Grab a shovel motherfucker; you ARE going 6 feet under. This is 1988 before Robb Flynn was suffering from the burning red and when Thrash had the collective Metal scene putting their heads through panes of glass and fists through brick walls. Albums like this do not lie at the bottom of the ocean waiting to be discovered, they grab you by the balls and rend till your carcass is unidentifiable and the ignorant listener is experiencing pain. Yes, actual pain; if you want to slit your wrists and partake in the Emo scene pick up this album instead to spare you the trouble of stealing your mom’s razor-blade and actually committing the act.
If you have given one of my Thrash reviews even a passing glance (which you very well should) you will notice certain phrases I have become known to use from time to time, including such gems as “riff assault” “riff monster” and “nothing tastes like riffs shoved down your throat!”-forget everything you know thus far as Phil Demmel and Robb Flynn transcend the word riff and out of respect for the mighty VIO-LENCE I will not use it again in this review. “Eternal Nightmare” is a fusillade of the word which we will not mention spanning goddamn blistering sections such as the chorus raping during “Serial Killer” where Sean Killian bends you over screaming at top speed:
“Run for your life I'm the serial killer
I've come to bury you today
No family, no funeral, no rosaries for
Slain on this hillside - MY SILENT GRAVE!
MY SILENT GRAVE!
MY SILENT GRAVE!
That's where you lay!”
THAT IS WHERE YOU LAY you insolent mound of feces and VIO-LENCE make that loud and clear not only in seizure-inducing manic axe-work but also mid-paced cannonades of beautiful ecstasy. “Calling In The Coroner” is one of the catchiest tracks on here with that mid-paced concussion inducing and IQ lowering signature Demmel lead-work; that is of course if you ever made it past the opening title track followed by “Serial Killer” which violate you to the point it will make you sick to even glance at a MACHINE HEAD album ever again. In fact, it should be mandated that everyone show their Mall-core friend this goddamn album and keep a defibrillator handy.
Oh the guitars are even Kerry King’s wet dream yes, but that is not where the fist-fucking seizes, no sir. Expose yourself to the bludgeoning rhythm and seek an ear, nose and throat doctor quicker than the last time you reached for a Trojan. There are even a couple short bass solos with a bit of D.D. Verni flavor which will get the blood pumping. The vocal patterns tend to interject above the other elements (except the guitars which are too busy gutting the listener of course) due to Sean Killian’s unique approach. Many have criticized the man and view his hectic somewhat high-pitched spitting as over-the-top and altogether distracting: to the would-be critic I scoff. Killian has you screaming in pain and leads the gang-vocal choruses triumphantly into hell tearing apart earth and man alike. Place a James Hetfield or even Miland “Mille” Petrozza imitator in “Phobophobia” and you do the whole goddamn decade an injustice. All of these elements are crucial to the mix and support the frantic guitars like a push-up bra.
So you have been thrashing about for 35 minutes self-inducing concussion and bleeding from every orifice, how can it get any better; an hour long live performance that is fucking how. On the 2005 reissue of this classic we get a bonus live recording from the 2001 Thrash of the Titans festival. The quality is pretty damn good and every instrument can be depicted with ease. The concert features a plethora of tracks spanning the band’s entire career with a healthy variety of excellent gut-wrenching cuts showcasing the band in their element, bashing skulls upon a huge goddamn stage.
“Eternal Nightmare” completely slaughters and is one of the top debut long-players in the history of Metal. If you love Thrash, make love to your guitar on a nightly basis, or just listened to a fast song that one time when you were hammered; then this album is food for your ravenous soul. You will buy this, you will bang your fucking head and you will lose consciousness. Lay the twenty spot on the counter and keep the health insurance card handy. (Online February 24, 2006)