Blood Feast
Chopping Block Blues

I actually heard this album, Blood Feast's second, before Kill for Pleasure, and at the time I wasn't all that impressed. After getting KfP and loving it, I gave Chopping Block Blues another spin, and ended up appreciating it more. It's still not quite as good as Kill for Pleasure, but not as horrible as I first thought (actually, not that bad at all).

Where the first album sounded totally out of control, this sounds more like the second wave of thrash that started springing up in 1989 - overall, it sounds more controlled and technical. Though the parts themselves are as fast as ever, there are more intricate riffs and song/dynamic/tempo shifts throughout. The solos are a bit more technical and melodic, not so crazy as on the first album (I wonder if the departure of guitarist Adam Tranquilli had anything to do with that, or the more technical shift of the band as a whole...). Even the vocals changed to a more controlled style - gone is Gary Marovitch's frantic-death-scream vocals style, traded for a sort of nasally whine-type thing, but still rhythmically phrased in a frantic (and slightly off-beat) manner. Those vocals more than anything else may be what caused people to hate this album - I could actually believe that these two albums were done by two different bands, and the change may have just thrown people off.

Production is noticeably thicker, and even a few keyboards are added here and there. Hot spots are "Hunted, Stalked, and Slain," "Dropping Like Flies," a cover of a Mighty Sphincter song ("Hitler Painted Roses"), and the album's closer, "Remnants", one of the more clever perversions of Psalm 23 I've heard.

Bottom line, it's not quite as good as the first one and very different; still, it's a pretty worthwhile find if you were into the whole technical thrash thing of the late 80s.

1999 lord vic