Review Summary: A great album that too few have heard.S.D.I.
is a now defunct German three piece speed/thrash band that came about during the height of the thrash scene. However, they went largely unnoticed, which is a shame considering that they put out some quality albums. Not the most original band in the world, SDI seemed to take a few cues from fellow Krauts Blind Guardian
, but in a more aggressive manner. Their songs were seldom serious and were usually humorous and self-aware.
Vocalist/bassist Reinhard Kruse isn't the best of his craft, but his voice perfectly fits this music the band plays. Not too gruff, not too smooth either, with a slight punk edge to it. He seems to have learned his limits on the first album, which were explored with mixed results. He still likes to do the occasional high pitched scream that's most often awkward, hilarious, and awesome at the same time. Drummer Ralf Maunert's work here is fast and tight, and can be best appreciated on Killer's Confession
, but otherwise doesn't do anything extraordinary. Guitarist Rainer Rage churns out some tried and true speed riffs and the occasional memorable, well done solo. Again, nothing mind blowing but it works. The production is solid without sounding too raw or overdone. Very 'middle bowl of porridge', if you will. The guitar tone here doesn't suffer from sounding too thin and trebly like so many of its peers of the era, adding that extra kick that makes this album aggressive, yet fun.
The opening double track, Comin' Again/Sign of the Wicked
is by far the longest on the album, actually taking up more than a quarter of the record. The first 5 and a half minutes is pretty much straightforward speed metal, save for the acoustic intro, while Sign of the Wicked slows the pace with a repetitive, vaguely doom-ish riff with a melodic lyrical twist. The songs only get catchier from there and practically demand that the listener sing along and headbang. Megamosh
is a great example of this. With lyrics such as "bang your head, jump and scream/get crazy, you know what I mean
", you won't find anything deep or meaningful here, just some mindless, energetic fun. Alcohol
is another infectiously catchy track that talks about the negative aspects of the drug without sounding preachy, which is about the closest thing to seriousness that you will find on this album.
There are a few strange moments on this album, however. The cliche woman moaning during the testosterone fueled Quick Shot
, the slightly goofy intro to Megamosh
, and the out of place quiet part of the closer, Fight
all come to mind. However these complaints are minor and don't take away from the flow of the album or the undeniable catchiness of the songs. This is a very accessible record for all fans of metal and leaves a lasting impression on the listener. Too bad this band came around at a time when the thrash/speed scene was getting oversaturated, because even though they weren't terribly original, they made some great music.
Overall, this is a very fun, enjoyable album that's aggressive without being headache inducing. I would recommend this record to anybody who's interested in 80s metal. Seasoned metalheads may not be so impressed with the band's often lacking technicality, but they won't be able to resist this album's charms. Play it loud, play it often.
Comin' Again/Sign of the Wicked