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Good for three or four listens... - 68%

therm, November 12th, 2004

...If you're in the right mood.

I got this from a friend (I'm glad I didn't buy it) who was quite impressed with "this piece of real heavy straightforward thrash" (that's how he characterised it) . I thought - great!!!!! It's been a long time since I heard a new thrash album that was skullcrushing (Destruction's "The Antichrist"). Well that this is really "a piece of real heavy straightforward thrash" doesn't automatically mean it's good or even great. The fact that this is a classic thrash band (original line-up reunited) also doesn't help in concealing the fact that this album is pretty average. In my opinion, at least.

The music IS thrash, it IS straightforward and heavy. BUT... It's repetitive. Sometimes it's just TOO fucking repetitive. A certain amount of repetitiveness can do much good for an album like this, it can make it's heaviness and intensity even more tasteful and grinding. It can make the songs seem more focused and unrelenting. More maniacal and merciless. But when it's overused it gets boring. Especially if the riffs are so common and deja-vu as most of them are on this album. The songs are maybe just a bit too repetitive, but that,combined with the way the riffs are, makes them seem more repetitive and in the end - a bit (or quite) boring. Many of the riffs of the mid-paced tracks here just go DA DA DA DA DA DA DA DA in 4/4 and add some (more or less melodic) lick at the end. Old riffs that were used by Accept and AC/DC twenty years ago. Some of them are good, some are not. I'm no hater of the "old" things, not at all, but...

The good thing is that this album is very consistent - all of the songs are forged of the same piece of iron. That is good if you're in the mood for this type of music (fierce thrash with balls and attitude and agressive quasi-melodic vocals) - there will be no letdowns. But the problem is that the same consistency is of no avail for any other moment. As to me - the album becomes less and less enjoyable with each listen.

One more thing - i honestly don't understand how a human being can equally much hate Pantera and praise this (like some do). The fact that this is a classic thrash band known as EXODUS must have something to do with this - everyone respects them, they haven't sold out, they still play True Metal. Well,... as you wish. But there is a considerable amount of crossover going on here. The vocalist is almost rapping in some parts, just with a (AC/DC-ized) thrash voice (Or thrashy AC/DC voice, I don't know). There are some Pantera riffs here and there. It's no big problem to me, but it might be one for some tr00 thrasher. Listen to "Throwing Down" - this is too much Pantera for True Thrash, imho. The singer sounds quite much like Phil Anselmo (not all the time of course). You hate "groove animals" and love this?

I cannot say that I don't like the album though - it's quite tolerable at worst and really good (or great) at it's best moments. Those "best moments" include the faster songs and the solos. Thumbs up for the solos and their length, really! The problem is that these "best moments" are mixed with too much of other stuff.

My favorites: "Scar Spangled Banner", "War Is My Shepherd", "Blacklist" (I've added your name ... TO MY BLACKLIST!!!!!!!!!...I love that chorus) and "Forward March". So what does it mean when all of your faves are on the first half of the album? I guess it's like I said - it's a bit too repetitive and gets boring more and more with each song and each listen.

Oh, by the way - the whole thing sounds very much like late Overkill at times. Example: "Blacklist". I wonder why nobody mentions it. There are actually many paralells, the vocals and guitar and bass sounds for example.