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In the late 80's there was a record. A record that defied the laws of physics and was, for a fact as stated by many famous physicists, heavier than lead and faster than a speeding bullet. This record was known as Spectrum of Death. Released by Shaboygan(ian?) band Morbid Saint in the venerable year of 1988, we are greeted instantly with the full force and fury of "Lock Up Your Children".
From the start, you will notice that this album doesn't have a very varied train of thought. It's plan of attack is "kill, kill, kill" and rarely ever strays from this. Even the production is its own one-minded beast. Anyways, the first song on the record is surely one of the best here, if not one of the best thrash songs ever written.
Vocalist Pat Lind is definitely the first thing you will notice on this record. Even though the many other reviewers for this album refute the similarity between his vocals and Mille Petrozza's of Kreator, it is obvious that the only difference is reverb drenching and a tad more growl in Pat's hellish voice. In fact, the whole band itself seem to take influence from Kreator, and teutonic thrash in general. That's where the name of this title comes from, for the semi-curious.
Now, onto the album.
The guitars, easily the most prominent of instruments here, are astounding in their reverb-y and chuggingly heavy glory. The fret-wizardry of Jim Visser and Jim Fergades permeates throughout this record, and it is more than a good thing. They weave tales of vicious ferocity that would cave even the strongest man's head in. Pretension aside, the guitars are pretty cool. The bass is fairly obvious to my obviuosly expert ear, but it isn't too interesting beyond being a root-noter.
The drums are...just...wow. When I first heard this album, the slightly weak keeping-in-time abilities of the drummer made me a little worried, but it must have been the first-time-in-studio jitters. He is just pure aggression, which is the primary focus of this album, as I've said at least five times earlier.
The songwriting is perfectly concise, shifting between the thrash monster of the opening track, to the grudgingly heavy cut "Assassin" we are treated to a purely maniacal songwriting genius, most likely coming from the guitarists and vocalist. The greatest thrash chorus, and overall song in general, comes in the form of the first track and just simply astounds me every listen. The almost liquid transition is just thrash gold.
HEAVY. Meaty. Grinding. These are the words that come to mind when you say "production" with Morbid Saint in mind. The guitar tone is set in stone and never releases your throat as it pummels you deeper and deeper into the album with the finishing blow of "Beyond the Gates of Hell". The drums are slightly high in the mix, with the classic snare sound of the late 80's being very prominent. The bass is, for lack of a better phrase, invisible behind he guitars. The most prominent thign here are the vocals, fantastically done by Mr. Lind, of course.
So, to conclude this whole...thing, Morbid Saint revolutionized the thrashing wheel with this slab of evil, grindy, thrashing metal. For fans of early Kreator, Sodom, and serious/evil thrash or black metal in general.