Eyes of fire
That burn with desolation
Your cries of pity cast aside
Mind of destruction
And I'll take away all your promised dreams
You take for granted, I take for free

-- Znowhite - War Machine

USA 1988

1. To The Last Breath 2. Baptised By Fire 3. Pure Blood 4. War Machine 5. Thunderdome 6. Rest In Peace 7. Disease Bigotry 8. A Soldier's Creed 9. Something Wicked (This Way Comes)

With their only full-length album Znowhite added a fairly interesting entry to the history of thrash metal, mainly for being one the few bands with a female singer. Musically Act Of God is not that much different from everything else released around the same time, but it's energetic enough to maintain some interest and keep up sufficient speed throughout the album. Nicole Lee's vocals, while naturally distinguishable from most other singers, are not quite as strong as one could hope and they sound rather forced. Not only that, the production of this recording appears somewhat strained and lacks dynamics. Possibly some more spontaneous sound might have improved the result a bit. In the end this album is like so many others out there - not too bad, not really great.

ZOETROPE - A Life Of Crime
USA 1987

1. Detention 2. Seeking Asylum 3. Promiscuity 4. NASA 5. Unbridled Energy 6. Prohibition 7. Company Man 8. Pickpocket 9. Hard To Survive

If street-credible speed/thrash metal is your thing then Zoetrope's A Life Of Crime hardly disappoints. Featuring possibly the thrashiest tracks in the band's discography up to this point, this album flows at varying degrees of high speed from start to finish. Zoetrope's less extreme early speed metal tendencies still show, and there are a couple of slower stompers as well, but these never get downright sluggish. With such a straightforward approach to their music, the band play all tracks in a completely unstrained manner that gives this release an original touch of free spirit. Considering that the fastest songs like Detention, Promiscuity and Prohibition still sound fine even today, it is not too hard to find the result likeable despite its old age.

ZOETROPE - Mind Over Splatter
USA 1993

1. Crack 2. Million Ways To Die 3. New World Order 4. Guilt By Association 5. Down And Out 6. It's My Life 7. New York Minute 8. Acid Rain 9. Deceased Corpsmen 10. Splattered 11. Spilling Of Blood 12. Tomorrow It's You

Mind Over Splatter is quite a nostalgic affair. At this point there was little left of Zoetrope's original line-up, but the album still carries unmistakable elements of the band's customary, slightly punkish "street thrash" style that their earlier works established. The sound quality could be better, though, as the production is sort of muffled and hollow, and the guitars in particular lack sharpness. On the other hand, some flaws only add to the general organic and non-artificial feel. Complete with powerful holler-like vocals, this music has some strangely attractive uplifting quality, not to forget that the snappiest tracks like Down And Out and Tomorrow It's You are simply quite fine thrashers. (The terrible rap song Splattered must be only a joke and fortunately very short as such.) If speed/thrash metal with a notable degree of feelgood value sounds interesting to you then Mind Over Splatter is not a bad choice at all.

USA 2009

1. Intro 2. Impending Death 3. Strike Force 4. Illegally Dead 5. Psychological Torture 6. Boba Fett 7. Massive Attack 8. Mootz Ov Ophen 9. Millions Of Dead Zombies

It is hard to find any novel expressions to describe Zombie Holocaust's debut full-length album, as Strike Force follows common genre conventions so faithfully that it is guaranteed not to surprise anyone. The overall sound is somewhat stripped-down and bare but the intensity of this attack is very adequate. The songs surely don't waste time before getting into full speed, and although variation is not a totally unknown concept for this band, the general feel is consistent to the extent that most tracks appear rather undistinctive. The album is pretty short and therefore not terribly dull, although it would benefit from some more flesh and blood around the bones. Zombie Holocaust appear determined and eager enough and this debut release is far from a total loss, but even then it can be quite unexciting at best.