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Nothing's perfect, but then again... - 100%

Torwilligous, October 19th, 2006

Well... what can one say about the legendary Repulsion? Chillingly morbid yet wickedly amusing, cacophanously brutal and relentlessly agressive, these men were rotten-hearted revolutionaries of music ('music' here being used in the loosest possible sense). If this album is not essential, then nothing is.

Firstly, this was recorded in 1986. 1986! Do you think Slayer or Dark Angel were about the most extreme thing around then? Think again. 'Horrified' makes 'Reign in Blood' or 'Darkness Descends' look like Jon Bon fucking Jovi in comparison; it's darker, faster, heavier, more agressive, more chaotic and more lyrically extreme whilst also being catchier and even more brutally to-the-point. From devastating blasts of relentless grindcore such as 'Eaten Alive' to insane thrashterpieces such as 'Black Breath', Repulsion fused the razor edge of Celtic Frost and Slayer with the dark brutality of Discharge and the manic speed of D.R.I, creating a work that redefined music. From the doomy intro riff of 'The Stench of Burning Death' through to that famous final yell of 'Fuck!' on 'Horrified', this remains a seminal influence on both death metal and grindcore.

However, all of this is worth nothing if the music cannot still stand up to scrutiny. Luckily however, this still sounds fresh, invigorating and utterly, gloriously violent! The production is excellent; meaty, echoing guitar and distorted-to-white-noise bass are mixed perfectly with the clattering drums and grating vocals. It's raw, atmospheric and heavy as all fuck. The songwriting is truly magnificent; keeping the 'songs' catchy and to the point, Repulsion vary things up nicely, alternating between exhausting speed-fests and headbanging thrash with aplomb - cliff-drop stops, violent tempo changes and sudden, cackling, shrieking guitar 'solos' (a leering mockery of virtuosity) hit with impunity from all sides. And then there are the riffs! Yes, that's correct - Repulsion are a grind band who actually had real riffs, courtesy of their myriad thrash influences. There are A LOT of riffs in here, and they vary from three-chord smashing to intricate thrashing. Repulsion know both how to bolt different riffsets together and how to flow between riffs, letting them modulate and evolve, a growing pestilent cancer. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is misplaced. You will bang your head until you vomit.

In twenty years, I don't believe that anyone has quite managed to better Repulsion's winning combination of slashing riffage, sheer brutality and sick catchiness. If you have even the slightest interest in death, grind or - hell - thrash, and you don't already own this classic, go and buy it RIGHT NOW. And no, I'm not being cute here; when I say 'now', I actually mean THIS VERY INSTANT. You even get a second cd featuring all of their early demos (back when they were Genocide), the 'Excruciate' EP and a later demo for a new album that was never finished. All in all there are 48 essential tracks here. Good value? More than that: this is mandatory.