The debut of New York’s WHIPLASH, “Power And Pain”, is another completely underrated Thrash Metal classic. Some years ago I purchased the CD re-release of this album via Displeased Records and got really mad afterwards because that thing had obviously been copied from a heavily used vinyl record. The fact that the record label advertised the CD with the statement “including cult creaking and fuzz” in magazines was even more impudent. At least the accompanying “Ticket To Mayhem” had been copied from the original CD, that’s at least something positive.
Meanwhile, I have been able to get the original Price Killers CD of Roadracer Records for a lot of money. The lyrics and pictures are not included here, but neither is the “cult creaking and fuzz”, fortunately. Okay, the music is worth any price anyway, for the album contains nothing but highlights. WHIPLASH had a really unique sound, so nothing sounds like SLAYER and Co here. Especially the awkwardly buzzing guitars cause an overwhelming feeling in your head. The wild bass lines by the sadly deceased Tony Bono (R.I.P.) are really exciting as well. The hoarse, seemingly forced but adrenaline-infused vocals by Tony Portaro sound equally unique. Regarding the animal behind the drum kit, nothing needs to be said, after all Tony Scaglione replaced Dave Lombardo when he left SLAYER for the first time.
The songs, with all of them being played ferociously, contain very smooth, short breaks, get stuck in your brain and unleash an unparalleled power. Killers such as “War Monger”, “Power Thrashing Death” or “Nailed To The Cross” can be screamed along to right away and strain your neck muscles to breaking point. To me, this album is on the same level as DARK ANGEL’s “Darkness Descends”. Those who are into straight-forward Thrash with a bite that never gets dull or classless will love this disc!
(Online April 12, 2007)