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Whaaat, I haven't reviewed this one yet? - 87%

UltraBoris, May 29th, 2004

My bad. I coulda sworn I had a review for this one up! God only knows I've listened to this one enough times... at home, while driving down Route 666 (no kidding, there is such a highway in New Mexico), etcetc...

Hark, the fallen angels sing! Glory to THRAAASSHH, our king! This album is pretty much about as thrash as it gets... this thing just comes out of nowhere and pretty much takes the overt middle-break theory of Nuclear Assault, combines it with the subtle melody and not-so-subtle riffage of Overkill and Exodus, circa 1985, and then throws in the dark atmosphere of the second Possessed LP, and at times the strange marching riff patterns that is clearly the influence of Destruction.

Oh, and Shakespeare on vocals. Maybe not quite as lyrically impressive in the titles as "do dark horses dream of nightmares", still this leaves one in awe of such constructions as "transform your bed of roses to a premature grave", delivered at machine-gun intensity, with a tone reminscent of Cronos or maybe even Becerra...

then, those riffs. Oh, those riffs. Holy crap... check out the monster thrash break in Behind the Crooked Cross. "IN THIS! CONDITION! OF SHEER INSANITY!!", or the entire length of "A Dead Man's Robe", with its "Ready, set, bang" Rotten to the Core meets Destruction riffset.

The first half of the album is subtly stronger than the second, probably because of the novelty value, and also I swear that it's recorded LOUDER. The production is overall very well done, with everything that needs to be heard (riffage) perfectly audible. There's a cheesy intro, and another little interlude at the beginning of For Those that Died, and the rest of the time it's all thrash all the time.

Highlights... aforementioned Crooked Cross, which I still have not yet decided if it's better than its Slayer counterpart (both are fucking excellent), also Hark the fallen angels sing!!! (Hosanna in Excelsis), and the opener, A Cautionary Tale. TO BURN IN HELL... FOR ALL MY DAYS!!!

Fuck yes. Well worth getting. A staple of thrash metal.