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Christ, half of this is from '83?? - 80%

UltraBoris, February 17th, 2004

This is a schweet little compilation. I remember when eBay was flooded with these things in 1999, because New Renaissance Records had just released it and were apparently not too clever in ancient art of distribution. Anyway, I got promo copy number 54/300 for something like four bucks. Boo yah. It actually was in frequent rotation in my CD player for a few months, and goes well with memories of freshman year of college, like that time I stayed up all night playing poker and then took my chemistry final... oh yeah those were the days.

Aaaanyway, I just did the research and realised that four of these tracks are from 1983, meaning that maybe just maybe the best comparison is the Sabbath LP from that year: Born Again, except with Ample Destruction thrown in. The rest of the album sounds like that too, except the tracks are either from 1988 (tracks 6-9) or 1982 (the opener). Some really solid works of 80s classic metal to be found here, with a great variety in songwriting... from the fast and furious Backstabber, to the energetic "Rock Hard Ride Free" style anthem "Fire" to the disturbing (the priest) Up From the Depths, with this awesome shriek leading into the fast section (Zero the Hero marches into THE CRUCIFIIIIIIIX!!!!! with a bit of Heaven and Hell to boot). "Nightmares in Daylight" sounds a bit older (it is), but still moves along in an orderly fashion, mowing down shit in a fashion that your average LA band wouldn't even dare dream of doing. This isn't quite Slayer, but it certainly isn't Poison either. Then the final song from the EP, Break the Spell, is just insane speed metal that gives Freewheel Burning a run for its money.

Speaking of Priest covers, the last half of the album features an insane fucking cover of the venerable Exciter (with Anne Boleyn NAILING the vocals, and adding a bit of a snarl to it that maybe should best be compared to Tim Owens! The guitars aren't nearly as clean as Tipton/Downing but oh well, it's still a rager!), along with three more originals, Nevermore (which kicks the fucking crap out of that shitty band by that name) and its nifty opening riffage... man, this band has riffs like there's no tomorrow. I heard one of the guitarists learned from Randy Rhoads, and that may very well be true because sometimes they bust out the fearsome solos as well. There's also another epic Sabbath-style number, The Evil One, which really does remind me even more of Disturbing the Priest (except for when it reminds me of Overkill "The Answer" - they kinda yoinked one of the riffs, but hey, if you're gonna yoink riffs, may as well yoink from the masters), and finally the closer, Run! Run For Your Life!! is a bit reminiscent of the fun of Shout at the Devil, except with a thrash break in the middle.

Yeah, these guys (and gal) covered the whole map, while staying squarely heavy FUCKING metal. Pretty worthwhile release, when all is said and done. For all I know they're still $3.50 on eBay!