Together with the debut "Power And Pain" (1986), the second WHIPLASH record "Ticket To Mayhem" belongs undoubtlessly to the most important discs in Thrash Metal history. In 1987, the three guys from New York (everybody with Tony as forename) thrashed everything down what crosses their way. The charismatic vocals of Tony Portaro and especially his absolutely individual guitar playing (still, I can point it out of hundreds of Thrash records) together with divinely simple leads, standed WHIPLASH out of the Thrash Metal invasion of the 80s.
The first two WHIPLASH records have been put together on one disc, that suits perfectly to the reunion of the legendary Tony-Tony-Tony line-up in 1998. I have now the single CD "Ticket To Mayhem" of the Roadrunner-Price-Killers-series in my hands. This legendary disc is without a booklet but with a first-class sound because songs like "Walk The Plank" or "Snake Pit" bang your head and delight every Thrash freak. But the absolute classic on this disc is definitively "Burning Of Atlanta", a true holy Thrash milestone, simple, straight, in your face and with a divine double bass assault in the chorus! Legendary! There's also a Thrash ballad to find, "Last Nail In The Coffin" starts off at least pretty moderate and then it turns later into a stomping monster. Singer Tony Portaro shows here, that he can do more than just roaring.
Otherwise, one breaker follows another one, the songs are all some kind of simple but always straight in your face. You can't play such music better. Also today, there is no Thrash record, which can match this tune concerning intensity, power and class. WHIPLASH rock more than todays triggering Modern Thrash outfits. The sound was more roughly, the music less technical but the heroes of that time put more soul and heart in their sound! Hard to explain... probably, you have to be as old as I am...
The third album of WHIPLASH, "Insult To Injury", presented the band more melodical and the vocals were done by another guy, whose name I've forgotten. A good album but not more. After a long break, WHIPLASH came back with "Cult Of One" in 1996, but that was more unspectacularly, because those album had less to do with the former glorious days. Despite that, the guys made a follower called "Sit, Stand, Kneel, Prey", which was very unspectacular but not really bad. Both records weren't successfully because they rather filled the junkcorners of the stores and mailorders up.
In 1998, WHIPLASH reflected what they can do best: Thrashing! Due to that, they titled their album "Thrashback" and it was recorded in the classical Tony-Tony-Tony line-up of the debut "Power And Pain". Despite some new recorded demos, WHIPLASH didn't want to reanimate their past exactly rather they tried to create a modern version of their classical thrashing. The vocals on "Thrashback" are pretty more moderated, so the frontman shouldn't have the same problems with his vocal chords again. (Online May 17, 2003)