Yes, everything you’ve heard about this album is 110% true ladies and losers. But like my title says, this is probably one of the most extreme and brutal thrash albums ever made that you could make an argument that it’s borderline death metal. I mean it was very influential for the up and coming DM scene in the late 80s (Morbid Angel definitely comes to mind as someone influenced by these guys) but maybe the only things that make it more thrash are the vocals which are actually pretty intense for a thrash album. The only other thrash vocalist that is as crazy as Mille is maybe Don Doty of Dark Angel or Max Cavalera. Unfortunately this band would not match their brutality and violence they served up with this release. I even hear the newer stuff from this decade is great and I plan on getting them.
Ok for the music itself, it’s effin mindblowing. I personally love the melodic intro, even though it’s nothing like the rest of the album it sets the mood for it painting a image of a open battlefield that’s about to be ‘littered with corpses’. Then it has godly tracks like Ripping Corpse and the title track which are some of the most ferocious metal songs I’ve ever heard. The violent lyrics here are actually SCARY and INTIMIDATING unlike bands like Cannibal Corpse where it’s borderline amusing (that’s not a diss, I really like CC plus who doesn’t like to laugh?). I mean the title track is f*cking extreme metal anthem for christ’s sake. The last couple songs are killer too, like Command of the Blade with it’s crazy riffs and the closer with Mille yelling out UNDA THE GUILLOTINE! Speaking of Mille, the man can solo like a mofo. I’m going to use the two B words to describe them, blistering and blazing. Seriously though, all the songs are great, the only one that’s slightly under par with the rest is Pestilence. What’s also amazing about this album is that THE BONUS TRACKS DONT SUCK! Don’t you notice that bonus tracks, well, usually blow? Note here folks, the pulled the 3 tracks from the ‘Flag of Hate’ EP and yes they have a rawer production but they are some of thrash’s best. You get a juiced up version of the Flag of Hate song (it was originally on their debut), Take Their Lives (another ever-so-violent anthemic song) and their most complex song Awakening of the Gods which is quite god-like as well. This definitely gets the award for “best bonus tracks ever”. Oh and the bass? ACTUALLY AUDIBLE! Wow, can this album do any wrong?
Let me also take some time to confirm by other metalheads comments. Best band from Germany? DEFINITELY. In fact I don’t even like the Scorpions, I think their singer is wimpy and they’re just all around boring. The other two bands from the German thrash movement (Sodom and Destruction) are really awesome too but not quite as good and consistent and these boys. THIS is the album that ‘rocks you like a hurricane’. Yes, the drummer is indeed like a German version of the universally loved Dave Lombaardo, he can do insane double bass and basically everything else metal fans crave in their percussion, it has a really thick and meaty sound to them which I love. Best album of ‘86? See that’s a really tough question to answer seeing as how I gave all 3 albums of the ‘Unholy Trinity’ a 97% rating…so it’s really up to you. This is the more brutal one, DD is more about speed, and RIB has both.
In conclustion, it’s ESSENTIAL. However, if you’re new to metal I’m not sure if I’d recommend this it might be a little too much for you. I bow down to this and so should you.
P.S. If I ever decide to go on a mass murdering rampage I’m making this my soundtrack.