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Kublai Khan... a band hardly anyone has heard off and a band I'm pretty sure nobody cares about. I found out about this band from an Englishman thrasher friend of mine. I found the name, Kublai Khan, to be pretty damn unique. Seriously, what kind of a band would name themselves after a Mongolian ruler? So, I decided to check these guys out. I quickly find out that Greg Handevidt was in Megadeth for a few months. I hate Megadeth (I can feel a moderator removing all my points as I write this haha) so I immediately thought this album would suck. But hey, I'm open minded so I gave it a shot and fell in love with it.
Death Breath is the opener with a nice cheesy song title. It's a fast thrasher with a sing along chorus and killer solos. Mongrel Horde follows the same formula and is an awesome song as well. Down To The Inferno is the only boring track on this album. It's a mid-tempo tune with few riffs that all sound too similar to each other. If the song was faster and the riffs had more variety, then it'd be a different story. Liar's Dice is more of a speed metal tune. It's fast and it kicks ass. Passing Away/Kublai Khan is the highlight here. It's a speed/thrash metal onslaught filled with killer solos and killer riffs. 2:30 into the song is a short acoustic break... seconds later... THRASH!!! 3:40 in comes a drum break followed by a bass break and then back to the fucking thrash! The song continues thrashing on until the end. Clash of the Swords is a 3 minute instrumental. It's decent but nothing special. It would've been better with vocals. Battle Hymn (The Centurion) ends this album following the formula of the first two songs and yes this track kicks ass as well.
This is a very good speed/thrash metal album. However, it has its negatives. The production is bad. The guitars are raw and flat sounding. They're also low in the mix. The drums are loud in the mix which makes the guitar harder to hear. Aside from the poor production, the only other fault with this album is Down To The Inferno. If you can get past the bad production and one mediocre song, then you will find this to be one very enjoyable speed/thrash album willed with great riffs and fantastic solos...