ABOMINATION — Tragedy Strikes (review)

ABOMINATION — Tragedy Strikes album cover Album · 1991 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Vim Fuego
Producer, vocalist and guitarist Paul Speckman was one of the figures who helped shape death metal as we know it now. While Master is his best–known project, Abomination seems to have been consigned to the bargain bin of history. It shouldn't have been.

Abomination was solid sub–death thrash, heavy, serious and intelligent. Abomination dealt great slabs of songs, as noisy as a shipyard building a battleship. The three–piece band generated this huge sound with a minimum of fuss, a fact which probably counted against the band in the end.

Aside from opener "Blood for Oil", the rest of the album is unremarkable, in the sense that you know you've just received a damn good dose of thrash, it's just that you can't remember any of it. It's like going to a football match where your team scores in the first minute, then plays out for a 1–0 win– it's the result you wanted, but getting there was not as exciting as it could have been.

"Blood for Oil" though, is the kind of stomping, relentless opener bands like Nuclear Assault and Sodom managed less often than they would have liked. Taking snippets of news bulletins from the first Gulf War, Speckman questioned the motives and results of the short–lived desert war, asking if oil is really worth the human toll, on both sides, of armed conflict.

Elsewhere, it seems Paul Speckman wasn't too keen on the country he lives in. "Oppression" asks if there really is freedom in American society. "Pull The Plug" is not a cover of the Death song, but rather a diatribe aimed at drunk drivers. "Industrial Sickness" examines the damage industry causes to people and environment. Yep, America was sick in 1991, and little seems to have changed since.

While not an album to impress a non–believer as to how good thrash can be, there's still plenty on offer here — no frills music played with conviction, and thought provoking, politically motivated lyrics. A nice history piece.
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