Abduction – WTF? An obscure film script dialogue intro’s this, but luckily, it’s soon followed by some pleasantly heavy, thrudding riffs, drum hits and angry vocals, verging on growly, in places, but staying just the right side of thrashy. Oh, that was an abrupt end, just as I was getting into it. Never mind, the whole thing has a jungle sound to it, that makes me curious about the next track. And are there bongos in there, somewhere? I’ll let you work it out.
Thrash Metal Dictatorship – Clear heavy ethos immediate here and an obvious thrash direction. Some anthemic stuff, pace variations and a very competent fluidity to the movement between them. Liking that riff wizardry midway through and the quickening pace towards the close. Something about it makes me yearn for Metallica.
Beyond The Wall Of Sleep – Nice opening cymbal hit, followed by a very agreeable roar. Good rhythmic momentum. It could just perhaps do with a touch more melody, but the riffs compensate (especially 3/4 of the way in). An even more abrupt end. A bit too abrupt, I feel. It would have benefited from a little more time, to show its’ wares.
Island Of Death – Another cymbal intro, with a slight feedback section, and rapidly getting into the mood, with plenty of fast-paced riffage, rapid fire drumming and a distinctly ‘Tallicaesque mid-section, utilising the time well. A bit of anthemic vocal stuff and again, they maintain the rhythm well. Echoes of building towards a Hetfieldesque closing evil laugh, but it doesn’t quite get there. Still, the enthusiasm’s inherent and its a good collective effort, overall.
Politician – Oh a nice new downscaled riff and evenly spaced drum hit intro. An effective change and maintaining plenty of vocal aggression. Some well-placed rapidly delivered drum hits, creating a battleground firing range impression. This definitely ends too soon, depriving itself of the chance to show what else it’s capable of.
Octogenarian Violence – Now that’s much better! Real vibrancy, life and all-out metal attack form to this! Edging towards black metal, in places, yet still retaining that thrashier/extreme sense. Quickened pace, heightened vocal power and generally, livelier feel. Varying the sound, around 3/4 of the way in, slightly, but never deviating too much from the overall aggression and ending with far greater confidence and certainty – those closing riffs say it all.
Srebrenica – Proper full on battle metal intro. Very much a team effort here, demonstrating a real flair for anthemic choruses. Great rapid pace, excellent volume and a clever touch on the final drum hit, coming just after the initial ending. Well constructed and impressively cohesive.
Loudmouth – Great Tallicaesque ‘Battery’ sound). Strong pace and rhythm once more, conveying the anger and rage well. This has got to be the shortest track on the album, but at least it packs a lot of power into the time.
Thrashing Like A Maniac – Spot the ‘Whiplash’ reference). No bad thing, imo. OK, … an unexpectedly unusual intro, carrying a somewhat gravelly tone to the instrumentals, somehow, at least initially, but that soon fades, as the song gets into its stride. Curiously, this may reference ‘Whiplash’ in its title, but its construction, although definitely holding some aspects of “Kill Em All”, is far more along the “Master of Puppets” lines. Again, I have to say that this goes down very well, for me. Aw, I really did not want that to end!(.
Overall – Well, this has been saved by the latter half of the album, as while the former half may have been adequate, but not necessarily much to write home about, something happened mid-way through the album and it picked up considerably, from ‘Octogenarian Violence’ onwards. These last four tracks have sealed it for me, increasing the star rating from the initially intended 5/6, to an improved 7. The final few tracks are where the true potential lies, imho, so perhaps this is a case in which the track order would benefit from being rearranged, to reflect the genuine ability within the album.
For fans of Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Municipal Waste, extreme metal.