Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

One of thrash metal's best moments - 93%

Harry_gr, November 17th, 2005

I bet you often read the word underrated in many reviews but it’s the best word to describe this thrash metal masterpiece. This album ranks as high as the best of Metallica, Megadeth, or Anthrax, yet not many have actually listened to it. I suppose marketing, record companies and luck are to blame. And things could be much worse for this band’s fame if their -great- bassist Jason Newsted (you all know him) hadn’t moved to Metallica. At least a few people wanted to discover Newsted’s previous band.
But let’s move to the record itself. It’s pure 1986 thrash metal, fast, with awesome riffs, high-pitched vocals and everything. Don’t let the horrible cover scare you, remember its release date. With track titles like Hammerhead, She Took An Axe and Desecrator don’t expect much from the lyrical side (Note that most of them were written by Jason). Doomsday and stuff, from a naïve perspective, lyrics just aren’t the reason why you buy a thrash album. It’s the music.
And I guarantee that the music on this album is great. Pretty simple and fast all the way. What truly makes this album stand aside though is its wonderful melodic approach to thrash in a very good and creative manner. The songs are real songs and not just riffs and tempo changes thrown in. While bands like Exodus, Slayer and Kreator have nice riffs and tempos their choruses won’t stay in your mind and you can’t remember them a day after. That’s not the case here. Beautiful melodies are everywhere, just check Iron Tears or the whole title track.
That said, it doesn’t mean that the band can’t thrash! They can do it better than most of all. Very good riffs and solos are everywhere. The guitar tone is superb and the bass of Jason excellent and very high in the mix. A very important advantage is the amazing and ultra fast drumming of Kelly David-Smith. The fans of double drum-bass will be very happy to listen to him smashing his kit. Last but not least is the person I consider to be one the best thrash vocalists ever; Eric A.K. In this album his vocal delivery is the best I’ve heard along with early Joey Belladonna. Eric can hit the highest notes with impressive ease and he can actually carry a tune, unlike many other singers of the genre. His voice is beautiful and melodic, while his range is remarkable.
I won’t get into details on the songs as variety pretty much doesn’t exist in thrash with a few exceptions (the most notable of which being Act III by Death Angel). Of the ten tracks Flotzilla is an impressive instrumental, the title track, Metalshock and Der Fuhrer begin acoustically and She Took An Axe (incredible song) slowly builds up. In my opinion the band will never top this. Perhaps because of the departure of Newsted, the lack of the enthusiasm that lifts this album, Eric’s deteriorating voice (unfortunately, just like Belladonna) later albums won’t be as good even though No Place For Disgrace is a very good album.
Creativity, inspiration and enthusiasm along with good musicianship can do wonders in thrash. If you don’t believe me, listen to this one. You won’t be disappointed. One of thrash metal’s best moments.