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Thraaaaasshhh!!!! - 90%

UltraBoris, August 28th, 2002

Oh fuck yeah - this is where Schaffer's riffs sound fresh and interesting and do not degenerate into silly triplets for the sake of silly triplets. This right here is pure thrash metal, reminiscent of bands like Death Angel (the first album) and Meliah Rage (the second album) at times. Epic power metal moments are thrown in, but they never sacrifice the riff onslaught, merely add to them. Then, throw in Greely's awesome shrieky vocals, and we have ourselves a winner.

We start with Angels' Holocaust, with a little Carmina Burana intro and then some acoustic parts, before a hideous shriek brings us into the main riff. The song gets faster and heavier until the middle break features more of Carmina Burana over some monster thrash riffs, and then just even more thrash riffs. About 28 riffs in this song - fuck yeah!!! Definitely the best song on here.

The rest is no slouch either. Stormrider is more straightforward with some nice bludgeoning riffs, and Path that I Choose has some of the best vocals by Greely here. Before the Vision is a little interlude, leading into Mystical End, which is more thrash metal. Desert Rain is just a bit slower in the chorus and the verses, but then picks up around the middle, tossing some very nice riffs in.

Pure Evil is the other highlight of the album. Absolutely the best shrieks that Greely has done, and some killer riffs as well. A few little acoustic moments provide constrast, and then before you know it, the riffs are back for more.

Reaching the End - I tend to think of that as the intro to Travel in Stygian, making for 11 minutes of epic thrash. This is far better than Dante's Inferno, in that they don't try to throw the kitchen sink in, sticking with riff after riff after riff. Fast, midpaced, it's all in here - very much like Death Angel "The Ultraviolence" (the title track to that album).

So what happened here is that Iced Earth managed to completely NAIL this one - awesome thrash riffs, and Greely sounding very much like Halford at times. They never came close to this again, so enjoy this one!!