What does Death-Thrash from Mexico sound like? Well, if like me you were wondering, then prepare to be blown away at first listen. The appropriately named TICKET TO HELL will shock and awe you with a combination of Death Metal, Thrash and even a Death n’ Roll attitude forged into a skull crushing sonic battering ram that still has a ton of groove and dare I say, a somewhat even fun energy.
The ‘band's’ music is surprisingly the brainchild and work of one man, Jacobo, who began this endeavor after more than a decade playing with bands like ANTIQUA and PROJECT FIRESTART. Wanting to take control over his musical vision, Jacobo not only sings, but also plays most of the instruments on this eight-song follow up to his 2006 demo. Guitarist Cesar Tariello is credited with the solos which are also very well done, but the rest of the instruments played by Jacobo also sound like they were performed by seasoned pro’s. Not only is his furious rhythm guitar work which has a strong influence of European Melodic Death and even Black Metal to it quite excellent, but the drums and bass are absolutely monstrous, and his shouted, growled, and screamed vocals are a perfect match for the intense almost out of control music. His singing is certainly never dull as he nearly constantly changes his delivery style from line to line, his hoarse tone always on the verge of breaking. This is clearly a man who absolutely throws himself into his performance, as there is very little in terms of subtlety to be found on this album.
It’s quite difficult to pick any favorite songs as they are nearly all equally solid, but if I were really pressed, I’d select a track like “Eyes Of Fire” for its roaring chorus of “I am the Cancer”- not to mention the hammering rhythms that tested the limits of my stereo speakers! Other’s that caught my ear would include “Man Made Paradise” with its on the edge of breaking vocals and nearly Black Metal intensity, and of course the album opener and band anthem “Ticket To Hell” for cramming almost as many kick ass guitar riffs into one song as you’ll find on most other albums.
In short, this album is very good, and Jacobo is to be commended for such a fine effort. It certainly stands out from many of the heavier Death Metal oriented albums I’ve recently heard, and whether you like Death, Thrash, or high energy Death n’ Roll, I can’t imagine anyone else not liking it just as much.
(Online June 22, 2008)