A hymn for the isolated
A wake-up call for the conscience
A tear for the violated
An ear for the opposition
A smile for the crippled beggar
A little hope for the desperate

-- Grinder - Hymn For The Isolated

GAE BOLGA - Violent Metalstorm
Belgium 2011

1. Blood Of The Demon 2. Pray For Death 3. Smell My Jacket 4. Violent Metalstorm 5. Bolga Bangers Ball 6. Mambo Nr. 666 7. Cemetary At Midnight 8. Dr. Oetkah 9. Mutants Will Reign 10. Thrash Assassination

Somehow the initial appearance of Violent Metalstorm doesn't make it too tempting to give the album a spin. But like they say, looks are not everything. Unfortunately Gae Bolga's full-length release fails to impress in all areas. To call this thing rather pointless would be an understatement - and while that is not necessarily a problem, the total lack of memorable songs is. This album surely does not lack speed, that's one point for the band. But everything else is like a collection of the most banal antics in the history of thrash metal. Add some exceptionally dumb lyrics, and it becomes almost an impossible task to find anything praiseworthy from this recording. The making of Violent Metalstorm may have been a fun event, no doubt, but it is another thing to try to listen through the finished product and not be bored to death.

GAMA BOMB - Survival Of The Fastest
United Kingdom 2005

1. Zombie Creeping Flesh 2. Steel Teeth (The Metal Jaw) 3. Zombie Kommand 4. Atomizer 5. Fortified Zone 6. Racists! 7. Scientists? 8. Hell Trucker 9. Nuke The Skeets 10. Skellington Crew 11. Bullet Belt 12. The Survival Option (bonus) 13. M.A.D. (bonus)

For a band labeled as thrash metal, Gama Bomb's debut album turned out to be somewhat lacking. Apart from occasional short speed bursts, Survival Of The Fastest sounds surprisingly restrained, as if the band were continuously holding back. At least the fastest pieces like Atomizer and Scientists? seem more satisfactory in this company, despite their generally average qualities. As every track here is on the short side, the album doesn't get too dull although its expendable nature is quite obvious. There is hardly any deep message behind it all, the lyrics are mostly pretty silly, and everything tends to demonstrate that it was not the band's goal to create a new milestone in thrash metal. Survival Of The Fastest is not as bad as it may appear, it's just hard to get enthusiastic over the result when you consider all the competition around nowadays.

GAMA BOMB - Citizen Brain
United Kingdom 2008

1. Zombie Blood Nightmare 2. Evil Voices 3. Final Fight 4. Time Crime 5. Global Warning 6. OCP 7. Hammer Slammer 8. Sentenced To Thrash 9. Zombi Brew 10. Hell Trucker 11. Return Of The Technodrome 12. Thrashaholic 13. In The Court Of General Zod 14. Space Invaders 15. Bullet Belt

In comparison to Gama Bomb's early works, Citizen Brain removes all doubts, being a release full of almost non-stop high-speed thrashing with a sharp sound quality. But although the songs are quite short and compact and the speed is more than sufficient, this album can have a downright numbing effect on you. Except for some bizarre lyrics that draw elements from various areas of pop culture, there are very few distinctive features to speak of, and most tracks just resemble each other more than really necessary. Despite some similar attitude, Gama Bomb's music does not express the same kind of spontaneous energy and imagination as Municipal Waste, for example. Citizen Brain is like a thrash metal equivalent of popcorn - it may be good in small snippets, but if you take too much then it can become nauseating, to say the least.

GAMA BOMB - Tales From The Grave In Space
United Kingdom 2009

1. Slam Anthem 2. New Eliminators Of Atlantis B.C. 3. Three Witches 4. Last Ninjas Unite 5. Escape From Scarecrow Mountain 6. Mussolini Mosh 7. We Respect You 8. Apocalypse 1997 9. Return To Blood Castle 10. Polterghost 11. Skeletron 12. Mummy Invasion

If Tales From The Grave In Space had been composed around the same time as Citizen Brain, they could have been released together as a double album, that's how similar to each other they sound. In this sense, satisfaction or the lack of it is almost guaranteed to those already familiar with the band. The music is again constantly fast and fairly fluent, and speed hounds will get everything they can hope for from this one. On the other hand, the songs effectively lack all hooks, and without knowing the performer it could be difficult to guess the band based on the sound of it only. From a technical point of view there's nothing left to add, and Gama Bomb's relentless musical hack and slash is kind of respectable. Now it would be a good time to give songwriting some more thought in order to raise their next album above the forgettable level.

