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Teched-up Destruction - 80%

Kruel, May 28th, 2008

This is what Destruction would sound like had they been a full-fledged technical thrash metal band.

First of all, the vocals sound quite similar. This vocalist, though, sounds harsher (so, these are fully harsh vocals). There are some high-pitched screams (see: beginning of Towards One Goal), but most of the time the vocals remain mid-pitched. And he sings in a Russian accent or in Russian language (I cannot be sure, because my version does not have a lyric sheet and the lyrics are not on the Archives either; probably the lyrics are a combination of English and Russian), creating an exotic feeling by his speech itself.

The guitar tone is where it really shows the similarity with Destruction. Total buzzsaw. Along with Eternal Devastation, the guitar tone on this one is the most buzzsaw guitar tone I have ever heard. And, you know, buzzsaw guitars can be awesome if done right, especially with great riffage. This is such a case.

And the riffs are great. Somewhat in the vein of Destruction, too, are the riffs. Long-winded and complicated, and yet they retain the headbangable nature of thrash riffs. And these are, as these are teched-up, more complicated than Destruction riffs (at least on a general level), and less headbangable (but still has plenty of headbangabiity; just less than Destruction). There are a lot of tempo changes and odd time signatures, too, as will be expected from a technical album. The chorus of It Came features a deceleration. There is a good balance of more upbeat riffs and darker sounding riffs, and each riff morphs into another through smooth transitions.

The guitar solos are one of this album¡¯s high points, if not the absolute pinnacle. These solos are some of the best, if not the best, solos in thrash metal, up there, or above, the solos from Rust in Peace, Rigor Mortis (s/t), and Time Does Not Heal. These solos are like Trey Azagthoth and Randy Rhoads combined. That description alone should be enough to tell how awesome these solos are, but it sounds like an oxymoron. Azagthoth and Rhoads, that¡¯s almost ironical! And yet, that was the feeling I instantly got when I first heard the solos of this album. There is an excellent usage of the tremolo arm finger tapping to create the unorthodox sound a la Morbid Angel, and at the same time, they are highly elaborate, beautiful and smooth. But, you really need to listen to these to fully comprehend the meaning. Just remember: these solos are the best in thrash.

The intro track is actually worth a mention, because it is actually one of the best songs on the album, despite it being an ambient synth track. The spacy atmosphere and beautiful melodies with a bit of gloomy mood are all there in the two-minute ambient piece, and this is such a great track that I was genuinely disappointed to find out that the rest of the album did not make use of the synth. Had they incorporated some synths of the quality of this intro, this might have been a revolution. Anyway, this is one of the best intro tracks in any genre, metal or not.

This little known Russian work of technicality deserves more attention. If you are a fan of technical thrash, do not miss this out. More so if you like the more brutal side of thrash, too. Oh, and of course, this is a must for Destruction fans.