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Re-thrash so beautiful it makes you cry - 88%

Feast for the Damned, July 11th, 2019

What happens if one of the few re-thrash bands that were doing hour long albums and managed to make them interesting suddenly decided to make a shorter album? Well if we take Operation Misdirection as an example then we can safely say that we will get all the awesomeness of the previous records concentrated in a shorter time period, making the songs about 10 times more intense and extremely enjoyable.

I have already complained about variety on the previous records, so obviously the first thing I should talk about is that. While the 2nd album had the variety, the overall songwriting wasn't all that good, but guess what? This album manages to put out 7 brand new tracks (+1 cover song) and all of them have some unique elements in them that makes the neck-breaking thrash metal aggression a bit more diverse. The one of the best examples for this would be the opening track Cadaver Decomposition Island: it starts out with a fast riffage and the expected barking vocals from the band, but it also has some really nasty (in a good way) bass lines. An explosive solo can also be found here. This sounds like your average thrash metal song right? Well, wait until the slower, "cleaner" and extremely emotional segment which starts around 3 minutes. I can safely say that it is the only re-thrash song that managed to make me shed a tear with that part alone.

You know what's even better than an opening track like that? 7 more songs with similar quality, but other elements that make them unique. We got My Fragmented Self which is your song about a Sweating Bullets situation with blues-ish grooves in it, the incredibly catchy The Acrobat with its amazing chorus which makes it an instant thrash anthem, and the amazing cover that is Money for Nothing which managed to make an awfully bad song a killer thrash track with its upbeat sound.

You can clearly see from the paragraph above that the album doesn't lack the variety that their previous work so desperately needed. Of course this variety in songs wouldn't be worth jack-shit without the great instrumentation that the band pulled off here (which is already expected from them at this point to be fair). Loris Castiglia and Andrea Vacchiotti are just incredible. Every single note they play on their weapons of mass destruction (also known as guitars) simply scream "FUCKING THRASH" and this is pretty much what I want from a re-thrash album. If you thought the vocals weren't good on the previous albums I have good news for you (and a bad one too: get your ears checked): they have improved a bunch since the first album. They got their own style instead of sounding like 3 different old school thrash bands mixed together. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, the bass lines are wicked but not exclusively on the first song. It's always great to hear a thrash metal band with audible bass (although I am everything but a bassfreak).

So you may ask "but what's wrong with the album then?", the answer would be kinda simple and kinda complicated at the same time. The simple part would be the fact that there are still breakdowns in 1 or 2 songs, but I have to admit that they are less annoying this time since they mostly end up preparing the battleground for an explosive solo (which the album doesn't lack) and they are not like the previous breakdowns on the other albums, but then again it's still a breakdown and I don't like them one bit.

The complicated part would be the fact that there is a little bit of something missing. I can't point at it at all, I really can't. While I am listening to the album it feels like it's perfect (apart from the aforementioned breakdowns), but as soon as I finished the album and I started to think about what I heard, there is something missing from it. It might be a ballad, though we have ballad-like elements in a bunch of songs and the actual instrumental ballad here is 2 minutes long instead of the expected 1 minutes that previous albums offered (and you have no idea how happy I am thanks to this). It could also be the second song on the album Welcome to the Freakshow, which I felt kinda lacking compared to the rest of the album in terms of the length, but it doesn't have to be a longer song, especially since it's a more punky/crossover-ish song. Or, it might be the combined effort of both of these that makes me rate it below 90%, I don't fucking know, but at this point I am just nitpicking.

Overall this album corrects everything that the band did wrong on the previous album and improves the things that it did well, thus making an album that will keep your neck busy headbanging for the whole 38 minutes. It's extremely fun to listen to and has everything you would want from a thrash record and even more. They've set new expectations for us with this album which might just been the best thrash metal record of last year. Now all we have to do is wait for a follow up.

The highlights of the album are: Cadaver Decomposition Island, The Acrobat and My Fragmented Self.