Abattoir – “Vicious Attack” RE-ISSUE (Marquee Records)
Oh wow, this one goes right back to 1985, when the LA thrash scene, inspired by the success of early Slayer really took off with bands like Dark Angel, Hirax and Agent Steel forming the next wave of metal that went even beyond OTT! Abattoir were definitely in the same league with guitarist Juan Garcia later joining Agent Steel, but not before laying waste along with lead axeman Mark Caro on the aptly titled “Vicious Attack”. At the time released by renowned metal label Combat Records – home to Megadeth, Possessed and Exodus – and later Death and Nuclear Assault, Abattoir fitted right on in with their own searing brand of Priest and Maiden inspired speed metal played to insanity levels! Recorded for $3,000 this original demo was pressed as an album in all its rawness and OTT glory as it was just what young thrashers like me craved for – wailing speed frenzied solos with dollops of tremolo and raw, shredding riffs, ball crunching bass, psychopathic drumming, and of course Steve Gaines screaming vocals that actually contained the only hint of melody on the whole album! Songs like ‘Stronger Than Evil’, ‘The Enemy’ and a ripping cover of ‘Ace Of Spades’ might sound like they were indeed recorded in a butcher’s yard (while the slaughter was going on) but “Vicious Attack” remains one of the 80s underground cult albums, gaining international acclaim at the time, but more importantly, still able to leave scars 30 years on.