Stick with me, here. I’m not one of those musicphiles who feels he/she has to write glowing reviews of all their personal top 500 albums, claiming each and every one is the greatest of all time. Those people really suck. This is my first, possibly only, review of any album in “publication”. If one person reads this, I’ve done my job. If no one reads this, I can still live with myself. I tried.
Let’s face it, most classic (mid-late 80’s) thrash albums not by slayer have some sort of glitch that may make it tough to listen to nowadays. Squealing, whiney, operaman vocals, brassy guitar tone that hurts at high volume, terrible recording methods on drums, thin sounding bass guitar.
Socialized Hate is the most underrated thrash album ever, end of discussion. Bill Metoyer’s direction in recording helped create an amazingly “proper” sounding thrash album. Not too clean, not too dirty, not unlike “Beneath The Remains” by Sepultura(moment of silence, please………….) on Socialized Hate, everything pops.
It still sounds fresh. Zimmerman’s voice will grow on you. A terrific growl that isn’t messy enough to distort the excellent messages contained in the lyrics. The guitars are outstanding fundamentally, but aren’t they always in thrash? Lykins and Skowron can play. Guitar tone is razor sharp. Rhythm section is perfectly on point for the genre. Bass tone is defined yet adds tons of body, like a fine wine. Drums sound like normal drums, not like Lars’s in St. Anger. That drum sound made me want to go out and jump off my neighbor’s roof, their house is taller than mine. These drums sound like you’re in the room with the band. Washy high hat, loose resonation in the snare sound. Tons of double bass without the “showing off” = six million beats per second (Fear Factory?). The pace is right where I like it. Just right.
Don’t get me started about the music itself. O.K., get me started. Excellent all the way through. I’ll suggest two highlights for the album, one broad and one specific. Broadly speaking, almost every song has what I like to refer to as a “guitar break”, you know what I mean, where everything changes over to another related riff that rocks your balls off, only to return back to the song itself. Specific moment of bombastic brilliance is after the solos in “preacher, preacher”…..guitars fade,bass solo, drum fill, guitar solo, guitar+guitar+bass doubling each other in a maelstrom of thrash nirvana. You’ll be left needing nothing more. While it plays, you’ll be in the veritable absence of thrash want, to get all philosophical on your arse.
I’ve written enough, but I still can’t manage to stop myself. Go buy it. I don’t care how much of your own money you have to spend. I paid $25, would have paid $125. Can’t afford it? Get a paper route. If you were in the band and are reading this to wax nostalgic, you’re the man. It rules…..really, really hard. I’ve told folks that this is the album that I would distribute 100 copies of to good metal lovin’ friends if I won the lottery, which is a little hypocritical b/c I’ve never purchased a lottery ticket. I’m losing focus here.