GAMA BOMB - The Terror Tapes
United Kingdom 2013

1. The Wrong Stuff 2. Legend Of Speed 3. Backwards Bible 4. Beverly Hills Robocop 5. Smoke The Blow With Willem Dafoe 6. We Started The Fire 7. Terrorscope 8. The Cannibals Are In The Streets - All Flesh Must Be Eaten 9. Shitting Yourself To Live 10. Matrioshka Brain 11. Metal Idiot 12. Wrecking Ball

One thing that's almost guaranteed about a Gama Bomb release these days is that it's going to be very fast, and this fully applies to The Terror Tapes as well. Excluding their debut album, this trademark speed has become both an asset and a hindrance to this band. In principle there should never be a dull moment as everything mostly flies at a breakneck pace, with only occasional exceptions. In practice, this combined with a fairly limited variety of compositions makes most of the stuff sound the same - it is small details like the few robotic voice clips on Beverly Hills Robocop that actually make it possible to distinguish between these tracks even so slightly. The result is just an album that you might give a spin or two before turning to more interesting releases out there.

GAME OVER - For Humanity
Italy 2012

1. Abyss Of A Needle 2. Dawn Of The Dead 3. Mountains Of Madness 4. War Of Nations 5. Overgrill (El Grillador Loco) 6. N.S.A. 7. Bleeding Green 8. Another Dose Of Thrash 9. Evil Clutch 10. Tupa Tupa Or Die

For Humanity is one of those albums where the foremost feeling after a listening session is that of overwhelming numbness. The speed is definitely not an issue here, but the first few tracks can appear so monotonous with their unvaried high pace that there is very little to be found in the catchiness department. After this string of fast but near identical thrashers some more different tempos are fortunately utilized, yet none of the riffs really manages to stand out. The result is unavoidably quite unmemorable and even boring. Except for making another highly ordinary example of contemporary thrash metal, For Humanity simply doesn't seem to provide anything noteworthy for people outside the circles of die-hard collectors.

GAMMACIDE - Victims Of Science
USA 1989

1. Endangered Species 2. Fossilized 3. Shock Treatment 4. Victims Of Science 5. Gutter Rats 6. Walking Plague 7. Chemical Imbalance 8. Incubus 9. Observations

This little rarity provides raw energy in its most pure form. Gammacide's Victims Of Science is close to being the definite prototype of rapid fire in musical format - during the nine tracks the band don't show even the slightest hint of slowing down for a second. The feel of this album can remind you of Aggression from Canada though the production is definitely better, as both bands seem to share the same kind of undisputed attitude and immense intensity in their music. Even the roaring vocals on this album carry a close resemblance to Aggression's style, almost bordering on being overdone but still blending seamlessly with the crushing sound wall that this album so wonderfully builds up. In this sense, the level of extreme aggression that Gammacide delivered on Victims Of Science is admirable - although the result inevitably lacks some nuances, the impact on a careless listener can equal to a medium shock treatment.

GASCHAMBER - Gaschamber
USA 2002

1. Defeating The Gods 2. Trenchcoat Justice 3. Raped To Death 4. Unleashing The Disease 5. Hurricane Of Blood 6. Violent Obsession 7. Civil War 8. Death In The Gaschamber

The debut release of Gaschamber sounds good. This is fast and vigorous thrash metal, many signs suggesting that the band's style was modeled after Slayer's more frantic moments. There are no progressive aspirations whatsoever, the tempo hardly ever slows down, and the vocal tone is even surprisingly gimmick-free in the most straightforward shouty vein. It should be taken for granted that with this kind of approach the songs are going to sound quite similar to each other, but as most tracks stop around the three minute mark, the album may eventually feel almost unusually short and compact, therefore effectively avoiding real boredom. While this recording surely does not make a milestone of great significance in thrash metal, it could be used as a fine example of how to go back to basics and do it with style.

GEISHA GONER - Catching Broadness
Poland 1993

1. The Fallen Race 2. Yossarian 3. The Last Letter 4. Catching Broadness 5. D.I.O.W. To S.Y.S. 6. Necropolis 7. Among The Lies 8. Self Centered Ultradeath (S.C.U.D.)

