BLATANT DISARRAY
"Everyone Dies Alone"

(Tribunal)

01. Undetermined
02. Down & Out
03. Question
04. End
05. Faithless
06. Pathetic
07. A Righteous Rant
08. Eye Fortune
09. Hourglass
10. Everyone Dies Alone
Bonus Tracks (CD ONLY)
11. Nine Days Wonder
12. Number One Disaster
13. Manipulation

RATING: 6/10

As far as retro-thrash categorization is concerned one could — at least in broad terms — divide up the pack into three influence classifications: (1) EXODUS; (2) SLAYER; and (3) TESTAMENT. Sure, you can slice and dice in an array of other acts, everyone from NUCLEAR ASSAULT to any one of the major Teutonic thrashers, such as KREATOR and SODOM, but by and large the core element of most American thrash acts can be traced back to one of the aforementioned big boys. It just happens that the EXODUS and SLAYER offshoots (especially the former) have been more prevalent as of late. If you guessed that BLATANT DISARRAY's "Everyone Dies Alone" owes a debt to TESTAMENT, then you should be applauded for your canny abilities when it comes to process-of-elimination contests.

As is often the case and based on the sound of "Everyone Dies Alone", it is not as simple as calling BLATANT DISARRAY a band blatantly emulating the work of, in this case, early to mid-period TESTAMENT. Hell, assuming it was done well enough I'd be generally satisfied with an album that offered little more than TESTAMENT mimicry. Aside from a fair number of convincingly heavy TESTAMENT riffs, hardy melodic leads and soloing from Ryan Johnson, a competently performed, if unexciting, rhythm section and vocals from Mike Schaefer that recall the mid-range work of Chuck Billy, sans the edge, "Everyone Dies Alone" features a majority of songs that incorporate a more accessible (occasionally in an almost modern hard rock sense) approach to chorus melodies. Sometimes those choruses are effective and sometimes they're just ok, but never are they either stellar or horrendous. Your call as to what that means for purchase necessity.

Put another way, "Everyone Dies Alone" doesn't hit as hard as SANCTITY's heavy, TESTAMENT-cloned end, but the choruses come off better than the far too bright 'n shiny (to the point of seeming out of place) choruses of that act. One might even prefer a comparison that in rather vague terms references the manner in which SUSPERIA pulls it off and then toss a smidgeon of "Load"-era METALLICA in there for good (or not) measure. All in all, "Everyone Dies Alone" falls into that "not too shabby" category of albums, even if it is not one with a great deal of staying power. Just to ensure you've not eschewed the physical form in favor of the digital, the CD contains three bonus tracks not available on the digital version of "Everyone Dies Alone".

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