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Freakin Awesome Death Thrash - 85%

Burning_Season, April 5th, 2006

This is a piece of history. Released in 1985, there was nothing around this fast, or with riffs this brutal. Not Endless Pain by Kreator, not Hell Awaits by Slayer, not Bonded by Blood by Exodus. Seven Churches by Possessed comes sortve close, but only because it had growling vocals. Bathory was probably the only band around this time that was as brutal, but they were in Sweden.

The riffs on this EP are comparable to Reign In Blood, which is pretty impressive considering that Reign In Blood was not released till the next year. The riffs are somewhat simpler occasionally. There are also a few crunching mid paced breaks and intros definitley influenced by Celtic Frost. The solos are pretty typical noise solos for Death Thrash bands around the time, and quite good for a band that had just started.
This EP is also probably the first recorded example of the blast beat in metal, on the song "Antichrist". D.R.I. had had a blast beat in thier song "No Sense" on thier debut (Dirty Rotten LP) in 1982, but that was more of a hardcore punk album. S.O.D. had also done a blast beat at the same time this was recorded on thier Speak English Or Die album, however this was done with two hands and without the bass drum playing at the same speed. So the first metal blast beat was on "Antichrist".

So on to the album sound. Production qualities are quite raw. In a listenable way, but still raw. Very good production. The bass is once more lost in the mix but whatever, same in almost every other metal band. Guitars are dark, evil, and brutal! Fast, low register tremolo picked riffs similar to Slayer, but with a much more vicious guitar tone. It is almost chainsaw like, not quite Entombed quality, but close. Guitars are excellent. The drums are simple, but fast, and done quite well, and as mentioned before, a blast beat does appear in the song "Antichrist". Not much double bass drum use, but overall the simple drumming does an excellent job at maintaining the brutality. The vocals are a raspy shout that is almost a growl, but not quite. Still probably the fourth harshest vocals for 1985 (1.Possessed,2.Bathory,3.Kreator). Done very well. The only thing i dont like about this EP is the intro, "The Curse". It sounds like somebody crapily trying to growl some evil nonsense. Quite stupid, but it has a humour value to it. Kindve sounds like the Cookie Monster...heh.

The songs are mostly all fast, with occasional mid paced breaks and intros. The best song is probably "Necromancer" for having the best riffs and some nice mid paced sections. However every single one of these songs is good. Really freaking awesome Death Thrash. Check it out especially if you like Reign In Blood era Slayer.