Released: 2006, Blessed Death Productions
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Now this album really did surprise me way more than my so sweet and innocent (or that´s what I thought as a kid) grandmother in adult orientated shots in the ´50s. I of course am talking about Blessed Death´s rumored, ´previously unreleased´ 3rd album that was recorded by all the original band members back in 1991. Now this album has finally been released by the band members themselves - and I can only say it was about the time.
HOUR OF PAIN, containing of 11 songs (off which 4 songs have been the band´s TERMINAL RAGE demo which they recorded in 1990), is at least a very good album from Blessed Death even if it quite can be no match to the band´s two previous albums, KILL OF BE KILLED (´85) and DESTINED FOR EXTINCTION (´87) as those albums are simply the classic era of Blessed Death. The 4 songs have been taken from the TERMINAL RAGE demo, work out really nicely on the album, too. Larry sounds as awesome as a vocalist as he has always done; intense and aggressive just like an ideal Speed/Thrash Metal vocalist should sound like in the first place. The man has got his own very trademark´ish voice (and especially his high-pitched screams), and in my books of admiration and appreciation, he has always belonged to the top league. The songs from that demo have also stayed truthful to their original demo compositions; there´s not much changes in them at all which is great, naturally.
As for the rest of the stuff on HOUR OF PAIN, it´s got less aggression and intensity than the stuff on the T.R. demo which doesn´t automatically mean they wouldn´t deliver the goods well enough. Namely they do, and in fact, they do it really well. The opening track, “Fallen Walls”, sounds epic and bombastic - and its creeping atmosphere truly impresses its listener. At least that´s what it did to me. It´s kinda different stuff what you could expect from Blessed Death, but musically it´s still very pleasing stuff to my untouchable ears anyway. I somehow cannot help praising Larry´s use of a very wide range of his voice as he´s truly the one who gives Blessed Death its very distinctive, well-recognizeable sound, and besides that he´s one of the better Thrash Metal singers out there, too. Check out the title track “Hour of Pain” off the album to become convinced about his TRUE singing abilities. “Resurrection Earth” kicks old school thrasher´s butt so much too that it almost feels a little crime to like this particular song in question that much. The same words full of passionate and undivided love go to a song called “Atomic Fear”. Blessed Death knew exactly how to thrash... some 16 years ago already.
Too bad this is considered Blessed Death´s last album because with the quality of the songs, I would have loved to see them churning out even more albums after HOUR OF PAIN. To borrow one known Judas Priest song I just wanna say as a last thing that you have to be old enough to know how to thrash because in Blessed Death´s case, it fits like a hit of an iron fist into your belly area. Did you feel it, by the way?