Wading through a landfill of dirty needles, crumpled Whopper wrappers, and soiled Depends, one will occasionally discover the discarded treasure; a diamond in the rough if you will. Albums like “Mach 666” are the reason I continue to lower your intelligence with romantic old-school espoused ideals and make an effort to fight through the mediocrity to find those albums which land in my lap and set my loins afire. Sam Dunn may have created a stir with the development of “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey”, but will be remembered for splitting skulls and snapping spines in BURN TO BLACK.
Thrash is such a simple formula honestly; hit me with speed and a memorable riff and you’re gold. You don’t have to remind these guys as they have a retro yet memorable foray into this field which will force you to bang your goddamn head till the sound waves are muffled by the blood pouring from your ear canals. Mike and Paul shred with the best of them as the quality of the riffage is apparent and in your face as soon as “Hellspell” begins to melt your speakers. Variety is also achieved through a multitude of minor variations. The aforementioned main riff of the opener is altered in a number of subtle ways providing a wealth of tantalizing moments for which the listener to glean. This is really where the compositions come to life as a unique air of identity is established through those memorable moments where your head is banging furiously as your shredding through the air guitar faster than a young Mustaine on stage.
You also can’t help but fall in love with Rob’s mangled Black-Thrash vocal assault. The intensity is elevated with the combination of voice and rhythm in direct support of the axe-work. This electric feeling is conveyed through the sound waves in a manner which is not altogether different from that of a live performance which truly leaves a lasting impression. Toss in the chaotic yet clear old-school production and you have one killer record which will be in my CD player for a hell of a long time.
If you’re a human being capable of producing adrenaline, then you will eat this album up quicker than a SIX FEET UNDER one liner. Raise the horns and give your spine a work-out as this album demands to be cranked to no less than 11.
(Online December 23, 2006)