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Deathrow - Riders Of Doom (Reissue)

Riders Of Doom (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 26 February 2018, 11:16 PM

In the middle of the 80s something happened in the Metal scene in Germany, a fully charge Metal blast that shook the ground. Speed and Thrash Metal took shape and form, slowly gather attention to their tainted nature. Of course it is said that truly four bands in the subgenre actually made a name for themselves across the world, and you know who those are. However, and there is no need to call them second league, there were other bands that were no less talented, no less brutal or aiming high, hence I give you one of the finest indeed, the Dusseldorf bread and born DEATHROW. Though the band hasn’t been active for quite some time, the reactivated Noise Records decided to commemorate the band’s first three efforts, which were under its wing back in the day, with special edition reissues.

Reaching cult status is an aspect to be proud of, DEATHROW’s debut album, “Riders Of Doom”, a firstborn made of controversy, has enough merits to be true to the title. The album’s surrounding story, unraveled by the band’s founders in the booklet of the release, showed the decision making of a young band various the industry wishes that had one hell of a desire to plant seeds for something greater. Music wise, it was the beginning, but yet also a definition that gradually became a monstrosity, a form called Teutonic Thrash Metal. The DEATHROW boys, being influenced by growing Metal artists such as METALLICA / SLAYER yet also taking notes from their country peers such as KREATOR and lets I forget a major discharge of early aggressive Punk, flared on “Riders Of Doom” with a murky vision of unstoppable energy and rawness that added to the notion that 1986 was a great year for Metal music.

Similar to other acts debut albums that came into the light between 1986/7, such as HOLY MOSES / ASSASSIN / EXUMER / DARKNESS and I will quietly put in also PARADOX and VENDETTA, utterly relentless and let it all out in your face was the name of the game. DEATHROW took no prisoners, assaulting at will with classic Speed Metal charges that reigned throughout their musical creations. Their deep passion is felt between the lines, engraving their devilry upon the occult oriented lyricism, boasting with high octane soloing that blasted so loud I almost freaked out in my seat, and same goes for the full throttle riffing that sliced its way, never looking back. I enjoyed the sense of the rudimentary, and I don’t mean it in a bad way, four guys out on the attack, serving you their guts on the platter in the form of melodic aggressive and speedy music that may cut you where you stand, at least on some of the time.

Special deliveries that laid before me as the undying “Violent Omen”, and the alien invasion manifestation of “Spider Attack” along with the instrumental offering “Hell’s Ascent” and the black magic within the veins of “Dark Tales”, other than their traits of Thrashed up heaven, distributed the classic melodic Heavy Metal sounds of JUDAS PRIEST / RUNNING WILD but also their moments of darkness and dismay. I would also add the staggering introduction “Winds Of Death”, a well-made build up and suspension right before the great kick in ass coming right after it. The album’s title song, “Riders Of Doom”, and the fiendish closing argument “Samhain”, also did justice to this album, contributing its mighty class in German Thrash Metal.

Included in this special edition there are five additional tracks. To be honest, the three tracks of the band’s early incarnation, under the moniker of SAMHAIN, aren’t in the highest of quality, but it was still possible to understand the early stage of the band that it would become. The rehearsal tracks, featuring never officially recorded instrumentals, which I guess could have been songs, have nice touch to them. The recording quality isn't obviously being top notch, though it is nice to have tunes that never actually made the cut.

“Riders Of Doom” was a part of a heat wave that brushed over Germany and Europe, the scene began to be flooded with newcomer bands spilling the blood of Metal for the first time. Its iconic status is well reserved and after decades of not being available on the market, there is a good chance now to experience the freshness of a wild era in Thrash Metal.

Purchase Link: BMG

4 Star Rating

1. Winds Of Death (Intro)
2. Satan’s Gift
3. Riders Of Doom
4. Hell’s Ascent
5. Spider Attack
6. Slaughtered
7. Violent Omen
8. Dark Tales
9. Samhain
10. Hell’s Ascent (Demo)
11. Samhain (Demo)
12. Riders Of Doom (Demo)
13. Night of The Wolf (Rehearsal)
14. Run (Rehearsal)
15. Screams of Pain (Rehearsal)
Milo Van Jaksic - Vocals / Bass
Thomas Priebe - Guitars
Sven Flügge - Guitars
Markus Hahn – Drums
Record Label: Noise Records


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