LETHAL — Programmed

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LETHAL - Programmed cover
3.88 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1990

Filed under US Power Metal


1. Fire in Your Skin (5:39)
2. Programmed (4:03)
3. Plan of Peace (2:59)
4. Another Day (6:17)
5. Arrival (4:24)
6. What They've Done (5:44)
7. Obscure the Sky (3:59)
8. Immune (4:59)
9. Pray for Me (3:10)
10. Killing Machine (5:36)

Total Time: 46:54


- Vocals / Tom Mallicoat
- Guitars / Dell Hull
- Guitars / Eric Cook
- Bass / Glen Cook
- Drums / Jerry Hartman

About this release

Full-length released on Metal Blade/ MFN in October 1990.
A promotional video for the track "Immune" exists.

track 1.8.10. by Mallicoat
track 2.7. by Mallicoat ,Hull,G.Cook
track 3.4.6. by Mallicoat, E.Cook
track 5 by Mallicoat,E.Cook,G.Cook
track 9. by Mallicoat,Hull

Thanks to UMUR, Time Signature, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Programmed" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Hebron, Kentucky based progressive/power metal act Lethal. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in October 1990. Lethal was formed by the Cook brothers Eric (on guitars) and Glen (on bass) in 1982 and after a couple of lineup changes and the release of the 1987 "Arrival" demo, they got signed to Metal Blade Records for the release of "Programmed". A promotional video was released for the "Immune" track.

The music on "Programmed" is a guitar/vocal driven type of progressive power metal, not far removed from the 80s releases by acts like Fates Warning, Crimson Glory, and Queensrÿche. In addition to the artists mentioned above I´d also add a slight Iron Maiden influence when describing the music.

The 10 track, 46:54 minutes long album is loaded with well written material. Each track is intricate, relatively catchy, and melodic yet heavy when that is called for. Lead guitar themes and solos are a major part of the band´s sound as well as a tight and well playing rhythm section. It´s mostly the very high pitched vocals and ornamented vocal melodies by Tom Mallicoat, which are in focus. With a vocalist like that fronting the band it´s nearly impossible to focus on anything else when he sings. A passionate and very convincing vocal delivery throughout. The instrumental part of the music is also very well played and it´s clear from the opening notes of album opener "Fire in Your Skin", that we´re dealing with a professional and talented band.

I called the music progressive power metal above, but in this case the word "progressive" doesn´t mean complex song structures or demanding instrumental sections, but rather just that the compositions are quite intricate and played with a rare sophistication (although most tracks do feature some pretty demanding playing). When examined a bit closer most of the tracks are actually pretty regular vers/chorus structured.

Overall "Programmed" is a high quality debut release by Lethal, and while they never broke through commercially and is seldom mentioned as one of the seminal progressive power/heavy metal acts from those days, the album is still highly recommendable to fans of the genre. Definitely a high quality release deserving more attention. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Time Signature
Fire in your ears...

Genre: progressive power metal

"Programmed" is obviously inspired by Iron Maiden and other classic metal acts, but nonetheless semi-original teeming with catchy melodies, rhythms and proggy tidbits here and there, and I think that this release is comparable to the early releases by prog metal giants Fates Warning.

Just check out tracks like the epic sounding "Fire in your Skin" and the odd-metered "Programmed", "Arrival", and "Obscure the Sky", and the mighty "Killing Machine" (which is an original track and not a cover of Judas Priest's classic track).

"Another Day" is a "Parallels" era Fates Warning-like ballad which does not work as well as it could. The other ballad "Pray for Me" works much better.

Tom Mallicoat's operatic vocal style rivals that of even Jon Arch, and it suits the progressively inclined power metal on this release quite well. While the music certainly is very good, it is the vocal acrobatics that sends shivers down the listener's spine (it's essentially the vocals that carry tracks like "Plan of Peace", "What They've Done" but on the other hand, the vocal acrobatics are perhaps to much for "Another Day".

This is recommended to fans of early Fates Warning and power prog metal in general.

Members reviews

No LETHAL PROGRAMMED reviews posted by members yet.

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  • Fant0mas
  • Unitron
  • Colt
  • Lynx33
  • luanpedi
  • Charcaroth
  • aecht

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