GUILLOTINE
"Blood Money"

(Pulverised)

01. Insane Oppression
02. Rebellion
03. Insanity
04. Liar
05. Die/Live
06. Skeleton City
07. Madness (Instrumental)
08. Dying World
09. Welcome To Dying (Death, Destruction & Pain)
10. War
11. Our Darkest Day
12. Blood Money

RATING: 7.5/10

If you are going to release a vintage-style thrash album, then there is no time like the present. The discs have been selling like hotcakes. Just don't call Sweden's GUILLOTINE bandwagon jumpers, as NOCTURNAL RITES' Fredrik Mannberg and Nils Eriksson formed the group (originally dubbed HOLOCAUST) in 1995, releasing the "Under the Guillotine" demo (1995) and full length debut (1997), and then finally getting around to releasing this year's "Bloody Money". But as I was saying, it's a good time to be releasing this kind of album, especially one that is as energetic and vibrant as this one.

One should be careful when bandying about such terms as "vintage" and "retro" though, as it sometimes implies a younger generation discovering the old school and, god forbid, trying to be hip and ironic. As mentioned earlier, GUILLOTINE is no Johnny-come-lately; it is just an act that plays a Teutonic brand of thrash metal and they do it with gusto. In a stroke of good fortune for the discernible listener they also do it with all due attention paid to memorable song construction. The group's sound blends the most accessible eras of the big three German thrash bands � SODOM, KREATOR, and DESTRUCTION, especially the latter two � with a modern edge and tight delivery. And yet it doesn't sound like mere style mimicry either, regardless of the obvious influences, no doubt owing to the spirited manner in which these songs are performed and a willingness to vary the arrangements here and there. "Insane Oppression" (the most typically KREATOR of the bunch), "Rebellion", "Insanity", and an exercise in harnessing aggression called "Die/Live" hit it and quit it with authority, but then so do most of these songs. Others, such as "Welcome to Dying (Death, Destruction, & Pain)" and "Dying World", showcase the act's ability to write hooks, while a cut like "Liar" features a melodically noteworthy lead break. Finally, is anyone surprised that Ed Repke is responsible for the artwork?

"Blood Money" is one of those distinctly European thrash albums that succeeds not because it pushes any boundaries (it clearly does not), but because it is catchy, easy to digest, and headbang-worthy. That's good enough for me.

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