Geisha Goner's impressive heavy attack greets you right at the start of Catching Broadness. Another long lost thrash metal release from Poland, this album unarguably has a very powerful sound and feel, but for some reason it doesn't quite catch on. This happens maybe only because of the fact that the songwriting appears patchy at best. The band's performance is considerably strong and you are tempted to think that there is an enthusiastic attitude behind it all, therefore it is a slight pity that these tracks seem to be filled with technical touches just for the sake of it. Insert a couple of actually catchy riffs somewhere, and it might have worked out better in the end. Now you are left with an album full of potential that is never really fully realized, just continously hinted at. Without truly memorable songs you can get only so far.

GLADIATOR - Designation
Slovakia 1992

1. Over The Oversight 2. Profitable Losses 3. Bastard Death 4. Mortal Glare 5. Designation 6. Sorrow 7. Morbid Murdering 8. Bloody Property 9. Stinking Masses 10. Useless Child

It's certainly a rare event to find old thrash metal created in Slovakia, but with Gladiator's Designation that is actually one of the least surprising things. Listening to this album for the first time, you'd be hard pressed not to check if someone had actually slipped an old Sepultura demo recording in the player by accident. Consider the semi-complex song structures, the general sound of the band, especially the vocals that are an exact match for Max Cavalera from the late 1980s, and Gladiator's debut is essentially Sepultura through and through. Naturally the result doesn't exactly come across as a highly original piece of work, but as an extremely close impersonation of the band's way more famous counterparts from Brazil, it more than fits the purpose. If albums like Schizophrenia and Beneath The Remains are the high staples of your collection, Designation is well worth checking out, even if for the curiosity value only.

GLADIATOR - Made Of Pain
Slovakia 1993

1. Made Of Pain 2. Blood 3. Sound Of Deep Silence 4. Warsouls 5. Creator Of Hell 6. No Fate 7. Debtor Of Rest 8. My World 9. Your World 10. For All Gods

Making some difference from Gladiator's debut, the style of Made Of Pain is generally a lot more straightforward than the one heard on Designation. While this does clearly reduce reasons for direct Sepultura comparisons, the outcome sounds more typical and unsurprising than the band's previous release ever did. Although it can be refreshing to hear this kind of no-tricks thrash metal every now and then, Gladiator were hardly alone in this field - which in turn leads from one major problem to another. In other words, you cannot help but feel that you've heard this already countless times before. Made Of Pain is fairly listenable but undeniably very basic, making it just a bit difficult to become too enthusiastic over this one. In comparison, Designation is still the more interesting recording of these two, even taking into account its blatant unoriginality in a certain different way.

GODLESSON - Fuck, Satan, Hell, Die, Yeah!
Finland 2011

1. FSHDY 2. Lavatory Suicide 3. Inclusively Taken 4. Broken Lamb 5. Born To Live 6. Godlesson 7. Barely Legal 8. Die Bitch Die 9. Dead In The Abyss 10. Dead It

Although all the superficial visible characteristics might suggest otherwise, Godlesson's Fuck, Satan, Hell, Die, Yeah! is not some long-lost mixture of underground punk rock and whatnot, even less a joke. In reality, this is a solid collection of mostly very direct and speedy thrash with some tasty riffage and often quite an upbeat feel. The latter could be the most surprising detail about this thing and effectively gives it some special appeal in comparison to the norm. Most tracks are really fast, but the album also features a couple of slower stompers to balance the equation. It is hardly a future classic, yet the easy-going nature of Fuck, Satan, Hell, Die, Yeah! gives it a definite edge over the vast majority of contemporary releases. Most importantly, this album can be quite fun to listen to, which is something you cannot often say about thrash metal anymore.

GOTHIC SLAM - Killer Instinct
USA 1988

1. Skankin 2. Living To Survive 3. Stryker 4. Bedlam 5. Tormentor 6. Killer Instinct 7. Stand Up And Fight 8. Fought For Death

Gothic Slam's style may be best described as urban thrash metal with a certain kind of "street credible" sound. The band's debut Killer Instinct is a fairly energetic release but naturally not too distinctive, although the music itself is basically fine. The first couple of tracks sound particularly fresh and vivid and can inspire the listener to jump around just for the sake of it, but the rest of the album gets a little repetitious and doesn't quite manage to raise the same level of enthusiasm anymore. Still, there's something undeniably positive in Gothic Slam's sound, which compensates for some lack of appeal in other areas. Killer Instinct is certainly not the most impressive thrash metal album around, but it serves its purpose as a provider of brief amusement well enough.

