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Most probably due to my simple mind, I appreciate music which is simple, but not primitive. It should be reasonably catchy without keeping a close eye on commercial success. Last but not least, of course, a harsh musical approach is welcome, but this is no end in itself.
Piledriver´s second and - I shed a tear - last speed / thrash metal attack meets the listed prerequisites in a striking manner. Those of you who prefer filigree guitars and complicated song structures will not find their fulfilment when listening to this vinyl. Of course, the same goes for posers of any kind. This might be the reason why Piledriver chose the suitable title "Stay Ugly", not "Stay Progressive", "Stay Cute" or something like that. In any case, the band did not have the intention to perform extraordinary tricks. In addition, the production failed to impress sustainably. Be that as it may, the musicians presented seven no-frills tunes. All of them reached a more than solid level.
The most outstanding features of the speedy songs are the highly memorable choruses and the effective riffs. "Incubus" hits the nail on the head. It marks a very good opener due to its fast tempo and the perfectly flowing guitar lines. The other tunes of the A side also show no sign of weakness. But the real killer tracks are gathered on the B side. Of course, I am not speaking about its nonsensical intro. It is, however, a fact that the remaining tracks are doubtlessly earworms. Even after all these years since I bought the album, I was never able to forget their choruses and I did not get the main riffs out of my (simple) mind. For example, the opening riff of "Lord of Abomination" sounds as fascinating as the insistent ending of "Flowers of Evil". And that´s not all: the last track of the full-length can be seen as its most shining jewel. "The Executioner" begins with a very catchy riffing which is combined with a spoken word intro. The song turns rapidly to a genuine speed metal grenade, although a slower passage is well integrated, too. Finally, the short radio play-like sequence constitutes an original conclusion of the song and the entire album as well. It is therefore the only pity that the mentioned executioner also murdered the band.
From my point of view, Piledriver´s albums have definitely reached cult status. The band did not deliver the most phenomenal solos or a very imposing vocal performance on the here presented full-length. And it was too bad that they did not care about the brief playtime of less than 30 minutes. But the Canadians had charisma. They did not take themselves too seriously and they were unswervingly following a clearly defined musical direction. In view of the small number of reviews on this side, the album seems to be at risk to fall in oblivion. This would be highly regrettable. Only the (probably justified) tortured poser and his deranged brothers in spirit would welcome this annoying development.
This album is a classic to me, since I first heard it when I was 5 years old, when I accidentally found one of my dad’s cassettes, which included this one and Anthrax’s Among the living, which also is a great album by the way. I bought it again recently, almost 11 years later, and it’s still kick ass.
I’m actually quite surprised that no one have written a review for this, because I think this album is a lot better than “Metal inquisition”.
The production is quite raw, but that doesn’t matter, actually. It’s just adding to the somewhat creepy and evil atmosphere. The only thing which is a downside is the drums, which is very week. PileDriver’s vocals are quite harsh, and he has an impressive range too.
The music present here are thrash with lots of power metal influences, with lyrics dealing with Satan, sex, evil and other pretty normal subjects in metal lyrics.
We have several great songs here. Lord of abominations, Flowers of evil, The executioner, Metal Death racer, and my all time favourite, The incubus! This song begins with some thunder and rain, and rages on with several cool rifs along it’s way, espesually the chorus. The end of the song is maybe the part I like the most, even though I can’t quite understand what it’s supposed to mean. First, you hear a woman screaming, and then a baby screaming. The scream of the baby is changing more and more into a type of demonic scream, and finally the normal baby screams is drowned by the demonic one. The first time I heard it, when I was a 5 year old brat, I thought it was quite scary, but I just wanted to hear it again and again. Another great song is metal death racer, which also have a very catchy chorus. Hell, almost every song on this goddamn album has a great chorus.
Highlights: Chaos, Metal Death racer, Lord of abominations, Flowers of evil, The executioner, and of course, The incubus!