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Formed in late 2006, the German thrash band Pessimist established the ability to perform spirited old-school German-styled thrash and shows plenty of signs of becoming one to watch in the future with an immensely enjoyable and polished effort from a band this young. Following several quickly-released demos and an EP, the prepares this debut full-length independently March 27, 2010 with CD reissue December 10, 2010 on Firefield Records and a new reissue September 23, 2016 from MDD Records.
For the most part, this is a pretty impressive debut from a band that’s a lot better than it should to be this devastating and destructive this early in their career. A running feature throughout the album is the absolutely devastating guitar riffs employed here, which are tinged with that dirty, grimy sound that signals prime 80s-era German thrash to the fullest in the heavy, crunchy flavor. Filled with a destructive attitude, the riffing onslaught on display is a true assault managing to stuff the songs with an impressive array of riffs that are downright memorable as well as being virtuosic solo displays. Complete with thunderous double-bass drumming and a groovy, slinky set of bass-lines this here is some primo thrash that’s far better than expected to come from a band this early in the game. Now, stylistically, the second half here isn’t all that much different from the first half and features a majority of the same features, but there’s a minor flaw that does erupt from this set-up. The biggest difference in the two halves is the quality of the songwriting, with a clear and discernible ability to tell that the better songs are placed up at the top of the album while the weaker and clearly-less-interesting efforts are on the back half. Most of this is due to the songwriting rather than the performances, as the songs in and of themselves lack the spark of their preceding songs, coming off more like rehashes rather than being individual, unique tracks as the repetitive nature of the songs becomes apparent. This is certainly not a true flaw in the album, as the tracks can be enjoyable for some, but the somewhat subpar writing is apparent and drags it down rather than any sort of issue within the record. Still, it’s really the only thing really wrong with this one.
While the second half here is of somewhat lesser quality than the first in the songwriting department that leaves them without the bite of the top half, sonically this is purely enjoyable and competent thrash that follows along the German template quite accurately and is heartily recommended to aficionados of German thrash or just plain pure thrash fans in general.
I almost feel ashamed that this is the first review for this. How the fuck did we manage to pass by such a violent release? This probably could be the best thrash album of 2009, along with Kreator's "Hordes of Chaos" and Paradox's "Riot Squad". No wonder why germans are in the top list of every year's rank for metal.
This sole album is what war-thrash should sound like: aggressive, raw and like it was forged in Hell itself. It all starts with "Trommelfeuer", a mid-paced tune with repetitive, yet entertaining riffing all around. Oh, and the mid part.. The solo and the war siren in the mid part might be better than everything that was written that year. Well, ok... Probably not. But it's amazing. One of the highlights, by no doubts.
After you've been shot repeatedly with an AK-47 in the first cut, this teutonic monsters take you again with "The Massacre of Nanking", a slightly slower tune, but again repeating the destructive manners of the first one. Again the soloing here is eargasmic. These guys really know how to play. And I mean THEY REALLY DO.
But what they do after you've been contaminated with these two amazing tracks? Do they slow the pace? Fuck no! They give you yet another massive destruction weapon with "Infernal Death", a fast-as-hell song with a growling pretty much bordering with death metal. In fact, one of the highlights on the whole album is Schweitzer's voice, but we'll get to that later.
The next song on the track list couldn't be more accurately named: "Prelude (Arm for War)", and it's exactly what it is. An acoustic instrumental, calming things down a bit and giving you the chance of taking back your air. It is only there to prepare you for another of the highlights, the title track. However, the song that might be the shiny armored on this one is "It's Time to Fuck (with Hate)". Holy shit! It's not just the sexy moaning on the beginning, or the savage drum work, or the piercing riffing, or the amazing classic rock interlude at the half. It's everything, united in one almost five minute package, pretty much like a grenade ready to explode.
From here, the quality descends just a tiny bit, becoming slightly repetitive on "Death by Torture" and on the epic instrumental "Another Day in Mania", but nevertheless, these two being amazing tracks.
As mentioned before, this album takes a golden star on the lead vocals. They're full of anger and wrath. Schweitzer's voice sounds a little bit like Petroza's own but thicker, darker if you might. The lyrics, as if it's not obvious yet, are all about war, death and such. Pretty much what Sodom's "M-16" did 8 years before, but not focusing on a particular event. The production, as well, is clean and polished. But in a good way: all the instruments are in there, and are audible (the bass work in some tracks is just incredible), but it doesn't sound artificial or canned like some new retro thrash acts out there.
I have to repeat me again in here: this is one the best thrash albums of 2009. It's fresh, but has enough to remind the good old days. It has melody, but it's violent enough to rip your eyeballs out with it's bare hand. It's definitely a must get it.
The only thing that I don't get is the "hidden track" at about 14:30 on the last cut: an 8-bit tune of "Infernal Death". This is supposed to be on YouTube, for amusement of fans, but... What the hell! It makes a wicked ringtone so, granted.
If you could get your hands on this, don't ever let it go. It's amazing thrash, done properly. Hopefully, these guys are going to pick up their guns, still blazing, and shoot all around just for the fun again with a second work. And, believe me, I'll be the first in line for the slaughter.