GOTHIC SLAM - Just A Face In The Crowd
USA 1989

1. Why Not? 2. Who Died And Made You God 3. Battered Youth 4. Thunder And Lightning 5. Feel The Pain 6. Cry Freedom 7. Violence Imprisoned 8. Keep The Faith 9. Demented Obsession 10. Contract Killer

For their second album Gothic Slam seemed to adopt some influences from Nuclear Assault although the band did preserve their customary, even slightly original sound. Just A Face In The Crowd is not very heavy for a thrash metal album, but some of its appeal comes from the light street sound of the music. Although there are no actual highlights among these songs, the overall feel of this album is quite smooth and entertaining. By accident, it became noticeable that Gothic Slam's music can work particularly well in the background, whether this should be taken as a praise or not. While this is not an outstanding release by any means, Just A Face In The Crowd does actually provide a fairly good flow of music.

GRAPHIC VIOLENCE - Graphic Violence
USA 1997

1. Evil 2. The Plague 3. Kill Again 4. Future Daze 5. Eroticide 6. The Pit 7. Solitude 8. Out Of Control 9. Graphic Violence

Released around the time when it was a rare event to see a new proper thrash metal album coming out, the full-length debut of Graphic Violence would have deserved another look already based on its historical context. In practice, despite little or no competition upon its release, this album appears more promising than outright impressive. The production is of the standard fare, suitably emphatic and clear, and technically everything should be quite fine. The problem is that the songs don't draw too much attention - while there is enough of audible effort, the mundane style does not result in much praise. The vocals are also somehow off the target, sounding occasionally like an external addition rather than an integral part of the band's output. Certainly this is an interesting album even considering the time frame alone, but it is better not to expect anything highly noteworthy here.

GRIEF OF WAR - A Mounting Crisis... As Their Fury Got Released
Japan 2005

1. Hatred Burns 2. Rat Race 3. Sown By Greed 4. Don't Walk Away 5. Distrust 6. Eternal Curse 7. Blind From The Facts 8. Resist 9. Blood Lust 10. The Judgment Day

If there had to be any specific details worth highlighting from Grief Of War's debut album, the selection might not include much else than the lengthy title. While A Mounting Crisis... As Their Fury Got Released is fairly adequate from a pure technical point of view, real inspirational moments are few and far between. Arguably the guitar has some commendable cool moments, mainly during intros and solos, but most of the time the riffs and vocal parts on this album turn out to be quite ordinary. The band's sound has something of a forced feel around it, and the music does not quite flow in an optimal way. Especially the slower songs here can be quite dull experiences to wade through. Although Grief Of War's style is not without potential, at least this full-length album seems more likely to have a numbing effect on a casual listener.

GRIEF OF WAR - Worship
Japan 2009

1. Crack Of Doom 2. Disorder 3. Captured Soul Eternity 4. New Kind Of Wicked 5. Revolt 6. Built My Brain 7. Worship 8. Into The Void 9. Midnight Sun 10. Lost

Although Grief Of War's sophomore album is a clear step up from their debut release, Worship does not deserve unreserved praise. The music is generally faster and more consistent, also less wooden and not quite as boring as in the past. This doesn't mean that there wouldn't still be a lot of room for improvement. Grief Of War's sound is nearly analytical, accurate and clean, but also cold and impersonal. Many songs appear repetitive and dry, and it is not only once or twice during this album that pressing the skip button is the most tempting thing to do. It must be said that Crack Of Doom, Built My Brain, and the title track are some quite powerful pieces, which is already infinitely more than on the previous release, and the band's direction seems better than before. But after you have heard a couple of tracks from this album, there is not much reason to continue listening through the whole thing.

