Slaughter House (Metal Blade) 1990
1. "F.T.W." (5:12)
Thrash! Slaughter House's debut starts out with a song that reminds me slightly of something you might hear on Slayer's "Season of the Abyss". The very next song switches things up a bit and adds a bit of a punk influence, not unlike something you might hear from early M.O.D. "U.S.A." retains the punk influences and is a sarcastic jab at zealous patriotism in the United States. "It Ain't Easy", "Kick 'Em" and "Incomplete Insanity" have more standard, mid-paced, chunky, thrash grooves, although "Kick 'Em" is a bit more dynamic with some faster parts mixed in to give the song flare. "Wasting Away" returns to that punk like quality and is just a fun, somewhat goofy song with tongue-in-cheek lyrics about wasting life by drinking. "I'm wasting away with my bottle of Jack. My liver is pounding, it's on attack, now I'm seeing double, there's gonna be trouble..." "Black Sheep" is a vicious thrash song, putting the band into a more serious mode musically. "Electric Rasp" finishes things off with a bit more of the band's warped humor. This short song retains that punk quality as well. Overall, I think Slaughter House's debut is just a fun listen. Mosh it up!
Slaughter House - Face Reality (Metal Blade) 1991
State of the art thrash for the year of our Lord, 1991. Slaughter House are generally held as a second rate thrash act, although I honestly don't understand why. OK, the cover does reek of b-grade horror, but that's part of the fun of Slaughter House. C'mon, surely not everyone has forgotten that part of the charm of thrash metal was the fun factor. OK, perhaps "Face Reality" isn't anything groundbreaking, but then again who made up this rule that every artist has to release something different and groundbreaking? No, this is American thrash metal! Crunchy riffs, speedy guitar solos, mosh beats, fast breaks, mid-paced grooves, gang shouts, politically charged lyrics, it's all there. The vocals are pretty typical of thrash metal as well. Steve Srozkinski barks out the vocals with a mean punk sneer mixed with a metal snarl that reminds me slightly of David Wayne (Metal Church/Reverend). I've read a review or two that compares "Face Reality" with Metallica's early work, one reviewer even stating,"their work sounds like it was directly lifted from Metallica's Kill 'Em All." While I can't say I don't hear any Metallica influence, I think saying it is a clone is a bit off base. What American thrash band in the early 90's wasn't at least indirectly influenced by Metallica, if not directly influenced by them? Shoot, even the big boys of thrash like Anthrax and Slayer can't say they weren't influenced by Metallica in some ways. Actually, I must confess that "Baby Song" did remind me of "No Remorse". However, having said all the, the fact is "Face Reality" is a good thrash album. So what's the deal? Why don't thrashers hold this in as high regard as the do other underground thrash acts? I suppose it's because Slaughter House are too typical of the genre. As far as I am concerned, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Any true thrash fan should enjoy this CD because Slaughter House deliver the goods.