What A Joke is an awesome thrash album with high speed frenetic riffing and some inspired lyrics. The album is full of lunacy and humour and yet gets its point across in a highly original way, while maintaining breakneck speed and amazing lead breaks. When I first heard this I was blown away by the dexterity of the band who can move from lightspeed thrash to crawling metal to humorous anecdotes, that became infamous among Christian circles who shared the enthusiasm of the music.
The band members at this stage were Jimmy P. Brown II on lead vox and Guitars, George Ochoa on Guitars, Mike Grato on Bass Guitar and Kevin Lee on Drums. So the band had changed yet again but the music was still brutal and fast. The theme of the album centres on the way that Christians were suggesting that Christians and metal cannot mix and they are all evil. The band stood against this ridiculous suggestion with this album saying What A Joke and they even injected cynicism in songs such as It's The Beat "They say it's satanic, hahahaha, It's The Beat, show me a chapter and a verse, you never can". I used to love this because it clearly refutes the complaints of those who slagged off the band for its 'voodoo drum' beat. The band also try to attempt to show they can be peaceful and play Silent Night, it does not last for long as on the word 'Peace', Brown shouts the word and a driving metal riff crunches along, till it gets very fast; a great version of the Christmas carol though!
I can recommend a listen to this entire album as an example of speed metal at its finest. Check out Prophet Of Idiocy, the intricate metal riffing of Pseudo Intellectual and What A Joke; awesome distorted metal guitar and hyper lead breaks in 7 minutes. There is even a Black Sabbath cover After Forever which is a great version.
The album is notable for the weirdness of fun little gems such as Cheeseburger Maker Du, an 8 second blast. A girl questions; 'That's the end?'. It is always fun to listen to the recipe read out while metal blastbeats crunch along with Chipped Beef. Happy Star is a 5 second piece of nonsense, and J.P.D. and Pray are very short weird little treasures that always amused me. Purgatory Sandwich With Mustard is very funny and needs to be heard to get the joke. The album ends with a rehash of an old song called Attack.
Overall this is the best Deliverance album and was released right on time when people were complaining about the new wave of Christian metal. It was the last time the band would release a speed metal album before they turned to a much more mellow approach on subsequent albums.