Morbid Saint

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Spectrum of Death

Morbid Saint - Spectrum of Death ©1988 Azvanzada Metallica
1. Lock Up Your Children
2. Burned at the Steak
3. Assassin
4. Damien
5. Crying for Death
6. Spectrum of Death
7. Scars
8. Beyond the Gates of Hell

Morbid Saint was yet another casualty of the overrun and over-saturated thrash scene, with a history that tied in with that of Chuck Schuldiner (both bands shared a manager in death/thrash metal stalwart Eric Grief, and Morbid Saint was said to be a favorite opening band of Death in its earlier days). The band released one full-length album and an abysmal collection of demos for an album that would never come to light before breaking up in the early 90s. Spectrum of Death, an obscure relic from the annals of thrash history, is yet another kick-ass example of thrash done right.

Morbid Saint specialized in a dark and rough-hewn brand of death/thrash. What set them apart from the rest of the pack is the proto-black metal rasp of Pat Lind, whose delivery was appropriately reverb-laden and demonic, and the muddy, slightly echo-y guitar tone of Jim Visser and Jim Fergades. The attack is mostly of the straight-for-the-jugular variety, with the aggressive drumming of Lee Reynolds sounding as if it is on the verge of losing the beat entirely, and, of course, with the bass completely buried in the mix. The obligatory epic center-piece, "Assassin", and opening song "Lock Up Your Children" are easily the highlights here. Yes, there is a quick acoustic interlude in the form of the title track, but the majority of the songs blitzkrieg along in a flurry of blackened rage, hardly letting up for most of the album's 30-minute duration.

While obviously never reaching the heights of its more erstwhile Floridian contemporaries nor their Bay Area counterparts, Morbid Saint is a band that deserves one's attention, especially is one is a fan of old-school, under-the-radar thrash metal.

Review by Alec A. Head

Review date: 06/2009

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