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"Blue Blood" is often seen as one of the best and most consistent records of the eccentric, artistic and unique Japanese metal band X but I can't quite agree on that. Normally I like diversified and courageous records but this is an example for overwhelming creativity where a band put many old and new songs almost randomly together on a well filled full length release. This record delivers diversified instrumental tracks with sudden changes as "Xclamation", melodic speed metal killers like the title track "Blue Blood" and overlong hard rock ballads in the key of Guns 'N Roses, Scorpions or Poison such as "Endless Rain". A few new versions of tracks that have already been included on the first full length release such as a more developed version of the power ballads "Kurenai" and "Unfinished" help to create a high amount of confusion. Who put this together? We can’t even talk about a regular album as this record has a weird compilation feeling and nothing quite fits together. Japanese have a completely different open minded culture than we as Europeans or North Americans have and this weird potpourri marked the definite breakthrough of the most important Japanese metal band next to Loudness. There is a lot of soft rock cheese and pop sugar next to the initial metal elements within this poser record but it's nevertheless somewhat sympathetic.
There are many great tracks on the album without a doubt. Open minded speed metal fans will adore the straight opener "Blue Blood" after a short overture or the fast paced "Orgasm". Romantic hard rock posers will have wet dreams by listening to the emotional tearjerker "Endless Rain" or the new version of the strangely titled album closer "Unfinished". Catchy hard rock and commercially orientated heavy metal tracks like "Weekend" or "Celebration" could though even have played on Western radio stations back in the days even though singer Toshi has a very strong but charismatic accent. Next to short instrumental interludes such as "World Anthem", there are also epic twelve minute long hard rock anthems like the beautiful and romantic "Rose Of Pain". I'm pretty sure that any fan of any kind of rock music might find something appealing and addicting on this record but it's quite impossible to like several styles on the album or the entire record that requests a lot of open minded attention, time and patience. I have the feeling that the success of this record is based on the fact that it attracts a larger public and especially people who aren't normally listening to heavy metal music. While the band's first effort "Vanishing Vision" attracted a heavy, speed and thrash metal crowd, this second full length output also wants to please to young and beautiful women that listen to radio rock. This means a lot of groupies, a bigger fan basis and the creation of the foundations of the growing X Japan madness that somebody outside of Japan can't really understand. The reactions of the fans when the band decided to split or when guitar player hide died in strange circumstances and was buried next to a Buddhist temple not even a decade later are comparable to the crowd of young women of the Western civilization in front of The Beatles back in the days. X Japan are a phenomenon and their success is not only based on their eccentric and diversified music but on their fashion style, their pompous concerts and their charming and fresh attitude. These things are all reasons why this band got so big in Japan even though "Blue Blood" is such a strange if very interesting record.
That's why this record is undeniably a piece of Japanese culture and has way more than just a purely musical interest for me. It's not easy to get an approach to this diversified record but if you try it helps you understand the Japanese way of life. This is a better choice than any documentary movie, anime series or history lesson. This album is Japan and while it has things in common with Western bands, it's so unique that you can't just admire and analyze but not entirely feel it as the Japanese did when this record got its heroic breakthrough. A part of that, you have a potpourri of addicting styles and many catchy and solid tracks with solid instrumental performances and charismatic if unusual vocals. I really like this album but I'm simply not always in the mood to listen to it and that's why I can't talk about a consistent masterpiece. There are way too many unique but nevertheless strange flaws on this album that keep me from giving this an as fairly good note as I gave to the band's first strike "Vanishing Vision". But I must underline the unique state of art of this record that any fan of rock or metal music should give a fair try if he or she cares a little bit for foreign cultures. What a strange piece of music: you can't simply read about it, you should listen to it right now to understand!
Just a year after the full-on speed onslaught of Vanishing Vision, X Japan released Blue Blood, their breakthrough album. FInally signed by a major label and recieving mainstream success, X Japan were focused to make an album that lived up to their debut while avoiding the all-too-often occuring "signing slump;" and for the most part, they triumphantly succeed. Blue Blood is the band's first attempt at creating an amalgam of styles, and although it's not their best, there are certainly far more hits than misses. We get the speed style portrayed on Vanishing Vision, some glorious ballads, progressive epics, and even a couple top-notch glam tunes (yes, you heard me right.) Basically, if you like 80's metal of any sort, there's something here for you.
