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  #161  
Old 06-03-2013, 05:39 PM
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Holy Moses - Queen of Siam - May, 1986

The thing that immediately jumps out at you when you first spin Holy Moses' debut is Sabina Classen's absolutely shredded vocals. Up to this point, the only female thrash vocalist we've seen is Znowhite's Nicole Lee, who is a fine vocalist in her own right, but Classen is trying stuff that very few men have tried up to this point! I mean, this is 1986 and this chick sounds downright rabid at times!

Unfortunately, the music accompanying Sabina's inhuman cries is not quite up to snuff. The music rarely rises above mid-paced, and unlike a lot of other German bands of the time, it's pretty melodic stuff too. In fact, there are times when an actual melodic vocalist would match the instrumentation much better than Classen's growls -- so much so that they sound almost comical at times. The riffing is really standard stuff for the most part, although there are some tasty leads thrown in from time to time. All in all, this album is only a must-own if you're a die-hard completist, because there are much better examples of thrash out there, like the band's next one.

Standouts: Necropolis, Devil's Dancer

Score: 4.5/10
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  #162  
Old 06-03-2013, 05:42 PM
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Sodom - Obsessed by Cruelty - May, 1986

Obsessed by Cruelty is a bit of a weird album... On one hand you have In the Sign of Evil preceeding it, which is one of the more influential black metal albums (Is it good? Not so sure about that) and on the other you have Persecution Mania, not to mention Expurse of Sodomy which are both shining examples of riff-happy thrash metal. So where does Obsessed by Cruelty fit in? Pretty much right smack dab in the middle. This is neither true thrash nor true black. The sound is pretty lo-fi, the band is sloppy, the vocals are somewhere between a shout and a shriek, and everything kind of runs together into a jumbled mess of quasi-thrash riffs, lyrics about evil and such, and pounding drums, which are what you hear the most of throughout the album.

The opening song, after the annoying, thankfully skippable intro is great, and is the one classic, enduring Sodom song, much like "Outbreak of Evil" on the previous EP. "Deathlike Silence" is a great, slightly primitive thrash song that kind of gets you excited for the rest of the album. Well, the rest of the album is a letdown. Onkel Tom should thank his stars for Frank Blackfire, otherwise Sodom probably would have faded into obscurity, pumping out more mindless slop like this. Honestly, if it weren't for "Deathlike Silence", and kind of "Proselytism Real", this would barely be worth owning.

Standouts: Deathlike Silence

Score: 5/10
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  #163  
Old 06-03-2013, 05:45 PM
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Sentinel Beast - Depths of Death - June, 1986

Sentinel Beast are the third female-fronted thrash band we've heard from, and easily the best -- at least in 1986. This is some very good, intense, classic thrash metal, much in the vein of Metallica or a more melodic Slayer from a few years before. There's also a strong NWOBHM influence here, with Iron Maiden being a key influence as well, and not just because of the excellent cover of "Phantom of the Opera", but because it's quite obvious that vocalist Debbie Gunn has tried to emulate Paul Di'anno, and has done a pretty admirable job. She has a nice, husky voice that is more attitude than it is technical ability, and even though she isn't the most inventive vocalist and sings along with the guitar lines often, the overall results are usually more than acceptable because of that aforementioned attitude.

All in all, this is a band that probably should have recorded more albums, but for whatever reason, didn't. From the firey bursts of pentatonic guitar fury to the surprisingly clear production, this album is a relatively early and unexpected winner.

Standouts: The Keeper, Mourir, Dogs of War

Score: 8/10
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  #164  
Old 06-03-2013, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post

Sentinel Beast - Depths of Death - June, 1986

Sentinel Beast are the third female-fronted thrash band we've heard from, and easily the best -- at least in 1986. This is some very good, intense, classic thrash metal, much in the vein of Metallica or a more melodic Slayer from a few years before. There's also a strong NWOBHM influence here, with Iron Maiden being a key influence as well, and not just because of the excellent cover of "Phantom of the Opera", but because it's quite obvious that vocalist Debbie Gunn has tried to emulate Paul Di'anno, and has done a pretty admirable job. She has a nice, husky voice that is more attitude than it is technical ability, and even though she isn't the most inventive vocalist and sings along with the guitar lines often, the overall results are usually more than acceptable because of that aforementioned attitude.

All in all, this is a band that probably should have recorded more albums, but for whatever reason, didn't. From the firey bursts of pentatonic guitar fury to the surprisingly clear production, this album is a relatively early and unexpected winner.

Standouts: The Keeper, Mourir, Dogs of War

Score: 8/10
I feel about that album cover what PowerMaiden and DethMaiden felt about Gamma Ray's Powerplant. As for Obsessed By Cruelty, that is the one album I will actually disagree with Boris on when he says its better than Master of Puppets because of the horrible production and mix.

Folks, you can make your guitars sound as tinny, kvltasfuck or vacuum cleaner as you want but the drums should never, EVER be louder than the guitars in the mix. Its ok when they play slow but when they go to their blastbeat like speed its awful because all you hear is the hi-hat and snare. It sucks. Especially since I really like the title track. I actually wish they'd rerecord it or remix it or something like Sodom did with The Final Sign of Evil because that record is just unlistenable as it is.
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  #165  
Old 06-04-2013, 07:01 PM
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Who gives a shit about the cover? Depths of Death is an excellent thrash album. I highly recommend it.

