Friday, August 31, 2012
Metallica was the template for musical swank in days of yore, so pressing play of course meant being lulled into false security 'fore chromaticism tore the goddamn heads off those within earshot, Psycho shower scene screech backward masked, or in Portuguese, or backward masked Portuguese. The whole platter has a weird, The Who-in-catacomb clarity contra the lo-fi, lo-budget muck of the visceral debut, hammered home via the triptych of From the Past Comes the Storms,
To the Wall (whose scaling runs wink & nod towards Ride the Lightning's colossal House of Hammett title track), Escape to the Void, all nearly as unbreakable as anything the so-called Big Four had yet conjured. Can you believe some folks actually tried to convince me that if I wanted to get my rage on, I should be spinning The Motherfucking Clash? Fuck off.
"Brains of armed lives hidden in pits." Such ESL fuckups are endearing, especially in light of my continued foreign language failures, though there's also the Byronic "the rose's smell corrodes me" of the machine gun R.I.P. (Rest In Pain) that concludes with a few measures of The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze crashing through Marshalls.
There's nothing about love &/or bunga bunga on this record but there are cyclones of USDA grade A riffs, the essential ingredient in thrash, a spasmodic reaction to the symptoms of perceived, wish-fulfillment apocalypse: the proliferation of computer gizmos; war transmogrified from smokestacks, cattle cars, & black-and-white human pain to out-of-sight, out-of-mind video game remote controlling; the ubiquitous nuke. See: Nuclear Assault, Napalm Death, Killing Technology, etc.
Bay Area redux: new axman Andreas Kisser playing the Cliff Burton role in elevating the band beyond thrash and thrash alone -- in fairness, the immature Morbid Visions can't hold a candelabra to Kill 'Em All, one of the ten best power chorders ever. Even the cover's dominant color in each case shifts from red to blue, jumping out of the fire & into an eerie, otherworldly undercurrent. To further strain the mock parallelogram, both bands' fifth album was viable, if commercial, though let us temporarily shelve our aspersion casting & pretend 1996 never happened, dwelling instead on the ear-opening Inquisition Symphony,
seven-plus minutes of instrumental fanfare for the common hesher, proving that grime-proboscised punks from crime- & poverty-stricken Belo Horizonte could hold their own with any metal band on the planet. Check the genuine Lovecraftian creep of Screams Behind the Shadows -- or to be precise, the initial riff. Each smorgasbord has a baker's dozen of the goddamn things, so many that I could start pedaling & match local landmarks, such as they were, with each riff change, Dark Side of the Moon holding hands with Wizard of Oz before I had even heard of such dorm room occupations.
Septic Schizo Max was possessed. "Jackhammer" is among the most cliche metal writing adjectives, but the next time there's midday orange barreling, pay attention & spin this, or this. That's the rhythm, only now with the faint dweomer of death metal. So, of course the gentle, Bert Jansch-esque Kisser interlude The Abyss makes perfect sense, the calm before the double-barreled Venom storm.
Maybe Beneath the Remains and Arise are "better," but what the fuck does that even mean? There are a million fine sounding bands in the world, but they don't all bring you riffs at work. Most of them just HM-2 you. Find it at your local record shop then go away.