On their second full-length, Atlanta quartet Hallows Eve bring on the melodic thrash with fierce, playful intensity. Most of the songs on Death & Insanity see-saw between frantic rhythms and slower, more contained riffs. Many are complimented by Stacy Anderson’s gritty, melodic vocals and horror-themed lyrics, which address torture, evil and, well, death and insanity, giving the album the feel of a carnival thrill ride. The title track is a galloping, razor-honed number with a chant-along chorus; “Goblet of Gore” is slower and more complex, with various rhythmic changes and the skillful, serpentine lines of guitarist David Stuart. Two instrumentals exhibit the band’s skill in dramatically different ways. “Obituary” is a classical guitar number comparable to Randy Rhoads’s “Dee,” while “Attack of the Iguana” is a showcase for angular riffs and abrupt tempo shifts. Musically, most of Death and Insanity sounds like a hybrid of mid-era Sacred Reich, Flotsam & Jetsam and early Anthrax, but there’s something about the campiness of the lyrics that makes the album as infectious as a campy gore movie.
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