First of all, production values have immensely changed. Gone is the raw, noisy tin of the debut, replaced by a clearer dry sound. I can't say this is much of an improvement, however; it makes the heavier songs sound a bit too forceless, and it certainly doesn't do any favors for the vocals. Toshi sounds a bit more strained here. I think it's because he's still trying to do the Kai Hansen-esque vocal style of the original (which worked for that album's style and production) when he should be opting for something a little cleaner. Hide's virtuoso playing seems to have been back, as well. All in all, neither matter too much. One thing that's unrestrained is the insane bass playing; Taiji's off the wall, technical insanity remains unhampered.
There are too many songs to cover them all, so I'm ony covering highlights. That's another thing: the 65 minute runtime will either excite you or test your patience. Probably the most significant factor of Blue Blood is that we get X Japan's first true ballads. "Endless Rain" is a superb act of beauty that showcases Toshi's finest singing of the album and another brilliant, emotional chorus. Finally we get some hints of the majesty to come on Dahlia. A reworking (or rather, lengthening) of Vanishing Love's "Unfinished." This is another highlight, complete with really catchy lyrics. It's just a great way to conclude the album.
"Oh! I'm looking at you
Can't control myself
Nothing, but pain for me
Wipe your tears from your eyes
Just leave and forget me
No need to be hurt anymore"
On the heavier front, we get a few excellent songs. The title track is a speed metal romp that blows the doors wide open, and Hide's charging rythms lead the way. "Orgasm" is short but sweet, representing both the album's heaviest and most energetic display. This is the piece most similar to Vanishing Vision, which makes sense considering that the song had been in the band's back catalogue since at least the mid 80's. "Rose of Pain" is an eleven minute epic that switches from lighter elements to a thundering power anthem. It fails to hold my intersest all the way through, leading me to believe it could have been cut by at least 2-3 minutes. "X" is a kickass song, and "Xclamation" has an atmosphere full of wonder. Thankfully the glam elements are held to a minimum, which makes them not only bearable, but enjoyable, too. "Easy Fight Rambling" is the best of these songs, leaving just enough of that distinctive X flavor in for our pleasure. Interestingly enough, my favorite on ther album is a track that mixes both the heavy and commercial aspects of the band: "Week End," an opus of great rhythms and, of course, another astounding chorus that'll find a home in your head for days.
There's certainly a lot of charm to X Japan's sound, and the most diverse panorama of that charm can be found in Blue Blood. I'd recommend the most first timers to either this release or Vanishing Vision, as they are more accessable to metal fans than the albums to come. It's neither their best or their most consistent, but if you've yet to start, you should probably start fom here. As always, it's highly recommended to fans of X Japan. This band really never does wrong. Even Jealousy has strong merits, despite taking a few ideas found here a bit too far; the party ain't over yet.
X Japan has been a curious entity in metal world. While their work has been great, it just does not come anywhere in achieving perfection. In every album, some so shitty mistakes are found around so brilliantly constructed music that you begin to wonder if the band was in its senses while writing the faulty parts. Anyways Blue Blood, their second record, which was incidentally also their breakthrough album, is their most consistent and also their best. The songwriting is more developed as compared to their speed metal debut.
Individual performances of the guitarists and the drummer are just fantastic. The main highlight is the Tipton-Downing guitar work, which is totally amazing. The drum work of Yoshiki is also great and technical. He is also the pianist and the piano work is also quite good. The vocals are not that good especially due to the Japanese accent and also due to the fact that Toshi lacks range and so the vocals sound totally powerless like female pop vocalist. Anyway they are an acquired taste. Also the style of the vocals adds a romantic feel to the songs. The production is not bad, just average, a step up from their debut.
The sound of the album can be best described as Helloween Keeper of the Seven Keys in Japanese and a much more romantic edge. The highlights include the title track which is pure speed metal with amazing riffs and superb solos. The oddly titled X falls into similar category and is another enjoyable track. Endless Rain is a ballad and another amazing track. This is the track where the romantic feel comes out the most, practically oozes out. Overall this is one of the most emotional ballads. The final song, Unfinished is one more ballad though not as good as Endless Rain. The epic Rose of Pain is an amazing epic, much more in the vein of Dream Theater made simpler. It builds up with an acoustic intro, which is very amazing. Then around the 3rd minute the picks up with an amazing riff. I just can’t stop admiring the soloing and it is indeed close to flawless. The piano solo around the 5th minute is one more of the song’s high points. But the greatest song from the album has to be Kurenai. The song begins very emotionally with synths, but then after a minute develops into a crescendo of riffs and solos, all of the highest quality. Among the weaker songs, Easy Fight Rambling and celebration are the weakest. They sound like random 80s glam/hair metal songs which could be expected from bands like Poison, Guns ‘n Roses, but when we have songs like Kurenai in this album, the songs are a real problem.
