Music Reviews


A Thousand Deaths

World War III

While this record is almost completely fantastic, it also severs as a good example for a band that should either become an instrumental band or beat the crap out of their singer and leave him for dead.

A Thousand Deaths is just a bit longer than a half-hour long, and the musicianship showcased here is grade A death/thrash metal. The guitars are not only grinding and grating with ferocity, but the riffs these guys come up with are not only tough, but they’re also melodically catchy! The guitar riff in the chorus of “God of the Underworld” is, and I swear here, as good as any Slayer riff from their heyday of the late ’80s. The guys writing for Diabolical are fantastic musicians, but they’re also quite playful in the way they structure their riffs in mindboggling ways. This songs is a perfect example of how incredible death metal can sound, when done properly, by people who know metal, live it, and breathe it.

A times, this band reminds me of a sped of version of Dave Mustaine, circa Megadeth’s Rust In Peace; his guitar riffs from that record really set a precedent for thrash metal, and the guys in Diabolical really take what Mustaine did back then to a new level. It’s not just that the guitars are faster, but they’re also more clever, and more, dare I say economical? These guys don’t really ever seem to be showing off, yet what they are doing is absolutely amazing. Let me repeat again, this record is worth buying simply for the incredible and creative guitar playing contained herein.

In terms of the drums, they follow the syncopation of the guitars/bass, similar to the way in which many death/thrash bands operate. That’s not to say that this drummer isn’t good, because he is, but his above average skills do just enough to keep up with the brilliant guitar work here. This drummer does enough to keep things sounding really aggressive and brutal, but doesn’t really make a huge impression (probably because the guitars are so high in the mix).

For the album’s only weak spot: vocals. I really think this vocalist sucks. His voice is too high and vaginal for a tough band like this. He sounds like he maybe used to sing back up for Kind Diamond, on his especially high vocal harmonies, but he’s now decided death metal’s better, so he’s making a feeble attempt to lower his voice. It doesn’t work, and he sounds like crap. Luckily, he doesn’t really sing all that much on this record.

Even with its faults, this record is tough and gritty, in an early ’90s thrash metal kind of way. I’m probably just being an idiot about the vocalist’s voice, but I just think he keeps this from being a really stellar record. Oh well.

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