BLESSED DEATH - HOUR OF PAIN (Blessed Death Productions)
(Review by Stefan)
Way back in the early 80's, tape trading was a real hype for all those into underground Metal music. Old school Metal maniacs definitely know what I mean with that. Well, the more bands we learned to know this way out, how excited we were decades ago you know. To me, the early 80's Hard Rock / Metal scene was played with more conviction and powerful commitment than the nowadays scene. That explains my endless love for older ways of Hard Rock / Metal music.
So, there was a band those days called Blessed Death, also known as the New Jersey based 'Knights Of Old Bridge' who surprised and impressed us all with their own way of Thrash Metal music. First they tried to persuade our Metal souls with a demo, the reactions were that positive...we were all praising and longing for a debut album. It seemed our prayers led to reality and hell yeah... through Megaforce Records, Blessed Death's first full length was brought out in 1986 entitled ''Kill Or Be Killed''.
The result was a brilliant piece of US Thrash Metal that took you by the throat right away. Larry Portelli's voice still resounds in my ears like it was yesterday. If there's one singer with a very memorable throat, Larry's the one! Standard, low, deep, rough or high-pitched styled vocal lines were no problem from the man in charge. Both guitar players Jeff Anderson and Nick Fiorentino sacrificed the most flammable axe battles... unforgettable. Chris Powelson on drums, his brother Kevin took control over his heavy loaded bass guitar...Blessed Death conquered a special place in my own heart and soul.
The advancement of the songs were brilliant, sometimes fast as a shark - sometimes alternating with breathtaking tempo changes... awesome all over the line! A phenomenal debut album that asked for a continuation that thankfully came with the release of Blessed Death's second effort entitled ''Destined For Extinction'' through Roadrunner Records in 1988. Once again, a straight attack on ears, heart and soul was the ultimate verdict! Pure as can be, the US Thrash Metal gods were back and how?!
Superb, genius as they were on ''Kill Or Be Killed'', this second one was made with the same qualities and talents... Blessed Death delivered an excellent pearl of Thrash Metal music once again. Three years later on, a third album was recorded unfortunately never saw the light of day. At least, that was then - this is now. Through their own Blessed Death Productions, a new album is unleashed and entitled 'Hour Of Pain'', Eternally Dedicated to Bob 'Bulldozer' Szuminsky.
Two brand new, previously unreleased tracks ''Fallen Walls'' (mid-tempo powerloaded song with style) and especially ''Black Snow'' is awesome! Just like in the early days, full speed ahead with fantastic, overwhelming vocal lines of Mr. Larry Portelli. Surrounded by the rest of the band, US Thrash Metal at its best! Rest of the present song on the album are taken from the ''Terminal Rage'' demo plus a few other ones, awesome works actually. Feels outstanding to see these guys still working their fingers to the bones bringing both unreleased / new songs which means there is more on the way I guess.
Believe me when I say that Blessed Death was always a very talented formation. Agree, there was a deadly silence after the release of two phenomenal works but the main thing is they're back! The older songs, more than worth to have them on CD because they're killer ones...two new songs to prove they're still loaded with impressive skills and hooked on old school Metal to the bone (the spirit I like!).
''Hour Of Pain'' is a pure Metal thrill, sort of a collectors item...to keep it short but straight, A MUST HAVE!! To buy is the only way out at first. Secondly, eyes open for the near Blessed Death future...you're warned! More info at: www.blesseddeath.com
My Points: 96 / 100