Morbid Saint – Spectrum Of Death (Extended Edition) (Century Media)

Genre: Thrash Metal

Eschewing the Bay Area sound for a rabid attack more in tune with German acts like Kreator and Destruction, Morbid Saint didn’t get anywhere near the ‘Big Four’ when they first hit the thrash scene. Yet, as this collection proves, the Wisconsin mob deserve to be more than a footnote in the genre’s history.

Featuring 1990’s debut opus, Spectrum of Death, a rough mix of its unreleased follow-up, Destruction System, plus a rare 1992 demo and a slew of tracks recorded since their 2010 reformation, this is a pot of Gold for thrash connoisseurs. It’s fast, raw and unrelenting, and like early Slayer and Dark Angel (with whom they shared stages), Morbid Saint squeeze every last drop of adrenaline from their performances.

Their 21st century offerings, such as Life’s Blood and Dying Day, are perfectly enjoyable, but they’re almost tame compared to the likes of Spectrum of Death’s Burned at the Stake or Damien. Blurs of razorblade riffing and rapid-fire drumming, topped with the hyperspeed, vitriolic vocals of Pat Lind, both songs are violent whirlwinds of dark energy, and are typical of Morbid Saint’s early work. The Destruction System material does some serious damage too: the title track is particularly noteworthy for its vicious, mid-paced stomp.

It may not boast an Angel of Death or Battery, but this collection is a real treasure trove of no holds barred thrash metal, created for fans who hold the music close to their hearts. Morbid? More like moreish.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Death Defying