OK I explained the idea behind the title in an earlier post so now let’s get down to business. Was I right or wrong for not working this album into the rotation much more than I have in the past? Let it not be said that I can’t admit I fucked up. This album is so much better than I remember it being back when I was first getting into death metal back around 1991. I think part of the reason I love it more now is the production. The drums aren’t an overprocessed nightmare that don’t even sound like actual drums. This makes the song Sacrificial Annihilation true joy to listen to because the kickdrums are out of control on this song. In fact I rather enjoy Scott Burns production although if you weren’t paying the requisite attention the guitars could lead you to believe that this was Deicide or Sepultura. This is not a complaint about the guitar sound by any stretch as it still sounds organic without sounding like garbage. There is a difference between sounding good and being sterile.
I also didn’t remember Brett Hoffman’s vocals being so distinct. Back when so many bands were trying to trying to create the most extreme vocals sounds they could think of Brett Hoffman went in another direction and tried to combine clarity with harshness as best he could. He succeeds beyond even his wildest dreams.
For something that has 20 years of age it’s amazing how unique it sounds. It isn’t technical to the point where you wonder if they know how to write a fucking song but not so straightforward as to be forgettable. This album has hooks. Granted some of those hooks came courtesy of Hell Awaits era-Slayer. Don’t try to convince me the song Malevolent Creation doesn’t owe Kill Again a royalty check. It is not a sin to be catchy nor is it impossible to kick major ass while doing so. If you don’t believe me put this on and then try to argue with me. I personally don’t love breakdowns but in the right hands they are a devastating weapon. These guys know how and when to use them for maximum effect. It also helps that most of the breakdowns are of the bay area thrash variety. Reminding me of bay area thrash is a cheap but effective way to get on my good side. They aren’t the fastest band or the heaviest, however they are smart enough to mix the two making for quite the heady audio elixir. I saw them last year and let’s just say there’s a damn good reason they still play Multiple Stab Wounds every time.
Verdict – I was wrong and I shall make restitution immediately.
P.S It’s good to be back with these fuckers. I have to commit a bit of heresy and put on a bit of Thin Lizzy to celebrate. I think you know which song.