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Still Killing After All These Years - 80%

corviderrant, February 18th, 2004

OK, this is not a very tight album at all, I'll get that right outta the way. Andy Whale was the weakest link in this band, no two ways about it, with his sloppy double bass technique. And the production is not one of Colin Richardson's best works (that would go to Carcass' "Necroticism" and "Heartwork" opuses). So why do I give this album such high marks anyway? The fact that it is still one of the heaviest slabs of metal you will ever hear in your life; as a buddy of mine once put it, "This is the sound of the fist of God coming down on your turntable!" (heh, turntable reference--am I dating myself here or what?)

The feel of this album is unbelievably dark, bleak, dirty, dreary, and FUCKIN' HEAVY--the intro riffs for "World Eater" and "Through The Eye Of Terror" (especially the latter) alone will send chills down your spine. Their severely downtuned guitars (down to A, the first time I had ever heard a band tune down that low) were the sound of impending doom personified, and lack of definition aside, they work. Ohh, do they work. And Jo Bench's hideous fuzz bass tone will give you nightmares--it's as loud as the guitars and in fact dominates them pretty often in the mix. Just the way it ought to be--as the one and only Gene Simmons once said, "Without the bass, you ain't got heavy!", and I'm inclined to believe him.

"Through The Eye Of Terror" especially is my favorite song on this whole album, with its eerie and ominous opening riff and its churning bulldozer verses alternating with blast beat choruses that will tear you a new one in seconds. The other songs on display (especially opener "Eternal War", "Lost Souls Domain", and the aforementioned "World Eater") carry the same feel of pure war, with their chaotic and urgent feel. Karl Willetts' vocals are the epitome of ugly, guttural rasping as he intones his lyrics of war, destruction, and despair, and I can't imagine anybody else doing the job as well as he did when he was in the band--neither Martin van Drunen (who was only on one album anyway) or current vocalist Dave Ingram even come close to this level of unreal vocal torture.

Everything after "Warmaster" started sounding the same to me as Bolt Thrower settled into a midtempo rut, but that and this album both define the classic BT sound for me. It hasn't been the same ever since.