In Detroit, one of the icons of rock and roll venues is the I-Rock. Bands from the earliest days of our beloved music have graced the stage there. The place is also a virtual museum of rock and roll memorabilia. Tucked away between the legends of rock and metal you will find a vinyl disc of this album signed by the band. Although they might not think they rightly belong in the same category as many who have played there, it does show that there is more to this group than they were given credit for.
Luckily, Metal Mind once again gives you a chance to rekindle you friendship with one of the best thrash metal bands that got lost in the very crowded world of this genre circa 1992. While this was the album that brought the band notoriety, they still never achieved the fame the band was due. Critically acclaimed and a favorite among the thrash music lovers, they still had only limited success. It was not because of the lack of great music. This disc, which is ranked as one of their best, did spawn the MTV hits "Wading Through The Darkness" and "Forget About Heaven". Their fame was as short as the attention span of the average teenager at the time though and it would really be their only trip into the spotlight.
Starting with the deep resonant vocals of Eric (AK) Knutson, this dark work is a most satisfying bit of thundering metal. He really is an underrated singer and the vocal ability he shows on this disc should prove that to any listener. Add to that Edward Carlson and Michael Gilbert tearing through this material with a vengeance on their twin guitars, you have one of the most electrifying works of the time period.
This time out there is a real sense that the band was trying to make a statement with their music. Leaning on subject matter that is on the darker side of life, F&J make it clear that they have something to say about life and the upheavals and tribulations that permeate the planet. AK is the guy who brings out the real sense of desperation that seems to flow through this album. Using a much lower vocal style than before, he brings a forcefulness to the music that was not there on previous releases. "Swatting At Flies" and "Natural Enemies" are prime examples where his gravely voice resonates the moodiness of the disc.
All in all, this is one of those albums that you really appreciate by looking back on it. It might have not grabbed your attention the first time around but if you get a hold of this limited edition disc, it will become clear just what you missed out on before. Along with that is the bonus material that Metal Mind added for this re-release. A couple different versions and the video of "Wading Through The Darkness" along with the song "Date With Hate" and an edited version of the song "Cradle Me Now".
You can never really go wrong with these guys and this is one of their strongest efforts. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up!
1. Natural Enemies
2. Swatting At Flies
3. The Message
4. Cradle Me Now
5. Wading Through The Darkness
6. Double Zero
7. Never To Reveal
8. Forget About Heaven
9. Secret Square
10. Hypodermic Midnight Snack
11. Are You Willing
12. (Ain't Nothing Gonna) Save This World
13. Date With Hate
14. Wading Through The Darkness (radio edit)
15. Wading Through The Darkness (industrial mix)
16. Cradle Me Now (edit version)
17. Wading Through The Darkness (video)