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A true thrashterpiece - 98%

Alaphlosiam, May 31st, 2010

(Disclaimer: "Thrashterpiece" isn't my word. Credit goes to Revocation for that. Please don't sue me. I like my house.)

I don't even know where to start with this band. This album is simply amazing in every way. This is easily one of THE best thrash revival bands/albums out there. It's fun, it's thrashy, it's catchy, it's technical.

Um, I suppose I'll start with the guitar. The tone is, in my opinion, just right for thrash. It doesn't have the razor shredding tone of black or death metal, isn't severely downtuned like deathcore, isn't overdone like Swedeath, and so on. It hits just the right combination of heavy and melodic, allowing for optimal headbanging at great parts (of which there are many), and equal amounts of soft parts to simply reflect on. The guitarist is very skilled and is rather technical. The riffs are all very fun and catchy, but not in a zany, annoying way, like most of the retro-thrash bands that simply rip off of Exodus' stuff are (“Dude, we're totally about beer, pizza, and zombies, mannn!”). Next, the solos are out of this world. They're highly technical and entirely memorable. Sometimes he does just abuse the whammy, but it always leads into a sick shred.

The bass tone is also perfect. It's audible – completely so, despite what, ahem, some people may say – but not to an annoying extent. It's not an annoying “BRRRRRRMMMM” kind of tone, but it's also not too twangy. It hits the perfect middle ground and compliments the guitar riffs well, sometimes introducing riffs of its own instead of simply following the guitar.

The drummer is, from what I can tell, nothing extraordinary, but he doesn't have to be. This isn't brutal death metal where the drummer has to be churning out blazingly fast and complicated drum beats constantly. This isn't black metal, where blast beats are pinnacle to the music (generically, that is). This is THRASH METAL. This is metal that's all about being fun, having a good time, and just listening to music that you love. The drummer plays pretty simple and generic, yes, but it fits the music perfectly. When the guitarist is getting ready to speed up to a solo, the drummer's already setting the pace. When the song slows down to a more melodic pace, the drummer's already accommodated. Don't let the simplicity fool you: He knows very well what he's doing.

And now, my absolute favorite part of this album (and, hell, this band): the vocals. Alex Citrone and Sam Nevin together have quite a range of vocals (however, as I don't know who does what vocals, I'll generalize with “he”). He mainly uses a kind of punky form of clean singing – think Death Angel meets Bonded by Blood. He knows how to make catchy vocal lines, and he makes sure you know that too. The best example of this is “Lobotomized”, where I was hooked from the first listen. On top of these clean vocals, he utilizes a kind of throaty falsetto, which is nothing special and adds nothing to the music, but it doesn't take anything away either – in fact, it's rather humorous. He also uses a raspy, mid-to-high ranged growl, though a lot less than I'd like him to use it. I like his growl a lot, and it fits every song he uses it in (“Slave to the Maze”, “Slaughterotica” and maybe some others, but these are the ones that stuck out the most). Finally, he also uses a strange deep voice, though only twice: once in “Lobotomized” and once in “Slave to the Maze”. This deeper voice is rather like something you'd hear in hardcore punk, but he's not just shouting his throat out; he's still singing. In fact, in “Slave to the Maze”, he's borderline rapping, but somehow he just doesn't come across as exceedingly homosexual like nu-metal bands do.

There are, of course, also gang shouts. They can be rather thin sounding at points, but they don't take away from the music. Not counting the falsetto scream at the end of the amazing and otherwise instrumental “Dawn of the Shred”, the first vocals you're given a taste of are gang shouts in “Annihilator”. This threw me for a spin at first, because, well, I've never heard an album that's done that before.

Now, I realize I haven't touched on that many specific songs, other than for examples. The reason for this is, 1) nobody likes song-by-song reviews (except me; I like them), and 2) I would prefer that people also judge this album with their own opinions. Yes, I've masturbated over this band throughout this review, but don't just take my word for it: Go look up this album. Download it, buy it, whatever, but check this out. It's worth your time, and you will not regret it. Even my retro-thrash hating friend said the one song I sent him wasn't bad at all.

Despite what I just said, I'll list the standout tracks:
Dawn of the Shred
Annihilator
Slaughterotica
Desperado
Bleed on Command
Lobotomized
Dipsomaniac
Slave to the Maze

You're damn right, I just named every song on the album.