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Cause of Death (Reissue)
Cause of Death (Reissue)
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars a dark and scary classic, 27 Sep 2013
I don't like death metal when its all speed and brutality and no substance or atmosphere. And I like a bit of doom metal but sometimes I wish it was mixed with some fast sections. It's no wonder then that I love Obituary's Cause of Death.

This album is chock full of atmosphere - all those weird and moody sound effects inbetween the tracks really make the album seem special. And the music is awesome! I love a really thick guitar sound to extreme metal and Obituary's guitars have always sounded sludgy and growling. The vocals also seem deep and guttural, from the very grave itself. Obituary may seem to have been outdone by the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Immolation and the whole new York 'brutal' scene in that regard but there still seems to be something genuinely special about John Tardy's vocal deliverance, even after all these years.

And its not simply full speed ahead either. The speed and brutality of the fast sections is emphasised by the glorious immensity of the slow sections. And vice versa, the effect of those slow sections is increased by the intensity of the fast bits. This is right, this is perfect, this is how it should always be done. And I'm sure it's not just because of my age that I'm saying this. Doom and Death should always be united in this fashion. Fast and slow is always more effective when accompanied by its opposite, especially if you don't compromise the intensity and heaviness of either.

Obituary understood that, which is why this album is great. This (along with Death's Leprosy) is the album that introduced me to death metal, and I've held it up as a high standard of what death metal is and should be ever since. A true classic!

Ride The Lightning
Ride The Lightning
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An album so classic it's immortal, 27 Sep 2013
This review is from: Ride The Lightning (MP3 Download)
This might be my favourite metal album of all time.

I remember obtaining it on cassette many years ago, back in my teenage years when I was first getting into heavy metal. Years later and with all my cassettes long since thrown away, I bought it again on CD.

This, along with Reign in Blood by Slayer, are in my opinion the two Thrash Metal albums to own if you only ever have two Thrash albums.

Many view Master of Puppets as the best Metallica album. But I like Ride the Lightning better. It's more raw and true to the Thrash roots of the band but its got all the darkness, skilled musicianship, progressive tendencies and interesting lyrics you expect from classic Metallica.

Master of Puppets even copies Ride the Lightning a bit in its structure (first song - a fast thrasher with an acoustic intro, second song - the title track, 3rd song - slow but heavy, 4th song - thrash 'ballad', 4 other songs with an epic instrumental near the end). MOP might have been more progressive (which is not necessarily a good thing) but surely the similar album structure makes Ride the Lightning seem more like the genuine article than its follow up.

Whatever, I'm not really going to quibble over which album is best. But I prefer Ride the Lightning. For Whom the Bell Tolls and Creeping Death are true metal classics and very enjoyable tunes. Ride the Lightning and Fight Fire with Fire always thrill me. Fade to Black is genuinely moving. And Call of Ktulu is the best metal instrumental ever, exciting and dramatic, an epic beast of a track that always feels like a sonic orgasm to me (yes I love this track!)

As for the two weaker tracks on the album. Trapped Under Ice is I believe an overlooked gem of a track, and escape may be a bit of a cheesy throwaway track but it's still fun and certainly not naff.

This is truly a classic Metallica album and a classic metal album. I never get bored of listening to it.

Reign In Blood
Reign In Blood
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best thrash metal album ever, 22 Sep 2013
This review is from: Reign In Blood (Audio CD)
The fastest, most intense album from the 80s Thrash Metal movement by what many consider the best Thrash Metal band.

The album is pure ferocity and is also pretty much perfect from start to finish.

Angel of Death is the most notorious track. It was pretty controversial in its time, portraying the atrocities committed by Nazi physician Josef Mengele in a fairly neutral way (although lyrics such as "pathetic, harmless victims left to die" and "pray for the end of your wide awake nightmare" do suggest some sympathy with the victims). The line "angel of death flying free" seems quite poignant, pointing to and contrasting with the Jewish exodus story (where the angel of death passed over the Israelites) - an example of the sometimes clever lyricism of Slayer. The track is brutal and exciting, a good opening for an excellent album.

Piece by Piece and Necrophobic are both short and vicious with excessively gory lyrics (certainly an influence on the Death Metal subgenre)

Then comes Altar of Sacrifice which segues into Jesus Saves. When Altar of Sacrifice screams "enter to the realm of Satan!" its every teenage metal fan's wet dream. Then there is the thrilling anti-crescendo and the seamless transition into the track with the fastest vocal delivery on the album (seriously try to sing along with Jesus Saves - its near impossible!)

The two weakest tracks on the album come next. You know it's a good album when the weakest tracks are as enjoyable as Criminally Insane and Reborn.

But it's the last three tracks that really make this album shine.

First Epidemic impresses you with its clever lyrics ("death machine infests my corpse to be", "epidemic, permanent disease"), then Post Mortem provides thrill after thrill with the best riffs on the album before Raining Blood completely blows your mind!

Ah, Raining Blood, the best four minutes and seventeen seconds in the history of recorded sound. A triple drum beat sounds incessantly over screeching and spooky guitar ambience like the knock of some foul creature begging to be let free from its hellish tomb and then the riff kicks in - and boy is it exciting. Just when you think things are thrilling and the music pretty fast, it suddenly lunges forward into an insanely fast gallop that almost literally takes your breath away. Then the lyrics start: "trapped in purgatory..." etc - and its pure metal heaven.

But it doesn't end there. There is a delicious breakdown of stop-start like a sonic strobe light. And the initial guitar melody begins again over it. Finally: "RAINING BLOOD!!!! FROM A LACERATED SKY! BLEEDING ITS HORROR, CREATING MY STRUCTURE NOW I SHALL REIGN IN BLOOD!" and complete chaos ensues. Just when all sense of tune or timing has been thrown out the window and complete sonic chaos and anarchy has taken over, there is a loud thunderclap and the sounds of pouring rain.

Raining Blood is quite simply the best Slayer song, the best Thrash Metal song, and the most exciting piece of music ever recorded. A fitting end to a brilliant album.

If you like extreme metal and do not yet have this record - BUY IT! There simply is no excuse for not having it.

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