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Classic Review: Morbid Saint - Spectrum of Death
Morbid Saint
Spectrum of Death

Label: Grind Core
Year released: 1988
Duration: 32:00
Tracks: 8
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: February 17, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating
Spectrum of Death

Rated 4.4/5 (87.91%) (43 Votes)

I'm at a loss for words at how to start this one, because I do believe this album has just BLOWN ME OUT OF MY FUCKING SEAT AND THROUGH A WALL. Goddamn, what a powerful tour de force of thrashing insanity this is, and they manage to keep the plot and write a perfectly coherent album, too! Morbid Saint's Spectrum of Death is a long revered thrashterpiece in the underground, and for good reason: it's a completely fucking balls-out, heavy, thrashing wall of noise that will floor you with face-melting solos from the front-lines, crunchy, unstoppable battalions of riffs, all hungry for bloody, ravaged human flesh, drumming that rains down like cannonballs on the enemies, pounding and relentless, the bass, surrounding the enemy like acid-drenched barbed wire, cutting and slicing until there is no tomorrow, and the vocals of Pat Lind serving as the commanding general throughout the whole thing, remorseless and vicious, always on top of everything and never missing a beat.

Phew. Yes, if you haven't guessed yet, this is a good album.

As a Thrash album, this is impeccably good, with songwriting above and beyond the norm, being fast and pummeling, yet also sort of melodic and even epic at times, when they decide to slow down to a mean, gritty stomp (that is still quite fast, just not hyperspeed-fast like most of the rest of the album) after one of those aforementioned face-melting solos. You don't get the feel these guys were just a bunch of punks who didn't know how to play their instruments. No, Morbid Saint were the real deal; talented musicians and songwriters pumping out high-octane slabs of bad-ass stuff that holds the flag of true Metal high and keeps it there for the blazing thirty-two minute endeavor that is this album. Yes, Spectrum of Death is a measly thirty-two minutes, and yet I wouldn't ask for it to be any longer. This album speeds by you so fast that you barely have time to comprehend what you just heard, and yet, you find yourself loving every minute of it. At least, you will if you've got a thrashing bone in your body. Stand at attention!

The songs here are all fast, brutal and loaded with youthful, angry vigor. There's no real point in talking about all of them individually, because they are all good, no exceptions. "Lock Up Your Children," "Buried at the Stake," "Crying for Death"...there are too many good songs here, all of them loaded with jackhammering riff patterns and drums that will make even the most hardened metalhead's head explode right there, and that isn't even mentioning the mammoth duo of longer tracks in the form of the riff-monster "Assassin" and the more calculated epic of the seven minute journey through Hell "Scars," which is my pick for best song on this thing. They even had to put in a calm, melodic intro in the middle of the onslaught to make sure the listeners didn't all fucking die before it was over. That about says it all for Spectrum of Death, one of the finest monuments to Heavy fucking Metal on this planet. Get this if you like the genre in the least, you will not be disappointed.

Other related information on the site
Interview with guitarist Jay Visser on August 23, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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