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The year was 1986. Thrash was just coming into shape. Albums like Ride The Lightning, Kill 'Em All, Feel The Fire had all defined thrash. At that time heavy metal wasn't too much aquainted with speed and brutality at the same time. Few bands like Venom, Kreator, Bathory had tried it befoe with their respecrtive outputs, but none were as convincing as this one. On 17th November 1986, the world was struck down with this heavy, dark, fast, brutal piece of music. At it's release there was practically no album on the planet which could beat this album in terms of extremity and brutality.
As in any thrash metal album, the guitars are the real standouts. The guitarists are technically superb, and the riffs that they churn out are even better. The riffs are heavy, fast, and brutal. The lead work takes a bit of backseat on this album ( compared to the riffs of course ). The drums are lethal (well it's Gene Hoglan what else can you expect ?). This album features the first introduction of Gene Hoglan as a drummer and on this album he makes full utilization of drumming skills. The bass is burried in the drum and guitar fury so we can't hear much of it. The vocals are violent and brutal and in short great for such an album.
The main highlight in this album is the songwriting. The songs are straight-forward, simple and not too complex, but performed with an energy which is never seen before. The songs stick in your head at most by the second listen. Among the songs, the opener title track is the best song off the album. It is straight forward and aggressive track. Lars Ulrich ripped off the machine gun drum fills and the riffs from it for the Metallica song One ( unsuccesfully of course!!! ). Black Prophecies is a slower, and more doomier track. It is almost 9 minutes long and it singlehandedly contains almost 70 riffs. The Burning Of Sodom is a superfast song, almost 280 bmp. Merciless Death is also an enjoyable track, with an excellent catchy chorus. The rest of the songs are also equally good.
This album is highly recomended for anyone listening to thrash metal music. The energy with which this album is performed is just superb. The construction of songs and the way the riffs built upon each other is just outstanding. Further there is the dark and dirty atmosphere brought down by the production. The production assists the song in every possible way. Concluding this is one of the most essential pieces of thrash metal music, so please get it without further delay of time.