GRIM FORCE - Circulation To Conclusion
Japan 2000

1. Lunatic 2. God Cries! World Dies! 3. World Of Chaos 4. The Sin Of The Blackest Dye 5. Dig Your Own Grave 6. The Dead To Be Judged 7. Struggle

Grim Force could be initially viewed as a band of fair interest already for their Ritual Carnage connections. But while Circulation To Conclusion admittedly shares some of the grim and determined feel that the other group's early works became known for, the overall result is much less exciting. If you happened to hear only one random song from this release, the experience could lead to a careful nod of approval, but a whole album of the same seriously starts to repeat itself very quickly. The vocals are quite hoarse barks, which effectively adds to the depressive tone of the whole. There may be some powerful spirit behind it all, but the lack of catchy riffs or practically any uplifting elements makes it a bit too tiresome to listen through this recording without having a break every now and then.

GRINDER - Dawn For The Living
Germany 1988

1. Obsession 2. Dawn For The Living 3. Sinners Exile 4. Magician 5. Frenzied Hatred 6. Dying Flesh 7. Delirium 8. Traitor 9. F.O.A.D.

Grinder's first album does not exactly represent the most typical German thrash metal of the 1980s. Instead, the style of this music is somewhat closer to the American scene of the time. Dawn For The Living features some basic, adequate thrash metal that in a way sounds awfully generic and undistinguishable. Technically there is little to complain about and the band maintain some fair speed, but as a whole this thing is about as unmemorable as it gets. A couple of tracks like the smooth Sinners Exile and the energetic F.O.A.D. are a little more convincing than the rest, but otherwise this is pretty standard stuff on all counts. Dawn For The Living is just a fair debut release, not really too interesting or anything.

GRINDER - Dead End
Germany 1989

1. Agent Orange 2. Dead End 3. The Blade Is Back 4. Inside 5. Just Another Scar 6. Total Control 7. Why 8. Train Raid 9. Unlock The Morgue

Compared to Grinder's debut, Dead End is a considerably smoother and better release from the band. The music is still a bit on the generic side but executed with some genuine style. At times the band actually sound like Flotsam And Jetsam around the No Place For Disgrace era but with a better production. Apart from the amusing rocker Train Raid (a song about the Dalton brothers in the old west!) these songs are not too distinctive, but the stylish delivery and attention to details make tracks like Agent Orange and The Blade Is Back pretty cool and enjoyable. Regardless of comparisons to countless other bands and the undeniably American sound, Dead End manages to give a fairly good impression in its category of polished, well-produced thrash metal.

GRINDER - The 1st EP
Germany 1990

1. Reeling On The Edge 2. Incarnation Off 3. Truth In The Hands Of Judas 4. Just Another Scar (live) 5. Dawn For The Living (live) 6. F.O.A.D. (live)

The wittily named mini album The 1st EP was basically just a teaser between Grinder's full-length albums. The featured three studio tracks could be directly from Dead End as the style and production are quite identical to the mentioned release. It's still good but not too remarkable or anything. As for the live tracks, their value may depend on whether you are into live recordings, but these are actually very well done - with a sound quality that rivals and even surpasses the studio albums of many other bands. Briefly put, The 1st EP is a satisfying Grinder release although it is also quite short and contains nothing to be considered too essential.

GRINDER - Nothing Is Sacred
Germany 1991

1. Drifting For 99 Seconds 2. Hymn For The Isolated 3. The Spirit Of Violence 4. Nothing Is Sacred 5. None Of The Brighter Days 6. Superior Being 7. Dear Mr. Sinister 8. Pavement Tango 9. The Nothing Song 10. NME

Grinder's last album doesn't differ too much from the band's proven formula, except that the generic nature of the music finally starts to show signs of wearing out. Nothing Is Sacred is not a completely pointless release, but it lacks even some of the fresh attitude present on the previous albums. Most tracks here are just as forgettable as ever, and while songs like Pavement Tango and Nothing Song may have felt like promising ideas at first, they do not work all that well in practice. One major factor contributing to the general numb feel of this album may be the production that is simply not as crisp as before. While Grinder did put out also some fairly interesting music, Nothing Is Sacred is not really one of their better albums.

GROUND ZERO - Gate Of Death
Japan 1987

1. Driven To The Wall 2. Strange Shadow 3. Gate Of Death 4. Be Cruel To The Betrayer 5. World War 3 6. Suicide!

It must be pretty obvious that Ground Zero's mini album is something of a true curiosity item, hardly well-known in its time period and even less so nowadays. Regardless of its origins in the past, Gate Of Death is quite unexceptional for a thrash metal release. The style is rather ordinary and forgettable in every sense, and none of these songs could be seen as a serious candidate in the contest for most memorable moments in thrash metal. It must be said that the rough sound quality only makes everything appear more authentic as far as pure underground mentality goes. Ultimately this is just a typical collector's release - it may be worth hunting for in order to fill an empty slot, but it would be quite surprising to hear about someone appreciating this thing for its actual content.

