Plate o' Shrimp. In Repoman, one of the best movies ever made, a hippie burnout talks out how you might be thinking about one thing and then for some unknown reason someone else mentions something else that is somehow connected. The point being that nothing in life is actually random. In the comments section of the review of One God or Another, I made mention of Metallica and then next up got around to listening to "Evil Never Dies" by Critical Solution, one of the many albums lined up for review in the email box.
Critical Solution live and breath 80's thrash metal to the point that they will give Evile a serious run for the money in the Metallica clone stakes. A number of sites could easily be fooled into thinking some of these tracks are new Metallica. The vocalist is closer to the James Hetfield of the 1980's than James Hetfield is capable of getting these days. A large amount of the riffing is an enjoyable voyage into the Bay Area's past. "This Burning Hate" takes the "And Justice For All" template and improves it in a number of ways. What are they? It's a lot shorter than any of the songs on that album and it's easy to hear all the instruments.
The gang vocals throughout the album are a trip back to the time Testament released "Practice What You Preach" and that was the only variant from the template Metallica had set. For those that need a history lesson, they were far from the only band stealing the blueprint, check out Onslaught's "In Search of Sanity" and a bunch of others that were released around the same period of time.
Proving that it's not all retro-thrash as "War Machine" harks back to the days of NWOBM and there's definitely more than a tinge of early Iron Maiden in there. The steady drumming as the song changes tempo is one of the highlights of the song. It's also catchy with a crunchy guitar sound that's easy to sink your teeth into.
It's a little mind-blowing that some of the guys in this band weren't even born when Metallica first became a radio-friendly unit shifter. A concept album is an ambitious project for a debut album unless of course you count "Kill 'Em All" as a concept album about how Metallica will kick your ass. Critical Solution's concept is much more mature as its about greed and power and follows a character named Wallace Green who wants to assassinate a king. These guys hail from Norway but recorded this album at Andy La Rocque's studio in Sweden. Mr La Rocque even appears in a couple of bonus covers, "Killed By Death and "Seek and Destroy". Fans of the first three Metallica albums should check this out as it's a highly enjoyable listen although it might even be a little to close for some listeners.