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When I think of reviewing a metal album of any kind, I think of pressing the "Random Band" button that you'll probably see on the left of your screen. Eventually it sent me to Send More Paramedics, some random thrash metal band I've never heard of. Well, I'd seen some other reviews for it and guessed it was a 'lil popular, therefore I looked up one of their albums, The Awakening.
Before I get on with this review, let me say I rarely EVER listen to thrash metal (as a matter of fact, this might be the first album of thrash I've heard), so this will probably make me sound retarded one way or another. I expected shitty screaming death metal-sounding voices and barely tolerable instrument-raping, but when I heard it (Grooveshark is your friend), I quickly began to doubt my expectations.
Let's start with the basics, how the music SOUNDS. Every song is about 1-2 minutes long (only four out of the fifteen songs cross the 3-minute marker). Honestly, sometimes the songs sound more power metal than thrash, but usually keep its thrashy-crazy style. Most of the songs explode with quick drum-beats and professional guitar playing. Everything is pretty solid and great to listen to for the most part.
Flaws are existent and unfortunately they love to creep their way into most of the vocals. I'm not questioning "B'Hellmouth's" ability to sing, as most of the time the vocals are fantastic, but I only said "most". All other times, more specifically the screaming parts, he sounds like he's gargling petroleum and filled with acid. These parts kind of kill the listening experience and make you want to stop hearing the screamy garbage, but all in all the vocals could be better, but don't have to be to like 'em.
All of the songs sound the same, but still have a good sense of variety in them. My favourite track on the album would have to be "This Crowd is Crushing Me". It starts off with an insane guitar solo that even Steve Vai would have trouble pulling off, then starts sounding like a fucking awesome episode of Metalocalypse. Around the middle of the song it starts to sound like part of the soundtrack of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, so in other words, awesome.
My main problem with the album is not the vocals themselves, but the lyrics. They just sound too... honestly, I can barely understand what's being said 99% of the time, but looking about the lyrics, they just sound so... zombified. Yes, yes, yes, I know, that's what they were aiming for, but still. They could have added a little more brutality in them that DIDN'T relate to zombies, but zombies are pretty cool, so I can't really complain too much. I mean, I like zombie movies and zombie games, but a zombie album? Not exactly my thing.
To wrap this review up, I can easily say this is an fun little album that any thrash metal, headbanging addict will jizz over by just hearing the opening track. But still, there are problems, and sometimes you won't notice them and shrug this album off as an awesome one, but if you really try to hear them, you will. Still, what with its flaws that don't cause a shit-ton of issues, this album is one that I can strongly recommend to any thrash fan or undead enthusiast.
Stay safe and non-zombified people, I'm out.