Guillotine
"Blood Money"

(Pulverised Records 2008)

You can't blame Guillotine for packing it in around the turn of the century. Kids were listening to Limp Bizkit, wearing backwards hats, and generally not giving thrash the time of day. But now that the house that Metallica, Slayer, and their brethren built is back in order, Guillotine have reformed to help out with the interior decorating. And by interior decorating, I mean musical battery. "Blood Money" may not be revelatory, but it is well-written and well-executed, which still counts for a lot.

Unlike many of the new breed of shredders, Guillotine aren't compelled to meld thrash with any outside influences. In fact, the only hint of impurity is the faint Swedish death metal riffing on "Die/Live." Other than that, "Blood Money" is classic thrash through and through. Crisp, snarling riffs attack in waves, while solos rip like flying shrapnel. Fredrik Mannberg's vocal tone and cadence resemble a Teutonic Tom Araya, and everything is powered by Efraim Juntunen's workmanlike drumming. These guys are pros, and the result is an extremely well-crafted album.

The cover of "Blood Money" features an illustration of George Bush and Dick Cheney, along with other nefarious characters, two of whom look suspiciously like Michael Clarke Duncan and J.R. Ewing. They're living it up, no doubt reveling in their boots stamping on the face of humanity. This'll probably give you a clue to the general theme of the album. Too bad Guillotine didn't reform earlier; they missed out on eight full years of rich lyrical fodder. While there's no telling what new veins Guillotine will tap for inspiration, at least Dubya's bitter aftertaste has made "Blood Money" a sweet slice of biting thrash.

A-

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