Overall this is the most consistent X Japan album. Except a couple of weaker tracks, the rest of the album is high quality heavy/power metal. One more thing that makes this album great is that all the members put all their efforts, emotions, feelings in this album which makes it a great experience. The album is not quite comparable with any other albums, and so I recommend this album to everyone listening to heavy metal music, because it sure is an experience worth experiencing.
After the excellent start of X Japan, releasing a classic album called Vanishing Vision which influenced a lot of bands worldwide, from metal bands to pop groups and of course launching what is called Visual Kei style. Toshi and his crew continued to release memorable albums, the second one entitled Blue Blood is not weaker than the previous, and it even exceeded my expectations for another killer album. Blue Blood is another unique release by the Japanese metal masterminds, it contains 12 tracks that describe everything about the meaning of speed metal, heavy music, and powerful musicianship. Although unlike the first full length, Blue Blood is quite better when it comes to the production wise, It’s definitely not the best production you can have, but at least it’s completely listenable and the mixing is better than in the first album.
This album summarizes everything about how to play excellent heavy speed metal. Though, the mere difference between Blue Blood and Vanishing Vision is that the aforementioned has some progressive influences and much less thrash influence, however that’s doesn’t mean it's not hard and heavy as the first album. Everything in this album is definitely brilliant. The vocals in Blue Blood are less aggressive but more powerful and appealing, more peaceful and are akin to power metal range than anything else. In this album most of the lyrics are in Japanese with some few words thrown here and there in English. Kurenai is sung in Japanese and I like it much more than the version sung in English in the first album. I think Toshi finds himself more when he sings in Japanese, his natural tone, and thus I can see better performance and much beautiful chanting. Toshi’s performance reaches its peak in the tracks Kurenai, Blue Blood, Endless Rain and Rose of Pain, where the chorus of each of those will stick in your mind forever.
The other instruments keep the high level and create awesome diverse melodies and patterns. The guitars are fast still with hard riffs and complicated solos. The riffs in Kurenai and Blue Blood and Rose of Pain are outstanding and give the pleasure to bang your head for long. The same thing can be said about the great solos in almost all the tracks but notably in Kurenai, Endless Rain, Week-End and Blue Blood. Yoshiki in the other hand is still delivering awesome patterns and competent fast beats that raise this album to another high level. In each track you will hear awesome patterns, although the ones in Kurenai are unbelievable. Unlike Vanishing Vision, Blue Blood is more symphonic. Yoshiki adds awesome piano symphonies that amended this album, like in Kurenai, when he adds an awesome atmosphere in the last chorus. Also there are complete piano driven songs like in Endless Rain, very sad track with beautiful piano melodies.
Blue Blood is one of the best heavy metal albums, that’s for sure. I say Vanishing Vision is slightly better just because it’s the first effort of those masterminds, the album that created the current famous X Japan. However, for your pleasure don’t miss Blue Blood, every fan of music will love this record.The unique musicianship and the original sound make this masterpiece another classic in X Japan’s discography. Rest in Peace Hide (1964-1998).
Written for Encyclopaedia Metallum 31-03-2011
This is a seriously slamming album. From blazing speed metal to Judas Priest-like riffing to catchy Van Halen-like (David Lee Roth era, natch) party anthems, to heartbreaking ballads, X Japan had it all and delivered it with the kind of flair and joy that only young Japanese men crazy for American and British hard rock and metal can. Their diversity, sadly, was probably why they never really were able to crack the American market, as well as their extreme glam image, which was outdated in America by the time this album was released. Visual Kei aesthetic aside, the music is the matter here, and it is some damned good stuff.
