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Classic Review: Intruder - Live to Die… Relived
Live to Die… Relived

Label: Hellion Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 72:59
Tracks: 14
Genre: Speed/Thrash

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: October 16, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Live to Die… Relived

Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (18 Votes)

Here's an old classic that's been... relived. (Sorry, that was just too easy.) Intruder's debut has been out of print for several years now, but with the band reforming a few years ago mainly to play a few live shows here and there, interest for their albums has prompted Hellion Records to re-release this little gem. And this is no cheap re-issue: The booklet is very complete, with a new colourful cover art derived from the original vinyl version, a story of how the album came to be, as well as a track-by-track rundown by main lyricist and drummer John Pieroni, and several band pictures. The CD itself includes the original track listing along with a few bonus tracks, most of them recorded back when the band was named Transgresser. There's also an unreleased track, "Night Shift".

A quick description of Intruder on this album would be speed/thrash, kind of marrying the harshness of Kill 'Em All with the cleaner sound of Ride the Lightning (note however that the actual music doesn't have too much in common with Metallica - Intruder's sound has a stronger "traditional heavy metal" influence.) Clean vocals, aggressive but not overly so, accompany some first class speed/thrash that's also rich in catchy wicked guitar solos and some tight and varied drumwork. I could go into a lot more blabla, but there's simply too much good stuff happening here that the best way to describe the album has a whole is that it grabs you from the beginning, and long after it has finished playing it still won't let go of you. Aggressive and occasionally melodic, speedy, non-commercial, but also catchy and so memorable it shouldn't be legal. A winning combination that results in an album that never gets boring and that will hijack your CD player for extended periods.

As with most re-issues, the inclusion of bonus tracks is both good and bad. What's interesting here is the inclusion of a couple of versions of songs, not just demos that sound the same as the released track but with a cheaper sound, but even an alternate-lyrics version of "Victory in Disguise". It's interesting to compare the vocal lines of Transgresser-era Live to Die which are quite different, more melodic than the Intruder version. The curse of bonus tracks is that they do kind of break away from the normal flow of the album, but that goes with any album that includes bonus tracks.

This is one of those album where there's so much variety, so much going on in each and every song, that it's very difficult to describe without writing a dissertation. As usual I'd rather cut it short than write a novel. ;) Suffice it to say that this is one classic piece of metal that belongs in every metalhead's collection. Now stop playing on your computer and go buy it, biatch!

Other related information on the site
Review: A Higher Form Of Killing (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Psycho Savant (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with John Pieroni (drums) on September 22, 2002 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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