Blackend - _Mental. Game. Messiah._
(Massacre, 1999)
by: Alex Cantwell (7.5 out of 10)
Wearing the influence of the rich thrash history of their homeland directly on their collective sleeve, Germany's Blackend come crashing down upon the forces of "nu-metal" with a CD that could have been released twelve years ago but sounds great today. If I may name drop (it is, after all, the only resort of the non-creative music critic), it sounds to me that Testament and Kreator played the most significant roles in shaping these young minds, and to a lesser extent Sacrifice. Also, many of the parts seem to sound like a non-depressive Nevermore. One thing that sets them apart from the rest for sure would be the cleanly sung, but heavily accented vocals of Michael Goldschmidt. Of course, for a band to play this particular kind of music, it is required that they have a proficient lead guitarist, and Blackend have that base covered with no problem. Their music is very listenable, not overly technical, and they even throw some Machine Head grooves in there. This is the kind of thrash that _...And Justice for All_ took to a higher level, forever raising the bar for quality metal with intelligent lyrics. This CD is for metal people, and I am doubtful that it would be accepted by the backwards red baseball hat crowd at all.

Contact: Massacre Records, Rauheckstr 10, D-74232 Abstatt, Germany

(article published 25/10/2000)

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