Toshimitsu "Toshi" Deyama's vocals are excellent throughout the album, raspy and passionate, eager and enthusiastic, but always tuneful. He actually sings quite a few lyrics in "Engrish", but the majority of the songs are in Japanese, another sticking point with the average American. Nonetheless, he shines all the way through no matter what the style they're essaying. Pata and the late hide were an effective guitar team, whipping out a tasty array of riffs, melodies, and soloing that could've gone toe to toe with most any American contender at the time. When they let loose and shred, it's still very melodic and tasteful, as well as very structured, and when they play more emotional parts, like on "Endless Rain", they tear your heart out with their feeling. I have always contended that the Japanese do have soul and this will prove me correct. When you have atomic bombs dropped on your country, well, if that doesn't fill you with sorrow, what will?
Taiji and Yoshiki are another very effective team in that they are an energetic and exciting rhythm section with lots of character and musical ability to spare. Yoshiki's drumming is furious and full of energy and vigor, and Taiji doesn't sit back and unimaginatively thump the roots on the bass front; he puts in lots of melodic and exciting fills and riffs of his own that compliment the guitars and frequently diverge from them in his own very distinct manner. They may have made Poison look plain jane, but these guys had chops and creativity as well as taste and class, a rare thing in such an image-oriented band.
Song wise, virtually all the songs on here are excellent. Yoshiki wrote some good stuff, and it shows. His diversity as a composer is impressive, and even the simple party songs like "Celebration" (with its hilarious chipmunk voice part after the solo section) and "Easy Fight Rambling" are catchy and well-written. After the emotional instrumental opening of "World Anthem" (their entrance theme live), hang on to your hats for the riff onslaught of the title track, with its blasting energy and strong melodies. Pata and hide launch into the twin guitar melodies in the solo section with aplomb, and the chorus is undeniable. The song itself is intensely dynamic, going from frenzied thrash metal to slow parts with ease. "Endless Rain" is a heart-rending ballad that showcases their softer side with plenty of class and feeling. "Rose of Pain" is the album's epic, nearly 12 minutes long and full of twists and turns that make it far from boring. "Week End" features some really nice crunchy riffing as well as excellent soloing, and a fantastic chorus that will indeed stick in your mind for ages afterward. There really is not a duffer in all the songs on display here.
Altogether, these guys were so talented and gifted it's a shame they never were able to get anywhere in America. Their songs were so well-written and better than much of the dreck in the American mainstream at the time this came out in 1989, it's an injustice to say the least they never made it over here. Especially with the injury of hide's unfortunate death a year after they broke up in 1997 adding to this insult. If they'd gotten anywhere over here, perhaps things would've been better for them. Once you get past the image, man, these guys killed the competition, it's that simple. Give this a chance and see what I mean, and keep an open mind at all times.
Holy fucking speed metal Batman! This is THE X-Japan album, it's got epics, it's got ballads, it's got Fast-as-a-Shark SPEED FUCKIN' METAL!!! What more do you want from an album?
OK, I'll probably want better production and a better singer, I'd also want to do something about their ridiculous get-ups as well. Yeah they're visual kei, so what? As long as they play total Priest/Maiden-worship-meets-amphetamines they can dress up however they want! Though it probably looks ridiculous when they sing "Endless Rain" or their other ballads.
Kicking off with the sublime "World Anthem" the band already shows more feel than the latest in Euro flower metal. Beautiful is the only way to accurately describe it, and although it's more than 2 minutes long it does not feel boring or dragged on. Picture Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture meets Tipton/Downing or Murray/Smith and you'll get the idea. After that Toshi or Yoshiki says the little intro piece and BAM!!! Speed metal motherfucker! The absolutely monumental title track starts and at 210 bpm (a very rough estimate, mind you) they mean business. The intro riff-set is just plain ridiculous and the drums are flying like the wind. It's all awesome until...Toshi comes in. Okay so he's not a bad singer but he could still be better, his performance is alright and at least it's better than his live efforts. hide and Pata's leads are some of the best power metal leads outside of Hansen/Weikath.
Other highlights are the rollicking ode to Saturday and Sunday, "Week End," the incredibly-sappy-yet-thoroughly-enjoyable "Endless Rain," speed metal blitzkrieg "X," and "Kurenai." That last one starts off with some soft, symphonic piece before going faster than light.
The performance of the band is mostly great, the weak link being Toshi and sometimes Yoshiki because he's too fast...then again 'too fast my ass!' Toshi made me crack up during "Endless Rain," Engrish and love ballads do not mix. Taiji is really solid bass player, his skillful runs and fills pepper the album with personality and charm. Yoshiki's riffs (yeah he's the drummer, but he wrote all of the songs,) are harmonic, technical, and undeniably catchy...yet still 110% metal! I guess all those years of classical piano paid off then. Speaking of piano, Yoshiki's playing on "Endless Rain" and "Rose of Pain" is phenomenal. The guitarists are no slouch either, hide and Pata's solos are flashy but totally fits the context, not unlike Lee Altus or Michael Weikath, maybe throw in Tipton/Downing for a comparison of their harmony leads.
