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Horror Comedy - 90%

SweetLeaf95, April 26th, 2018

When Dr. Love didn't have the cure you were thinking of, it was a sure indication that a call needed to made to Sweden, to page Dr. Living Dead! Holy hell, is this ever a lot of fun! Dr. Living Dead is the first of four fantastic records by these insane thrashers, from back in 2011. It's pretty easy to notice the hardcore/crossover influences that lie within these tracks, but really, the mass majority of the influence comes from all of the classic thrashers of the '80s. Clearly '80s horror films are another influence, seeing that it's a common theme that is touched on. Of course, it's mostly very humorous, so this group as a whole is what I would call the "Zombieland" or "Scream" of thrash metal.

All thirty-six minutes of this record are packed with bludgeoning intensity and fiery riffs that don't slow beyond a mid-paced guitar bridge. This, along with the production that's a bit rough but not too muddy gives it quite a Toxic Holocaust feel, specifically the Evil Never Dies record. But don't let that fool you, because all of the vocals are concise to a degree, and don't stray from the classic formula, and neither does the song writing itself. There's a giant combo of Slayer, Anthrax, and Suicidal Tendencies-eque delivery on this. The second track, "Slime From Above" is almost a spitting image of early Slayer, with an extreme speed picking intro like "Black Magic", followed up with a high pitched scream that fades into a harsh yell. What's nice though, is that it doesn't all keep this same formula. Clean singing is very present most of the time, and there's not a single track that doesn't implement strong melodies. However, on the faster tracks, gang vocal is very common, and this gives it that Anthrax-ish feel to it. Oh, and "UFO Attack" gives a direct shout out to Slayer by using an exact line from one of their songs; I won't spoil which one. So yeah, the influences are obvious.

The lyrics themselves are an anomaly of their own. If the way that these guys look isn't enough of a hint at how silly this is supposed to be, then the lyrics to songs such as "Revenge On John" and "Dead End Life" will make the point clear. The title song "Dr. Living Dead" is one of the highlights of the entire record, because it basically takes every different idea produced on this, and packs it into one song. Jumping from a calmer intro, doing a 180-turn into one of the fastest pummeling minutes on the entire record, and closing with the Suicidal Tendencies type drive. Oh, and those drums on this disc are an endless force as well, making the deeper guitar parts on this album stand out even more; they complement each other quite well. Man, is it ever a lot to take in! Never mind the fact that the riffs use a pretty similar style throughout, yet don't get boring at all.

So how can one conclude this? Well, it's basically the production and overall atmosphere of newer thrash acts, the writing and delivery style of classic thrash acts, and a hint of hardcore mixed in, all showered with funny lyrics and a horror theme simultaneously. That's a lot! And it's fairly short too, so no worries of it getting old fast. Dr. Living Dead is an essential listen for every crazy thrash goer.