Forgotten Gems-Whiplash-Power and pain
Ah, early Whiplash, truly an album that stunned me back then and even today retains much of the force that it did back then. My first run in with this band was hearing them do "Thrash 'till death" on the Speed Metal Hell compilation in 1985. Not too long after that I heard their debut "Power and pain" with the classic three Tony's line-up (Portaro, Bono and Scaglione). The band had knocked out a few demos before getting signed to Roadrunner. The sound isn't far off from early Metallica and Slayer and maybe even Judas Priest only sped-up. However the energy is what helps plus they never go with just one riff because the trade-mark of their early sound was finding a way to put in a quick underlying fill riff that would catch your attention and add to the overall frenzied sound. Tracks like "Warmonger", "Last man alive", "Stirring the Cauldron" and "Message in blood" showed the band's explosive style. This was thrash when you could still hear all the notes being picked and appreciate every note, beat and word being thrown at you. Whiplash knew how to milk all they they did and get the most out of everything. They had been around less than two years when this album came out, but I guess the multiple demos and many shows in the NY/NJ area had then prepared because indeed they came with everything they had on this album and I think it's their finest moment. After this they would go through line-up and eventually sound changes with differing results. Their sophomore album "Ticket to mayhem" comes close, but this their debut remains their best album.