Production kinda blows, the vocals are turned way up and Toshi doesn't really deserve that kind of treatment. The drum sound is horrible, well maybe just the snare, it's a little grating at times also the drums are too loud, it pretty much buries the guitars and bass. The guitar sounds like it's being played on an amp with lousy distortion during the riffs, yet it sounds fantastic during solos and leads. The bass is quite clear but kinda difficult to hear thanks to a bang-up mixing job.
Overall this is a great album, one of the better things to come out of the gender-bending, hilariously-coiffed debacle known as visual kei and also one of the better things to come out of Japan in general. This is right up there with Fastkill's Infernal Thrashing Holocaust, Sex Machineguns' Live!! Final Attack at Budokan, Sigh's Hangman's Hymn, Priest in the East, and Made in Japan. Go and buy this, you'll not be disappointed
This album is fucking ridiculous. Every member of this band pours their heart and souls into playing their music. For people who aren't familiar, X-Japan is a metal band from Japan that popularized metal there, and started the infamous "visual kei" look that paved the way for newer bands. In my personal opinion, the bands that fall under modern visual kei are absolutely awful. Cash in attempts at making money and fucking fangirls. That isn't X-Japan. X-Japan is honest. X-Japan is the cry of youth, encompassing every emotion that a confused by feels growing up, from his early teenage years, to adulthood.
X-Japan is also very talented. Their singer, Toshi, is technically an excellent singer, however his voice is an acquired taste to most. Their guitarists hide (RIP) and Pata are excellent. Extremely tasteful, with plenty of varied licks and chops. They play in perfect harmony, can shred it like Jason Becker, but can also play gut-wrenching emotional solos and clean passages. Their drummer/pianist/main composer Yoshiki is absolutely genius. He's worked with some of the finest in all of music, and he himself is an amazing composer. His drumming is brutal and precise, as well. Lastly, their bassist (on this album) Taiji, isn't just a sit in the corner and follow the guitar bassist. He is EXTREMELY talented, and you can oftentimes hear his bass-lines, doing their own thing, and that's a definite plus.
So what about this album, Blue Blood? Why review this album? I review it because I feel as if it is the best X-Japan album, and perhaps one of the greatest rock albums of all time. There is no filler on here. Everyone song can somehow cater to ANYONE who appreciates any form of rock. If you want blistering speed metal a la PAINFUCKINGKILLER, you can listen to the title track, Blue Blood. If you want rock anthems with killer solos, you can listen to Week End or Celebration. If you want amazing piano, you can listen to Unfinished or Endless Rain. If you want a fucking huge epic song, you can listen to Rose of Pain, which features every aspect of X-Japan's music. However, the undoubted best track on the album is the song Kurenai. Perfect romantic intro. Killer speed metal, ridiculous solos with amazing harmony, and an amazingly epic chorus.
However, points off for some tracks that I don't particularly care for too much, such as Easy Fight Rambling. And some parts in Celebration could be more planned out and stomach-churning. Also, points off for the production on the guitars. The drums, vocals, bass, and piano sound great, but the guitar gets muffled at times.
When X-Japan wants to have balls, they have fucking BALLS. BLUE FUCKING BLOOD ANYONE?! That song is INSANE. When they want to make my girlfriend cry, they can bust out shit like Endless Rain and have girls sobbing at their feet. Their usage of arpeggios, the harmonic scale, and the diminished scale are also the most tasteful I've EVER heard in a metal band, not to mention their chord progressions can cater to some spectacularly emotional singing. All in all, X-Japan is one of the best well-rounded metal bands, certainly one of the most talented of all time, and deserving of the respect of music lovers around the entire world.
After their killer debut, Vanishing Vision, X would go on to release albums with more variety in them. And although horrid production plagued their debut, it was unavoidable for a band just starting out. Blue Blood marks their entrance into a major label, and as usual, with major labels usually comes watering down of music.
If you thought the audibility of the instruments was bad the first time around, it doesn't get much better on this release. But while the debut had killer song after killer song, this album was toned down much.
