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Deadly Blessing/Optimus Prime - Psycho Drama (Split)

Deadly Blessing/Optimus Prime
Psycho Drama (Split)
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 October 2017, 11:39 AM

DEADLY BLESSING is a little known American Thrash Metal band that came out in the mid 80’s.  Like so many other underground bands of that era, they really didn’t have much of an output outside of some demos, one full length and an EP.  This latest release, “Psycho Drama,” is a compilation of sorts that collects their older material in one place.  It’s actually a split release, with the second disc containing tracks belonging to another band called OPTIMUS PRIME, whom were born out of the ashes of DEADLY BLESSING.

DEADLY BLESSING’s songs are decent thrash but I don’t find it stands out very well from the era.  Considering the 80’s was the decade for thrash, a band has to be very good to stand-out among the likes of THE BIG FOUR, TESTAMENT, and EXODUS, plus the little known bands like NUCLEAR ASSAULT and EXCITER.  That isn’t to say the album isn’t above average or the band lacks talent.  I’m just saying don’t go in expecting some lost long collection of straight up classics. The guitar tone, even on the songs that don’t have great production, always stands out. It’s very nuanced and heavy.  However, the riffs themselves aren’t anything special; they aren’t bad by any means but I’ve heard so much better. This line of thinking basically applies to everything about this band because there just isn’t anything that stands out to me as overly exciting.

The opening track, “Asylum Awaits,” is a nice little, creepy intro that sets an exciting tone that the other songs never really live up to. “Good As Dead,” has a nice opening tempo and riff but it sounds like a discount EXODUS OR KREATOR song. “Buried Dream” has a galloping feel to it and a nice heavy bass line but the melodic guitar that pops up in the middle of riff really takes away from song and kills the momentum before it ever really begins. I understand it is a collection and therefore the production isn’t going to be even across the board but some of the songs are not listenable, such as “Four Walls,” because the production is just broken and clippy.  “Mechanical Solutions,” suffers from similar problems; the riffs sound muddled as hell and the bass drums sound odd.The OPTIMUS PRIME portion of the record is slightly better because the bass guitar is a near constant standout but the band isn’t as thrashy and the vocals are not quite as good. All in all, it’s not a bad collection per say but this isn’t one of those forgotten bands that you need to add to your collection.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Disc 1 – Deadly Blessing

1. Asylum Awaits
2. Good As Dead
3. Psycho Drama
4. Solitary Confinement
5. Buried Dream
6. Requiem
7. Question and the Answer (I Look Down)
8. Mechanical Solutions
9. Four Walls
10. Fa-Q
11. Nothing To Fear
12. The Immortal (Live)
13. Warrior Unknown (Live)
14. Shredder (Live)
15. Nothing to Fear (Live)
16. Mechanical Solutions (Live)
17. Still With Vengeance (Live)

Disc 2 – Optimus Prime

1. Inside Out
2. Remove Your Face
3. Stand In Line
4. Turn It Over
5. Eyes Can’t See
6. Sometimes
7. Disappearing World
8. When We Come (Live)
9. Shapes of Things (Live)
10. Sometimes (Live)
11. I Feel You
Lineup:
Tom Umba: Guitars
Tony Sgro – Guitars
Dane Pettolina – Drums
Mark Vincent – Bass
Larry Beston – Vocals
Record Label: Divebomb Records
     


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