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Postmortem > Screams of Blackness > Reviews
Postmortem - Screams of Blackness

Death Control - 75%

Vaseline1980, January 6th, 2023
Written based on this version: 1994, CD, Husky-Records

Another blast of thrash-flecked death metal (or is it the other way around?) from the first half of the 90's. I remember Germany's Postmortem primarily from their appearances in various metal mags throughout the 90's, where they seemed to have a sort of subscription to reviews that were usually on the "Well, it's not that bad, but..." side of things. A reputation well-deserved? Let's find out!

When it comes to their style, they go for the goods. Imagine a cross between good ole German thrash metal (Destruction, Assassin, Exumer, ...) and those US bands who were straddling the divide between thrash and death metal in the late 80's and early 90's like Exhorder, Devastation (TX) and Epidemic. Throw in a pinch of early Pestilence and you have a good concoction brewing here. They go from fast to slow and back again, with some great leads popping up throughout, with some superb musicianship on offer. At times, the band adds little touches like subtle harmonies and short acoustic guitar melodies or interludes to their material, which helps build up suspense. These are things that can easily get on my nerves, yet here it works! What oddly also works is the Type O Negative inspired track "Shadows of Memory", where Postmortem's death/thrash slows down and is accompanied by atmospheric keyboards, making for a breath of air between all the thrashing madness. This is some potent, well-constructed and varied metal!

The thing that pulls Postmortem well into death metal territory are the gruff vocals of Matthias Ruetz. The guy sounds really familiar, yet I can't put my finger on it who it is that I'm thinking of. Although not bad at all, one could make the point that this is a pretty generic effort, sounding like a lot of other death metal vocalists at that time. Well, generic or not, these vocals work extremely well together with the potent music they have on offer, and the first 11 tracks just fly by in a thrash-fueled death metal orgy, with some excellent playing and great songs on offer.

And then they blow it.

For some reason, Postmortem thought it a wise move to include 2 bonus tracks from another recording session, and I am choosing my words carefully here: this shit fucking sucks like a black hole vagina in outer space! Weird sounds, funky carnival music, German vocals, silly melodies, a big helping of corny humour, ... Like a German version of fucking Spazztic Blurr this bullshit goes on for 2 songs, and that is 2 songs too long, in my opinion. When I first heard these 2 pieces of afterbirth, it ruined the whole buzz I got from the first 11 tracks. I once read somewhere that the book of German humour is only one page thick, and judging by these shitty tracks, half of that page is filled with doodles of dicks. Fuck this!

So how does one judge an album that has 11 good to great tracks that are followed by 2 offerings of absolute shite? To be completely honest, the first part of this cd is actually good enough to wash away the nasty aftertaste of those 2 turds. I'd say: give this one a chance, and just skip these last 2 offenders. It would be a bloody shame to let these ruin a way above decent death/thrash album.