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If you don't own this album, yet you still call yourself a thrasher, then hang up your leather and burn your Testament records because this is the album that separates the men from the boys. Every time I hear a modern band of wimps calling their music thrash I always turn to Spectrum Of Death. Every time I see posers acting like they know what's what, I always turn to Spectrum Of Death. Why?
I will tell you why.
This album...this fucking album, is a classic piece of extreme thrash metal. Think about that for a second. What other albums do we give the 'classic' title? Reign In Blood, Darkness Descends, Pleasure To Kill to name a few. Well let me tell you now, I am putting Morbid Saint's 1988 debut album; Spectrum Of Death, amongst those masterpieces of metal.
The first thing that will probably hit the casual listener, is the production. Its harsh, raw and piercing. For us serious thrashers, low grade production is something we have come to love. It acts as a deterrent to those who like the kind of metal that is too clean for filthy production and also means that there is no way that the band will be trying for a hit with production so low key, therefore, it must be coming from the heart. Unless of course the production is actually terrible. Luckily this isn't.
Eric “Griffy” Greif's production job is absolutely perfect for this band.
I love every aspect of the sonics of this album. From the razor wire guitars of Jay Visser and Jim Fergades, the cement mixer bass grumblings of Mike Chappa, Lee Reynolds terrifying, pulsing drums to the unique and throat shredding vocals of Pat Lind, its just pure brilliance.
Each song is amazing. There is not one section of this album that I would skip, the classic opener, Lock Up Your Children is the only way to be thrown into this pit of raging metal, headfirst. Every track, from the brutal beginning to the final death throws of Beyond The Gates Of Hell will leave your jaw hanging with shock upon your first listen and your head banging by the second and every other listen after that. Only during the 40 second instrumental title track; Spectrum Of Death are you allowed to rest. After that, the pain continues.
There is no point going into a track by track review, as every track is a killer dose of lethal thrash. Each track features riffs by the bucket load, electro-shock guitar solos and lead breaks that will send shivers down you ruined spine. Drums and bass so heavy that you cannot help but be floored with the raw power. And vocals so awesome that any hope of mercy will fade to nothingness. The almost inaudible lyrics are also fantastic, go and learn all of them and you will find out what Morbid Saint are all about. Its a sick place, let me tell you.
There is also another reason for me not giving you a track by track review. That is because of one track that puts all others (not just on this album but in the entire metal genre) to shame, and that's saying something with an album of this quality. This track is so brutal, epic, technical, heavy, fast and memorable, that I will dedicate a small paragraph to it.
Assassin. Put it on now and turn it up...loud. Go on, do it. This is a seven minute slab of absolute metal heroics. There are hardly many songs out there that can stand up to this monster. The whole song is a highlight, its almost an album in itself. A classic album at that. Which riff is better? The intro riff? The one at 1:12 or the one at 1:52? (Check that drum change!). What about the double bangers at 3:43 and 4:29? Lets not forget my personal favorite, the total stomper at 5:52 with the rapid fire vocals? Each of those riffs could be songs in themselves, they are that good. This song will assassinate you, no pun intended. Its one of the best songs ever written. Seriously.
Anyway, I have reviewed this album as best I could, its been hard because its so good that I cannot praise it enough. The rest is up to you, listen to it if you already have it or hunt it down if your pathetic life has not yet been blessed by Morbid Saint. They have a Myspace now so go check that out as soon as you can.
Spectrum Of Death - one of the most underrated and brilliant albums ever written. Now onto Destruction System. It's almost as good...