GUILLOTINE - Under The Guillotine
Sweden 1997

1. Executioner 2. Grave Desecrator 3. Leprosy 4. Guillotine 5. Death Penalty 6. Crucifixion 7. Night Stalker 8. Tormentor 9. Total Mayhem 10. Violence

Under The Guillotine is an amusing album. Among the peculiar group of blatant "retro" thrash metal bands that surfaced in the mid-to-late 1990s, Guillotine were not as cute as Cranium but not as wooden as Witchburner either. Every song is played at an identical tempo, and drumming is so steady that the drummer must have been a real machine - probably literally. You can't deny that these tracks are almost insanely catchy though also awfully similar to each other, and the neat guitar leads definitely stick out. In fact, all songs are practically so sleek that without the rough vocals this album could be almost considered as an option for background music in supermarkets. With short and uncomplicated tracks like these, Guillotine's music is like bubblegum thrash metal of a sort, suitable for a soft introduction to the topic but probably of less value to more experienced listeners.

GUILLOTINE - Blood Money
Sweden 2008

1. Insane Oppression 2. Rebellion 3. Insanity 4. Liar 5. Die / Live? 6. Skeleton City 7. Madness 8. Dying World 9. Welcome To Dying (Death, Destruction And Pain) 10. War 11. Our Darkest Day 12. Blood Money

With a surprising return to the music scene, Guillotine demonstrated notable development since Under The Guillotine. The band's new incarnation sounds actually quite similar to Destruction these days, with a major difference that Blood Money practically runs circles around D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N. and the like. The fast and furious Insane Oppression opens the album in a highly convincing fashion, closely followed by almost equally hard-hitting Rebellion. It is easily noticeable that most songs pretty much follow the same formula from start to finish, but the structure of the album is generally well thought-out and the pacing is good. Although Blood Money sounds quite different from Guillotine's debut release, it is certainly a lot more street-credible as well as entertaining performance - not a masterpiece but easily worth the time.

GUMO MANIACS - Priest Of Lucifer
Germany 2008

1. My Satanic Rite 2. Kill Again Tonight 3. Graveyard Fantasies 4. Invert The Cross 5. Thor 6. Ashes To Ashes 7. Logarithm 8. Hasta La Vista 9. Priest Of Lucifer 10. Strike Of Death

Although the name of Gumo Maniacs may not ring a bell unless you keep a close track of every single band out there, based on their music this group is not among the most unnecessary recent acts. Priest Of Lucifer starts in a very convincing way, as My Satanic Rite must be one of the fastest opening tracks ever heard on a thrash metal album. The overall direction turns out to be more varied than that, though. While a few songs like Invert The Cross run in the same kind of unrestricted and outright unstoppable vein, the album as a whole does not take the speed as deliberately over the top all the time. The most important thing is that the band put enough of effort into their music to make it sound fairly interesting, even fresh at times, which is a lot more than can be usually said. A groundbreaking or even particularly memorable release Priest Of Lucifer is not, but it surely deserves a closer look.

GUMO MANIACS - Psychomania
Germany 2010

1. Circles In Darkness 2. Into The Fire 3. Infiltration 4. Psychomania 5. Fallen Angels 6. Nation Of Evil 7. Insurrection 8. Witchdance 9. No Remorse 10. Maniac Metal

Psychomania may be generally faster and more consistent than its predecessor. Yet the outcome somehow fails to draw the same kind of enthusiastic response as Priest Of Lucifer managed to do at its best. Maybe some of this notion is undeserved, but it cannot be helped that the debut release of Gumo Maniacs appeared a lot more unpredictable and creative than this follow-up. In comparison to tracks like My Satanic Rite that were downright crazy and wild compositions, Psychomania sounds more like a typical contemporary thrash metal album with modern production values. This doesn't necessarily make the songs bad, just somewhat mechanical and sterile. While the product is surely well-formulated, in the end a lot of this album can be more than just a little dull.