this man means business! Yahn is definitely the kind of guy metal needs.
4)Last, but most definitely not least, is Gene 'Atomic Clock' Hoglan. You know what? I think Hoglan is kind of like the Terminator. Only, instead of killing people with weapons, he kills people with serious drumming skills. He is a robot sent from the future to make sure that any album he's involved with owns. Hoglan's drumming pretty much kills whatever everyone was doing at the time (too bad he only did lights for slayer, imagine if Hoglan was in Reign in Blood!), need proof? "The Burning of Sodom," "Hunger of the Undead," "Death is Certain (Life is Not)" and frickin' "Perish in Flames!"
The production in this album is simultaneously flawed and perfect. Flawed because everything is so damned muddy and it sounds like it was mixed in a hurry. Perfect because in spite of that, there is nothing wrong with it. You can hear all the instruments clearly and it fits the mood of the album. I'd consider this album for one of the best produced metal albums. Yessir! It's that good.
So is this the best brutal thrash album ever? Yep! Should you get it? No shit! Get the Century Media re-release, it's got live cuts of "Merciless Death" and the special two-for-one "Perish in Flames/Darkness Descends." Both with Rinehart on vox. This is D.F.A., nay thrash, at their most awesometastic(tm).