Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Thrash Thrash Thrash Thrash Thrash - 89%

Ritchie Black Iommi, September 22nd, 2012

The ultimate live album in the early history of the "Big 4" in american thrash. Yeah, when we think deeply about it, there are few contestants against this one. Megadeth, perhaps, made a couple of nice live albums as well. Yeah, and Metallica, yeah, why not. And Anthrax? Ehm, nope. Only Megadeth lies near in what's about live performances.

Anyway. The thumping bumping here is a blast. You know, Lombardo rules it, no matter how hard you can try, he rules it. The strongest force in here relies on Dave's insaniac patching. And that's it, you know. Even if here we get one of the most astonishing performances by Araya in the vocals, so fresh, vivid and deadly, heavy lies the crown, but rests on Lombardo, easily. Mr. King might be a king, but the king is Dave, you know. Hanneman does it pretty well, but Lombardo is the fucking antichrist!

Being that said, and leaving away the funny paragraphs, the whole band works tight and oiled. There is no weakness in here. Just pure, plain and simple thrash deadly metal. As I stated before, Tom Araya licks out one of his finest vocals ever. Listen to the opener "Hell Awaits" or the closer "Chemical Warfare" and you will get a glimpse of it. Obviously, the bass lines are not the best thing he does, figure out dude that he sings like a devil while he plays and that's not an easy stuff to do. But somehow, the bass sounds pretty remarkable in this album, so no complaints about that.

For me, the only mistake in the recording is the faded and distant sound of the guitars here. Mr. King deserves more amplifiers and Hanneman's back ups too. But we want more, this is almost-death metal, the roar must be hellibilly destructive. In my opinion, the stuff wasn't about the live performance itself, but the production and mixing of the album. I think they lowered the sound of the guitars on purpose. I don't know why, or is it just an illusion in my head, but to me seems to be like that.

So, anyway, I want this to be a short review so I'll finish it here: this is a very good live album, the best ever made in early thrash period. Araya is better than ever, Lombardo thrash thrash thrash thrash fucking thrashes and rules, King and Hanneman, while they sound a bit faded, perhaps because of the final mix of the album, do it pretty well and the thing is totally aggressive, deadly, evil, punching and insane. If you ever wanted to buy a live album by the "Big 4" of bay area thrash and you never knew where to start, here you go, "Decade of Aggression" is the safest play.

Highlights: Hell Awaits. Die by Sword. South of Heaven. Dead Skin Mask. Angel of Death. Black Magic. Expendable Youth. Chemical Warfare.

A slight mistake: The production, in my humble opinion. They could have done it better, specially in the mix of the guitars.