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AWESOME!!!!! - 95%

UltraBoris, June 2nd, 2003

This is the only Greatest Hits album that I will ever give this unbelievably high a rating to. Man, when I first got this (1999 or so), it didn't leave the frequent rotation for a YEAR AND A HALF, at least. One of my favourite albums ever, and it's commonly found, and it is damn well worth it.

First off, the sound quality. Fully remastered... forget the Metal Blade bullshit pressings of Lightning to the Nations, Behold the Beginning, et al... if you don't want to hunt down the old vinyls (which you do, but that is a different story), THIS is the only compilation of old material you need to get. This is the production that definitely does these songs justice.

And what of the songs? Spectacular fucking tracklist... my only complaint is no 'The Prince', but otherwise, man they picked a bunch of winners. The songwriting runs through a variety of styles, ranging from the bludgeoning power-metal classics like Am I Evil (the "Mister Guitar" version, incidentally... not the original Lightning to the Nations version, but rather the one off of Borrowed Time - no matter, both are equally good) and Lightning to the Nations - again from Borrowed Time, the vox are a bit more accented than in the original, but the guitarwork is definitely there.

Two of the more accessible tracks from Lightning are here too: It's Electric and Helpless - both very cool - I'm glad they left off the horrible Sweet and Innocent. Good choice, guys.

Shoot Out the Lights - a classic from their random mishmash of singles, and then also Sucking my Love is here... all 9 minutes and 48 seconds of epic fucking guitar work and Sean Tatler making an ass of himself. When the dust settles, this is a masterpiece.

In the Heat of the Night - WICKED FUCKING SOLO!!!!! Well, more like three fucking wicked solos - this is a masterpiece of melodic heavy fucking metal. Then, Call Me is also from Borrowed Time... a little catchy 80s-glammish number, but still fucking enjoyable. Then, a bit later, another wicked number from Borrowed Time, namely the title track. This and In the Heat of the Night are two of the greatest tracks DH ever made - fucking masterpieces. DH are best remembered for Lightning to the Nations, but the rest of their material is no slouch either. A bit softer, and sometimes more inconsistent, but here they really chose some of the highlights of their early-80s career. "I have learned, at what cost..." - this one goes through a billion moods, from the acoustic opener, to the exploding riffs and the soaring vocals. Power metal at its finest.

We also have four tracks from Canterbury to close the album. The best four, I must add... I've heard the whole album, it's kind of inconsistent, but these four are all winners. Not all of them are heavy fucking metal - Makin' Music is just a little rock and roll number, but ya know what, I like it, so fuck you. Same with Out of Phase, which is the most irresistibly catchy number since the songs they made you sing in the 1st grade.

Then, Ishmael... a strange, strange number with some odd vocals (is that a SHEEP??), but it fucking works too. Finally, the closer - To the Devil His Due is another midpaced atmospheric number, and a complete winner. It's got great use of acoustic guitars, nice fucking vocals, and the final build-up to end all final build-ups.

Recommended? Oh fuck yeah!!! This really is the Best Of (well, except for the Prince, but hey, you're forgiven). Also, the songs manage to go together well, despite their being from several eras of the band... from the early bludgeoning speed metal power, to the more progressive numbers of the next few years.

This is the only Greatest Hits album I ever would endorse... I don't just endorse, I force you to get this!! Right now!