Apparently this is the bad Death album. I didn’t know that based on the reviews I glanced at and, funnily enough, I didn’t notice while listening to it either.
After years of listening to extreme metal I still don’t feel comfortable assessing an album’s place in the genre or the field at large unless I know on good authority that it’s a really big deal. There is just so much out there that it’s hard to listen to all of it, especially if you’re like me and you find albums dedicated solely to one genre to be pretty boring.
But I don’t find this boring! I mean, it’s not anywhere near as varied as I like my metal but, as a death metal record goes, I enjoy it enough. It’s only my second experience of the band and, frankly, I don’t know what else was going on in the world of death metal in 1990, but this pretty much does what I expect death metal to do: there’s pummeling riffs, good solos and lots of growling.
I don’t know how the material stacks up against other death metal bands of the era because I’ve listened to so few of them (and none of them particularly recently). But this works for me. (Again, I’d like it more if it was more varied, but beggars cannot be choosers.) The lyrics are very much what you would expect but I’ve long learned to ignore metal lyrics, and that’s not really what I want out of metal, anyway.
If I have one complaint it’s that the high hat sometimes sounds kind of terrible compared to the other instruments. (The recording itself is not perfect by any means.) The other cymbals sound find but that high hat sometimes sounds like a problem with the tape.
Far as I know this is pretty good for the genre in 1990.