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An underrated classic - 90%

Pyovelin_Kutsu, January 31st, 2006

First off, I'd like to say that even though the somewhat primitive production might not be to everyone's tastes there is absolutely nothing 'sloppy' about this recording. The speed is blistering yet the songs don't get boring as on some... okay... MOST death/black metal albums.

Pete Helmkamp's vocals, while apparently 'sung' in a black metal style, are among the most strong and consistent of all death metal singers and fit the material better than the traditional (and often totally unintelligible) guttural grunts. The fact that you CAN make out the lyrics is, to me, a bonus even though the lyrics are nothing other than standard death metal fare.

This album boasts excellent guitar work from Gene Palubicki, an unsung hero in death metal circles, both in terms of riffs and leads. Definitely influenced by Kerry King and Trey Azagthoth but very competent and they manage to fit within the songs which is no mean feat. All the while, John Longstreth's relentless, warp-speed drumming provides a very solid and tight backing to the whole affair.

While it is easy to compare ANGEL CORPSE to MORBID ANGEL, it's clearly more than just a case of 'hero worship'. ANGEL CORPSE definitely have managed to develop hallmarks of their own.

The only negative point would have to be the production. While primitive, raw or just plain bad production values have found their niche in an ever growing horde of DARKTHRONE and BURZUM worshippers, it's not for everyone. While the levels of the instruments on this album work very well, the instruments individually sound a tad muffled at times. The guitar tends to sound a little 'mushy', the bass lacks punch, and the drums could have done with more definition.

Minor gripes aside, this is a quality slice of death metal and is easily better than a lot of death metal releases you see in this day and age. Worth a look at the very least.