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Oh, how cliché to make a review with lyrics from one of the tracks of the album as a title! Well...I can't be more specific about the album than quoting these lyrics (from 'Face The Pain', one of the songs that fits those lyrics best). Speed Kill Hate, the other band of OverKill-guitarist Dave Linsk, have delivered us a Thrash product which is a serious kick under the ass of everyone who listens to the album. While the sampler CD 'Spread The Hate' was one of the most ass-kicking previews ever, 'Acts Of Insanity' is really beyond belief!
For those who don't know Speed Kill Hate's history: Dave Linsk started jamming some songs he wrote, but OverKill didn't use, with drummer Tim Mallare. The bassist was soon found in another fellow OverKill-member, being guitarist Derek Tailer. Singer of the band also became someone Linsk knew from his past; Mario, who used to sing in one of Linsk's previous bands, Anger On Anger.
What the band delivers is fast, heavy, adrenaline-rising, pissed off Thrash Metal. The riffs sometimes are remniscent of OverKill's 'Bloodletting'-album (2000), but these riffs are even more aggressive. Mario is of course no Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth, but his extremely pissed off grunts are probably the most versatile I've ever heard. All throughout the album he shouts, screams, grunts and curses all his hate towards the listener. I'm usually not too fond of the ultra-heavy stuff, but what Speed Kill Hate does is different. Never ever have I heard an album with such a perfect combination of sheer fucking brutality and variation. The band makes the ultra-brutal compositions interesting with tempo changes, interesting breaks, awesome solos and amazing rhythms. I can't help to think that this is the music that the band members WANT to make. Linsk does these songs even better than his songs with OverKill and Tim Mallare really outdid himself on this album.
I would like to start out my more detailed song information with the three songs that were on the sampler. I don't exactly know if the songs are re-recorded or just remixed, but in this outfit, the songs sound even more brutal and impressive than in their original form. I do know that Dave Linsk re-recorded his solos on the songs and they improved! As well as the sampler, the album starts out with 'Walls Of Hate', except that it doesn't have that slower intro it has on the sampler. A wall of guitar sound comes ripping at you and that results in one of the most ass-kicking Thrashers I've ever heard. This version sounds a little more to-the-point and so much heavier than on the sampler, thus it's better! The differences in 'Won't See Fear' (the third and last track on the sampler, the fifth on the album) are a little harder to hear. A better solo and a more abrupt ending are all I can hear and I can't say I disagree with the band. Why change something which is already great? The remaining song from the sampler, 'Repent' (the second track on the sampler), became the closer of this album. I hear some differences in the guitar work and of course the song became a little heavier. There's also a really short outro stuck to the song (it's over before you even know it started!), but furthermore, all aspects of the song remain the song and they were good anyway, so you won't hear me complain.
The list of other songs starts off with a track called 'Setting Me Off' and man...Mario must have been seriously pissed off when he sang this song! This is the ideal song if you're pissed off at anyone yourself or if anything goes wrong in life. This song is also the perfect example of a very unaccessible song; it already starts off heavy and brutal, but when the song speeds up after a minute, the song really gets brutal. The slower outro to the song illustrates perfectly what I mean with the perfect combination of brutality and variation. It keeps the songs interesting! The solo to this song is one of the best Linsk has ever recorded.
Even though I hate mosh pits, 'Violence Breeds' almost has the effect of making me want to be in one and I think that is exactly what the lyrics want you to do. The lyrics are violent, the music is violent...Pretty cool to hear the use of tempo and rhythm changes in the verses...so many that it's a rarity! A real song for tough guys, just listen to the chorus ("HEY! ARE YOU READY!") and you'll know what I mean with that.
A real fat and dirty bass sound underneath some powerful guitar chords lead us into 'Enemy' (listed as 'Face The Enemy' in the booklet), another incredibly brutal, yet varying song. This song is another perfect example of how many sides Mario's grunt can have. Some guitar riffs in this song really have a dangerous atmosphere!
After 'Won't See Fear' we get treated with one of the fastest, no-compromise, brutal and mind-blowing Thrash songs ever written. 'Face The Pain' makes Slayer feel like Glam Rock pussies and there is no hyperbole in that! After a dangerous sounding intro, the main riff of the song starts and man...I have never been so glad with a headache! Tim Mallare shows what he can do on the bass drums in this song and I still have a hard time believing it! Seriously, the true Thrashers among you would even be blown away by 'Face The Pain'. Thrash Metal in capitals!
'Revelation At War' has a brilliant intro, which almost sounds like a battle of guitar and bass (we haven't got a winner yet!). A lot of variation in this song and that is best portrayed in the unsuspected twists in the verses. I also love the way Tim Mallare switches between normal, half-time and double-time rhythms. This song is a perfect example of Tim Mallare's versatility as a drummer anyway. Two thumbs up! Would have been more if I had more thumbs.
Angry, brutal, evil and interesting rhythms...those are the words that will describe 'Not For Me'. And slightly catchy too; the lines "it's your own decision to live your life with moderation" won't get out of your head after hearing this song, I guarantee that! Other than that, this is another song which portrays the true qualities of Tim Mallare completely.
After the album ends with 'Repent', you really get the idea that something special just went through your ears, while they are still bleeding. I really think this album is something special. Part of that is the perfect produtction of mr. Dave Linsk himself, he simply has put every detail that there is on the album, from every part Mario has sung to the fat, dirty and awesome bass sound that fits Derek Tailer so well. And his own guitar work of course, but Linsk is not so selfish that he lets the other instruments suffer from that. And why should he? He created something great here!
I certainly hope we are going to hear more from Speed Kill Hate in the future. If everything is going to be as good as what the band delivers on 'Acts Of Insanity', we have nothing to fear. And of course it will be: you won't see fear in us!