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Whiplash is one of those cult thrash bands that probably receive more praise now in these days of thrash revival than they did back in their heyday. Which is a shame actually, because they produced some fine quality thrash metal back in the days. But then again, better late than never! Their sinister debut "Power and pain" from 1985 is quite an underrated thrash gem that certainly deserves to be mentioned alongside the early works of bands such as Kreator, Exodus and Destruction. The band peaked in 1990 with their more refined and polished "Insult to injury" album, but 1990 was perhaps a tad too late and the whole thrash metal scene was crumbling down giving place to death metal and grunge.
"Unborn again", the bands first effort since 1998, is of course an anticipated release among the thrash metal aficionado, but can it really stand up against the bands classic albums? After giving it quite a few spins I could say the answer is both yes and no! The album grows on you, that's for sure. They have proved their capabilities as song writers in the past, and they still got the magic touch. There are quite a few good songs, cool riffs and excellent melodies. The main problem for me is that they perhaps don't really thrash that much anymore, which is kind of a surprise considering the revival of the scene in recent years. The album has more in common with eighties speed metal in the vein of Liege Lord, Sanctuary and Exciter than pure thrash. Not to say that the album completely lacks thrashing riffs, there are a few, but perhaps too few to satisfy the most die hard fans of the scene. Tracks like "Swallow the slaughter", "Float face down", "Hook in mouth" and "Feeding frenzy" are still so good and accomplished that it would be a shame if you let this album slip through your filter without giving it a proper chance. "Unborn again" might not be regarded as a bonafide classic in twenty years or so, but it's still a damn good metal album that deserves your attention.