The Ultimate Desecration reviews

75%
Diamhea on February 4th, 2018

Lost in a war zone.

To me, the UK thrash scene is more typically associated with lighter, Anthrax-esque fare like Re-Animator and Acid Reign, although that is likely because my avenue into the scene came from such an angle. Xentrix stands out for obvious reasons, and the rear is brought up by a handful of capable but unexciting acts like Slammer, et al. Where does Anihilated stand in all of this? Well, a few sidesteps from the regional norm, with a style eerily reminiscent of Slayer - morose, direct and not entirely eschewed from the band's earlier punk origins.

If anything, Anihilated is a shockingly competent band on a technical level. The Ultimate Desecration is a surging, precise slab of dark late '80s thrash done largely by the numbers, but in a compact enough manner to function well as a full listen. Specifically, Anihilated shift seamlessly from slower, flesh-rending mid-paced crushing patterns to full-volley thrash on cuts like the multifarious "Skinned Alive" and the riotous opener "Into the Flames of Armageddon." Shades of Demolition Hammer and the like are present during the album's heavier sections, which straddle that common genre cross-section, deftly snatching appeals from wherever required to form a devastating total package.

The alien, offbeat leads add a fine offset to the more nose-to-the-grindstone riffing patterns, and Cobb's manic barking is competent enough to keep proceedings moving forward. Shortcomings do exist, mainly because so many of the riffs sound similar and function within a rather truncated format. I welcomed the galloping gait of "No Rest for the Wicked" and the damp, inveigling sorcery of the moody "Internal Darkness," so it isn't as if The Ultimate Desecration simply trails off into irrelevance. It's just a difficult style to maintain for an entire album.

I certainly wouldn't call The Ultimate Desecration a forgotten classic, but it shouldn't be disregarded as a redundant clone. There is plenty of enjoyment to be had, and the production works very well for the style. The sepulchral, crawling mid-paced vibe of some of the later tracks results in an album with enough variety to appreciably crack heads. Anihilated also reformed, releasing a bunch of new material. I haven't checked those out yet, but I doubt they will top The Ultimate Desecration's robust power.

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60%
morbert on August 19th, 2008

Hell Awaits revisited

My oh my. This is one of the records that can be considered a clone at best. This bands reportedly started out playing punk but I only know their two full length albums. Whatever they’d done earlier, at some point in their career these boys decided to become the English answer to Slayer.

Only… Slayer were already two steps further when Anihilated recorded this tribute to Hell Awaits (with some Show No Mercy thrown in). They even tried to have the same guitar sounds. And they came very close! I wouldn’t want to say cloning is always a bad thing since there are plenty clones around that are better than the originals but that does not count for Anihilated.

Why wasn’t Anihilated memorable? Two main reasons: The songs are not catchy. For some of you the word catchy may sound like ‘sell-out’ or ‘pop’ but catchiness was an important element of eighties thrash metal. That 'great break' you hummed along, that awesome chorus, the 'superb riff'. All of that missing here. And secondly: the vocals are utterly bad. And I mean bad in a ‘very dull’ kind of way. Sounds like Tom Araya mumbling in his sleep.

Why then still giving the album 60 points? Because the atmosphere is there and so are the aggression and speed. Making this a nice album to play when you want some thrash played in your living room but want to do something else as well (dusting, doing the dishes etc).

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80%
Corimngul on March 31st, 2005

Best thrash album from the UK.

When I first listened to this album, I happened to press the repeat button on the first song and didn’t notice before I’ve listened to it three or four times. I don’t know whether that tells more of Anihilated’s qualities or ditto of my ears. Anihilated sounds like a stretched-out mix of early Exodus and Slayer. A little slower, yet great. The one exception is Skinned Alive, which is actually a little too fast for the vocalist, he trips on his words. But now, seldom have the vocals been something a thrash band focuses on.

No, Anihilated did just like every other band around focus on the guitars. They seem to have been better at focusing too. This band evolved from punk to a technically very competent thrash band. The statement amazes as it is, taking an actual listen amazes even more. Two guitars with the warm, analogue 80’s sound playing MANY riffs of a complexity and tempo you want. The solos are a little less inspired but still sums up in one word ‘great’. The riffs may sound a little too much of the same, but the tempo variations, leads and solos make up for it. And anyone not liking their own patented version of the mid-paced drums, riffing, chord-progression, taking it back, beating on, causing serious amounts of headbanging, that anyone simply isn’t a thrasher. It’s not the violent, aggressive kind of thrash (Kreator, Dark Angel etc.) but the more laid-back version that is not taking it to the extremes.

The tempo switches are a little too apparent, the vocals are more sung than screamt, but all in all this is just another thrash album. Not anything really special – and that’s not saying it’s mediocre. It’s an excellent album that just isn’t among the classics. It’s still very enjoyable. Best UK effort of the time.

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The Ultimate Desecration track list

1Desolation02:37
2Into the Flames of Armageddon04:43
3Skinned Alive05:13
4Lost Souls04:27
5Lethal Dose04:11
6No Rest for the Wicked04:21
7Internal Darkness06:39
8Legacy of Hate04:04
9Enter the Realm05:41
10Exeunt01:21

The Ultimate Desecration lineup

Paul "Bod" RodwellDrums
Mark BeuchetGuitars
Simon CobbVocals, Guitars
Lee HittmanBass