Review Summary: prob the best thrash album ever
In the mid to late 80s thrash metal was king, blending the aggression of heavy metal and the speed of hardcore, it was respected by both ugly metal heads and skinhead retards. Towards the latter part of the 80s the genre started to mature, many thrash bands were becoming more technical, making longer songs and basically becoming less influenced by hardcore. But it wasnt until Metallica's And Justice for All where the progressive metal elements started to become popular in thrash. As technical/progressive thrash was on the rise, the retarded ADD thrasher kids moved onto retard bands such as Cannibal Corpse and left the thrash genre to the intelligent metal dudes of the time, the guys who dug Watchtower and Coroner but also dug Genesis on the side and watched thrash shows with opera glasses, you didnt *** with them. Heathen's first record Breaking the Silence was a great album in its own right and showed slight progressive elements but they werent entirely present until Victims of Deception. This record is massive improvement over Breaking the Silence, the overall musicianship and song writing is above and beyond anything on its predecessor. The songs here are much longer and have much more substance, every riff feel like it's means something, the passions pours through, you can almost taste the blood sweat and piss of the members coming through your speakers.
The opener Hypnotized is easily one of the best thrash songs ever written. The long winded intro features crazy ass samples from the late Jim Jones, it builds up a dark yet strangely thrash as *** atmosphere that only becomes fully realised as soon as the first note hits, and *** is it a good one. The song is constantly kicking balls, the the build up after the intro with the repetitive tremolo picking pattern and the drums getting faster and faster is easily one of the best moments in the genre. But it doesnt stop there, the next track Opiate of the Masses is just as unbelievable. This time we kick straight into a beast of a riff, but it's not until the verse where the real riffs come out to play. If you thought the verse was good, holy *** titties wait till the bridge. Dave Whites vocals are perfectly suited to this band, his less aggressive, more harmonious vocals soar above the the heavy trems and POWER chords. Lee Atlus is the main songwriter of the band and is a true riff master. His rhythm playing contains mostly extremely tight tremelo picking and palm muting giving the album the heavy as *** sound. His lead playing however is even more impressive, his neoclassical influenced playing style rocks ass, From his beautiful playing in Prisoners of Fate to Morbid Curiosity which contains one of the most insane solos you'll ever hear in the genre.
The production is absolutely spot on for the genre, the guitars are distorted to *** yet still retain enough clarity to make your dick hairs stand on end. The drums are very punchy with a clicky yet beefy bass drum sound, similar to And Justice for All, but with much better playing here of course. The double bass playing is very tight and quite unique, containing many different triplets sometimes going in between the guitars tremolo picking pattern to give a real ***ed up sound that rules hard. For the most part the bass guitar takes a back seat but there are certain moments it shines through, such as the clean verses on Prisoners of Fate. Speaking of that jam, Prisoners of Fate is easily the best thrash ballad ever made. It contains the characteristics of a ballad without sacrificing the thrash and stellar musicianship. The solo is one of the best thrash solos ever recorded, oh my god it doesnt get any better than this, only Toxik's There Stood the Fence comes close. Prisoners is perhaps the Starless of thrash, ah. The cover of Rainbows Kill the King is a great addition to the album, it is much shorter than the other tracks but doesnt feel out of place. The final track Timeless Cell of Prophecy is an amazing closer and gladly it sends the album off with a bang. The only downside is it leaves you feeling lost and abandoned after it finishes, but dont worry, you can always play the album all over again!
Victims of Deception blends intricate riffs with melodious leads and vocals without ever missing the mark. Not many albums can pull off the awesome technicality throughout and still remain catchy and memorable, but by jove these lads did it. The album is consistent as all ***, every song has at least has one extremely memorable riff, even the ballad remains as interesting as the thrashers which is pretty ***ing rare. If you're into thrash or metal in general, or just ***ing great music than this album is for your ears, it contains everything thats awesome about thrash and progressive metal and blends them up into this ***ing magnum opus of holy ***ing goodness, and even though the term is pretty gay, Victims of Deception is a true thrashterpiece.