As for the Sodom album, yeah they hadn't found their identity at that point. Like I said, if they had continued in that vein, they'd be an afterthought today.
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  #166  
Old 06-16-2013, 05:47 AM
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Tankard - Zombie Attack - July, 1986

I've never paid a whole lot of attention to Tankard. I've listened to songs here and there, but they've always seemed a few notches below the Kreators, Sodoms and Destructions of the world. By the way, it seems that way because they are. This album is a chore to listen to the whole way through because it's one dimensional as fuck! Pick a random song and you can get swept up in the speedy alcoholism, but more than a couple tracks and it starts to fade into the background. Not only that but every single damn chorus is "Song Title! Song Title! Song Title!" with some gang vocals sprinkled in from time to time. This album may have been OK in 1984, even though Ride the Lightning bends Zombie Attack over and inserts random objects inside its behind, but this is 1986, the year of the big thrash blow-up. OK, I realize this sounds like an incredibly harsh review, and while I don't care for this album, it's not absolutely horrible, just kind of mediocre.

Standouts: (Empty) Tankard, Acid Death

Score: 4.5/10
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  #167  
Old 06-16-2013, 05:53 AM
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Carrion - Evil is There! - July, 1986

This album is so laughably amateur that it's almost enjoyable. I'm actually surprised it's still floating around the internet, but then again, I've found some other pretty obscure (and bad) stuff that makes this album sound awesome. This isn't totally awful, but just ridiculously outclassed when you think of what came out even two years earlier. Apparently, these guys changed their name to Poltergeist after this album. I've never listened to them. Stand by!

Standouts: Avenger (only because the chorus goes "Aweenger! Silent Aweenger!")

Score: 2/10
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  #168  
Old 06-16-2013, 06:05 AM
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Destruction - Eternal Devastation - July 12, 1986

Back when I was a semi-serious musician and used to play in a band, my bandmates and I had a saying about what constituted a good thrash riff. Basically, if the riff made you pull a stupid face and bob your head, it was a good thrash riff. When I listen to Destruction's second full length in my car, people must think I'm borderline retarded because Eternal Devastation is chock full of good thrash riffs.

Eternal Devastation opens with an excellent song, closes with an excellent song and has some pretty good stuff in between. Destruction's style may not be as tight and polished as Metallica, nor as evil and oppressive as Slayer but they have a wild, rebellious sound that finally starts to really work after a pretty good EP and a debut full-length that had its fair share of issues. Everything just kind of clicks here, and Mike Siffringer really stretches his legs in some places, mostly in the rhythm guitar department but he also plays some tasty leads.

This album made me realize that at this point thrash is finally its own genre. The NWOBHM leanings are gone from most of the really good albums and bands have had a chance to listen to, digest and be influenced by albums like Kill 'Em All, Show No Mercy, Ride the Lightning, Feel the Fire, Bonded By Blood, etc, etc, etc. Eternal Devastation, while not incredibly dynamic is an excellent example of a THRASH album, and one that is often overlooked because of the year in which it was released.

Standouts: Confused Mind, Life Without Sense, Curse the Gods

Score: 8.5/10
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  #169  
Old 06-16-2013, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post
Back when I was a semi-serious musician and used to play in a band, my bandmates and I had a saying about what constituted a good thrash riff. Basically, if the riff made you pull a stupid face and bob your head, it was a good thrash riff. When I listen to Destruction's second full length in my car, people must think I'm borderline retarded because Eternal Devastation is chock full of good thrash riffs.

Eternal Devastation opens with an excellent song, closes with an excellent song and has some pretty good stuff in between. Destruction's style may not be as tight and polished as Metallica, nor as evil and oppressive as Slayer but they have a wild, rebellious sound that finally starts to really work after a pretty good EP and a debut full-length that had its fair share of issues. Everything just kind of clicks here, and Mike Siffringer really stretches his legs in some places, mostly in the rhythm guitar department but he also plays some tasty leads.
This is such a great description of this record, and really Destruction in general from 1984-1988. Although Eternal Devastation is not my favourite Destruction album, it is definitely the most classic. When I think of Mike Sifringer, god of riffs, this is the record that comes to mind. I would probably rate it a bit higher, but great review nonetheless.

I have to disagree about the first Tankard album. While they would get better (seriously Vol(l)ume 14. is amazing!), it's still an enjoyable record. 4.5 just seems cruel, as I don't think I'd rate any thrash album I've heard that low.
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  #170  
Old 06-16-2013, 06:57 AM
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Sodom - Obsessed by Cruelty - May, 1986

Obsessed by Cruelty is a bit of a weird album... On one hand you have In the Sign of Evil preceeding it, which is one of the more influential black metal albums (Is it good? Not so sure about that) and on the other you have Persecution Mania, not to mention Expurse of Sodomy which are both shining examples of riff-happy thrash metal. So where does Obsessed by Cruelty fit in? Pretty much right smack dab in the middle. This is neither true thrash nor true black. The sound is pretty lo-fi, the band is sloppy, the vocals are somewhere between a shout and a shriek, and everything kind of runs together into a jumbled mess of quasi-thrash riffs, lyrics about evil and such, and pounding drums, which are what you hear the most of throughout the album.

The opening song, after the annoying, thankfully skippable intro is great, and is the one classic, enduring Sodom song, much like "Outbreak of Evil" on the previous EP. "Deathlike Silence" is a great, slightly primitive thrash song that kind of gets you excited for the rest of the album. Well, the rest of the album is a letdown. Onkel Tom should thank his stars for Frank Blackfire, otherwise Sodom probably would have faded into obscurity, pumping out more mindless slop like this. Honestly, if it weren't for "Deathlike Silence", and kind of "Proselytism Real", this would barely be worth owning.

Standouts: Deathlike Silence

Score: 5/10
Well said. Deathlike Silence is still one of my favorite thrash songs ever penned. It's not perfect by any means but I'd punch a dolphin to see them play it live
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