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I have no guilt, there is no law! - 78%

autothrall, April 13th, 2010

This was the sophomore effort from Australia's biggest thrash metal hopeful of the 80s, a band that once garnered quite a lot of buzz in the underground press of that time, so much that they were often named 'the next Metallica'. While such a comparison was probably not deserved, the band certain has similarities to the Bay Area style of speed/thrash, and Face of Despair was a pretty good album.

For one thing, the album has a very clear and professional mix to it; it still sounds worthy today. The vocals of Mat Maurer bear a little resemblance to Hetfield but he's got a slightly more nasal, higher pitched tone. The band were pretty good at the song writing, though there are a few gems on this disc that sparkle far brighter than the rest.

"I Am Immortal" is one such gem, a thrashterpiece of riffs. Who could forget the bass leading into that catchy guitar part? Catchy yet obvious chorus with gang shouts. Or how about the bridge in the song, between 1:44 and 3:00 which features numerous amazing riffs and then ends up in a glorious charging riff leading to the end of the song. This is probably the most memorable track, but there are some others of quality. "Innocent Torture" is a rager with a goofy sample and some nice leadwork. "The Infantry Corps" is a playful and silly thrash march. "Voyage of the Disturbed" is a good song with some catchy melody. As for the rest of the album, it's not quite memorable, but not necessarily bad either.

I will always prefer the raw and razorblade antics of Hobbs' Angel of Death as far as classic Australian thrash/speed metal, but Mortal Sin were decent enough. This is probably their best album but the rest aren't far behind. After a hiatus the band returned and they've put a new album out back in 2007 with some original members.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com