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Great, but often overlooked - 95%

Wra1th1s, April 5th, 2008

As evidenced by the number of reviews, this album is often overlooked by fans. Of course being sandwiched between "Darkness Descends" and "Time Does Not Heal" doesn't help things one bit. But eh, I like it. This album may not be as "too fast my ass" as the previous album (here they concentrate on crushing brutality) or as "9 songs, 67 minutes, 246 RIFFS!" as the following album, but it's not a bad album.

This album's production accentuates their newfound heaviness by making it way too bass heavy. Not that the bass is too loud (in fact you can hardly hear it), but they really exaggerate the "heavy" felling of the album. The guitar tone, however, is the best thing in the production. Just hear the solo(s) in "The Death of Innocence", tell me that the production fails there. Oh and let's face it, Ron is no Don, but he's better suited for this kind of thrash (Ron delivers his lyrics at the same breakneck pace though).The songs are phenomenal, they show the band during a transitory period from "too fast my ass" to tech thrash and the songs actually benefit as they receive the best of both worlds.

The album starts with a track that could've been on "Darkness Descends", "The Death of Innocence" from the pummeling riff that opens it you pretty much set your neck on autopilot for the length of the song. The solos, as stated before, are the damn near best thing the song has to offer. 'These can't be the guys who were on "Darkness Descends"!' you say, but they are! Only this time they aren't as concerned about sheer brutality as they were on that album. This is the 'best of both worlds' I was talking about, this song has speed, brutality and technicality! But the absolute best thing this song has is when Rinehart screams "Somebody please stop or KILL MEEEEE!/My actions must be stopped 'fore I strike again!" The riff under it and the riff after it is perhaps the best non-Darkness Descends/Time Does Not Heal riff they have done.

The following song continues the trend, albeit at a 'slower' pace. "NEVAH TO RISE AGAIN!!" now that is a thrash chorus. The rest of the songs ain't bad either, what with riffs galore and the Atomic Clock beating the skins. After this song the rest of the album contains thrash epics, starting with "No One Answers" until "Leave Scars" that is if you discount the horrible "Immigrant Song" cover and the equally, if not more so, horrible instrumental "Worms". It's sad that they had to resort to filler material when they had great songs like "Cauterization", the title track, "Older Than Time Itself" and "The Promise of Agony". Huh, I just listed the whole album there. My point is that these songs are all great, with riffs, drums, and killer vox. However their awesomeness sometimes suffer from the sheer length of the songs and the lack of bass.

Conclusion: Track it down if you need to. Seriously it's good, but suffers from "So Far, So Good, So What?" syndrome because it is sandwiched between two albums that are considered all-time classics of the genre and is often regarded as the bands best works. (Strangely enough, "Peace Sells" and "Darkness Descends" were both released in '86 and "Rust in Peace" and "Time Does Not Heal" was released in the 90s)

EDIT: Fixed spelling mistakes