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Weighing In On A Classic Bay Area Band - 95%

corviderrant, May 19th, 2004

Oboy, I remember this with glee!!! Hearing this album along with too many other classics on my college radio station of choice years ago made me rush out and grab it immediately!

Their eccentric riffing and soloing is what makes this album stand out and how, especially considering how young they were at the time this was released. I mean, Andy Galeon was what, 14? And a right little badass drummer he was already, though not as tight in spots here and there as I'd have liked to hear--when he tries for some fills, his time suffers a little for it. Rob Cavestany had a lead style that was all his even at this early juncture, and Mark Osegueda...omiGAWD those shrieks!!! I was stopped in my tracks the first time I heard "Evil Priest" and "Mistress of Pain" out of shock and stunned disbelief!

"Evil Priest" and "Mistress of Pain" scald with frenzied thrashing and frequent time and tempo changes that run over you like a herd of berserk rhinos. Mark's vocals really stand out on these tracks in particular, as he is a total character in and of himself who sounds only like himself. The title track is one of my faves on this album also, with its attention-grabbing intro that really does remind one of "Tubular Bells" (the Exorcist theme, as another reviewer pointed out). But then, when the first of too many fuckin' riffs rears its ugly head to whoop your lulled into security arse into pulp, you know it's OVER. With snotty teenage attitude and energy behind it, you know this is going to own the moment you hear it. They navigate numerous riffs, tempo changes, and feels perfectly throughout all ten minutes of this instrumental, and it never fails to impress me how well is all flows together. I could have done without "IPFS", but I guess some bands just had to show they had a sense of humor back then. Especially after that final bloodcurdling "ZAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOWWWWW!!!!!!!" at the end of "Final Death"--what the hell was Mark smoking at that time to make him be able to go that high, the obvious age issue aside?

"The Ultra-Violence" has earned its classic sobriquet over the years and still holds up after all this time. And when I heard last year they not only have reformed but have released a new album as of recently, you better believe that I will jump on it straight away! I was unhappy with "Act III", so I hope the new one makes up for that embarrassment.