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insanely cool punkish thrash - 90%

UltraBoris, May 27th, 2004

So you thought the Vio-lence vocalist was incomprehensible? Well, think again... if you listen to Killian enough times, while reading the lyrics, you will at some point realise "yeah, I suppose he is saying that".

Now as for Keith Dean... uh no, there is no possible way he's actually speaking English at times... he's just kinda making up syllables as fast as he can, taking the "ram it down" approach to verbalisation. See "no resurrection", where he just goes on this really long rant about three times and that's the verse.

And ya know what, it fucking works. Combine this with good production, and very good riffs, and you've got yourself an excellent thrash album. What does it sound like? Think of the LA punk/thrash sound - Suicidal Tendencies, if they got their shit together, would probably sound EXACTLY like this... the guitar tone isn't particularly heavy, and there aren't any Kreator-like "snap your spine in three" moments, but pretty much every section of every song is a good headbanging piece... think Overkill in that regard, especially Taking Over era, or maybe a cross between the two Heathen LPs. There's a lot of flat-out speed metal here, as well as a lot of overt thrash - the first Agent Steel is also a good comparison for the speed-metal parts.

Solos are thrown in liberally, and most of them are of the classic-metal variety - noodly enough to not be mistaken for Randy Rhoads precision, but certainly not of the cat-in-a-blender approach of Slayer... at times the last few bars finish off in Judas Priest style (see "The Immoral Wasteland") with a simple, catchy section - at other times, the solo continues under the verses, which is not something you usually get in a metal band... usually it's just the rhythm guitar, while the second guitar plays power chords or something. No, here they go on and complement the vocals.

Highlights... probably Debt of Pain (feeling down and out!!), or the epic "The Immoral Wasteland", or the aforementioned chaotic "No Resurrection", which probably the fastest song on here - and while Keith goes on his bender, the instruments maintain precision... Judas Reward is probably the heaviest song, with the midpaced bludgeon thrash intro. There are no weak points, no things that must be skipped... even the intro of Damned by Judges ("the accused is a priest, under holy orders", blah) is short as to not break up the continuity of the matter.

Worth getting? Fuck yes. Well above average thrash metal.