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PUNK METAL ASSAULT - 90%

cultfanzine, October 18th, 2008

Since I've been a fan of this band since before the Critical Mass demo days (going back to the splits with Oprichniki and Hellacaust), and obtained my copies of Evil Never Dies directly from Joel Grind when they came out, I was worried that the transition to Relapse Records would spoil the band.

I was pleasantly greeted, however, upon listening to this new record, with the same evil stuff that I was hooked by on the previous albums and demos. While not as devastating as Evil Never Dies (I don't think that album can be topped), the album is nonetheless equal to Hell on Earth in every respect, and has avoided the "third album woes" that plague so many bands. A little more variation in the style of riffs and some more fills in the drumming department were a welcome step as well. Thrash fiends the world over would do well to pick this up.

I know a lot of us have harbored ill will towards the Relapse camp for different reasons over the years, but it's obvious that they let Joel do his thing. Most of the riffs on the record are infectious, and the drums are hell-fueled, d-beating insanity as usual. The sound, while clear, is not the overly digital, cleanly produced garbage we've all become so familiar with over the past decade from the big labels - that's a huge plus.

The weirdest thing about this album: I bought it at the local Best Buy instead of online or from a distro. That's a really weird feeling, but a hell of a convenience.

I give a 90 rating based on my preference for past albums, but am ranking this high since it is more of the same high-quality punk thrash that I love so much from this band!