Blind Date With Violence
Review by Felix on May 9, 2019.
Even though widely ignored, The Scourger have been a formidable thrash unit. For ten years, they have not released the faintest tone of music and therefore I fear that they are buried by time and dust. (Sorry, but "De Mysteriis dom Sathanas" is always on my mind, albeit The Scourger have nothing to do with Mayhem.) The masterpiece of the manageable discography is Dark Invitation to Armageddon, just enjoy its fantastic title track, but large parts of Blind Date with Violence offers vibrant sounds as well. The here presented edition is enriched with seven bonus tracks, new recordings of Slayer and Testament, three live versions of regular album tracks and two exclusive studio recordings. However, let's have a look at the regular album at first.
Blind Date with Violence is a full-length which is spiritually related to works of German bands such as Contradiction or Scornage. The maliciously nagging of the lead vocalist, the double bass powerplay in combination with the restless snare and, of course, the slicing riffs shape songs that are fully aligned with the guidelines of the genre. Drummer Seppo "Lombardo" Tarvainen reveals his influence already with the choice of his nickname, but he has also written the partially Slayer-esque music and it is sad but true that Kerry King is no longer able to forge songs like the direct and compact "Hatehead". This sonic weapon banishes many recent songs of the US American trailblazers to mediocrity while maintaining the strong level of the swirling opener. "The Oath & the Lie", another straight aggressor, is cut from the same cloth.
I regret that the Scandinavians add some melodic elements from time to time, because they dilute the impact of the material. No doubt, the album achieves a pretty high degree of diversity in view of this approach. But I prefer the pure essence of thrash metal (Just like the monument of Mayhem, "Reign in Blood" is always close at hand) and so "Maximum Intensity" does not live up to its name. Its slightly flabby chorus fails to meet my demands. It's one of these somewhat greasy "late-The-Haunted-melodies" that some bands from Northern Europe deliver every now and then (and nobody knows why). It is also true that the group runs slightly out of ideas at the end of the full-length, but this does not constitute a major flaw.
The album connects the past and the present of thrash, because its song patterns avoid groovy nonsense as well as complex structures which are going nowhere, but the rather modern, robust and vigorous production does not celebrate the past for the sake of itself. Everybody who was involved in the recordings at Seawolf Studio, Helsinki, has done the job in a good manner. The aforementioned speed eruptions shine in full glory, but the same goes for the mid-paced, relaxed yet relatively dark "Invitation Thirteen". Finally, the bonus section starts with the pretty vehement cover versions, but the more interesting titles are the further studio tracks that originate from the pen of Seppo. Well, the solid "The Greediness" suffers from a slack solo sequence, but the restlessly attacking "Black Worms" takes the audience by storm. That said, I can promise that thrashers cannot go wrong when buying this album, even though it cannot compete with the second work of The Scourger. Only the actually good live tracks appear as a fake with regard to the very loud and enthusiastic reactions of the audience.
Rating: 7.4 out of 10