STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 77571-15217 LABEL: Open Grave Records FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
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Reviewed by Ian Webber
On listening to this album I am transported back to the early '90s. It is no surprise however, as Once Dead was originally formed as a reunion of Vengeance Rising, the controversial American thrash metal outfit. With a couple of new band members the line up reads like a who's who of Christian metal. Their distinctive sound is still underpinned by a snare that sounds like a nail gun and a trio of guitars that provide buzz saw backing to Devin Shaeffer's brutal vocals. Add to this a generous helping of wah wah pedal in the lead breaks and you have classic thrash in the style of Slayer. Not only is the music in your face, the lyrics leave you in no doubt as to the band's spiritual credentials. The opening cut repeats "There is no contradiction in his glorious perfection," whilst "Laodicea" is a Scripture inspired comment on American complacency. This all points to the possibility of a quality release, but what could have been a great album is let down by raw production. At times the recording sounds thin and the guitars produce an annoying hiss; you could easily mistake this for a demo recording. Excellent musicianship, shame about the below par sound.