The opening introduction track is not that memorable and drags on far too long.
Blue Blood is the next song, and killer power metal it is, with a good solo to boot.
Weekend is the next song, and it took me a while to like it, but it is a good stadium rocker. The solo is fucking fantastic...in fact, the solo was what kept me listening to this song until it grew on me.
From here on, most of the album is listenable, but nothing to rave about. Easy Fight Rambling is typical 80's hair metal drivel, as if there aren't enough bands doing these songs already. X is supposed to be the band's theme song. And theme song it is, with the band screaming "X!!!!" on the chorus. Personally, I can't stand this song...Osheaman's review pretty much covers it. Endless rain is an uninspired power ballad, and Celebration starts off with a good Guns 'n' Roses type of riff, but once Toshi starts singing, it sounds like typical 80s hair metal yet again.
The only other good tracks are Kurenai, which was on the previous album. XClamation is a great experimental interlude, where the band members get to really shine, especially the drummer and the bassist. Rose Of Pain is an interesting epic, starting off with erie baroque-ish organ playing, and with killer bass work at around 8 minutes.
Overall, this is a decent rock album, but nothing I'd listen to in its entirety. The horrid production is a part of it; any fan of rock music, particularly metal, would soon notice the disappearance of guitar riffs as they listen to any given song, and the vocals overwhelm everything else. In fact, after this review, I probably won't bother listening to it again. The ratio of good to bad songs just isn't worth it, and musically, it's nothing groundbreaking either.
Anytime before reviewing X-Japan material, I must always first say that the band is an acquired taste, the music can still be great, but not everyone is going to like it. Toshi's high-pitched vocals aren't for everyone, and neither are their soft ballads. Anyways, I'm going to say here what I thought of the album, and you can choose to listen or not.
A year after the band released their debut "Vanishing Vision" album, their 2nd album "Blue Blood" arrived. One who has heard their first album will immediately notice some progressions here, the main one being the orchestra which can be heard in many of the songs. This is a very welcome addition, and became a very big part of X-Japan's music later on.
Two songs from the first album return here redone. Kurenai (Deep Red) returns with a symphonic intro which then breaks into one of X-Japan fan's most loved songs. Personally since I had listened the hell out of "Vanishing Vision" before finally getting "Blue Blood" I was so used to the original version that I could never truly appreciate the new version here, but the orchestra heard in the song does further improve it.
The other song off of the first album to return is Unfinished, the short minute and a half song which ended off the debut album. It returns here with added verses, guitar, and an extra three minutes which makes this the best version of the song to hear.
All of the other songs on the album are strong in their own sort of way, the album is filled with fast (Blue Blood, X, Kurenai, Orgasm) and slower (Week End, Celebration, Easy Fight Rambling) heavy tracks. The album's main ballad is Endless Rain, which an incredible song, even more so when heard on live recordings. Unfinished may also me considered a ballad by many as well. The album's climax appears in Rose of Pain, a 12 minute epic filled with incredible guitar solos. Like in "Vanishing Vision," "Blue Blood" opens with a mostly instrumental track which is what X-Japan used to begin their concerts, really not a track you'll put in the CD just to listen to, but it strengthens the album. Like the debut album's Give me the Pleasure, the instrumental Xclamation fills in the space.
All in all, Blue Blood is definitely an incredible album. If you are a fan of X-Japan, or any other Japanese visual band, you can't go without X-Japan's "Blue Blood." It is a legendary release for the band, and it's strongest moments can not be denied. "Blue Blood" isn't my favorite X-Japan album, while the quality of the music has improved since their debut, it would also further improve after this later into their career.
This album would've gotten a 100 if it didn't have songs like Easy Fight Rambling and Celebration, both corny Poison sounding songs, but all the other songs, to the best of my knowledge, are amazing! Though X's debut album is a stronger effort this album is very close in that they both have amazing guitar and drums. Hide is easily one of the best guitarists in J-Metal and Yoshiki is one of the best drummers I've ever seen! The guy just doesn't run out of energy, he'll double bass you to death! Songs like Week End and X are very catchy and will stay in your head for awhile. Then you have Rose of Pain, an epic track that has some fine soloing! If you find this album buy it! You really can't go wrong with it, there are some sleeper tracks but the strong ones more than make up for them.
So in closing, put down the Mountain Dew, undo your bungie rope and take out the Morbid Angel CD, just take a break from being totally X-treme and give it a listen!