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   BALLISTIC
Ballistic
2003
Metal Blade
http://www.gattismetal.com


rating: 4,5/5

1. Collision course
2. Corpse stacked high
3. Watch me do it
4. Call to armageddon
5. The dissection/Into the sever chamber
6. Call me evil
7. Silent killer
8. Threshold of pain
9. Undefeated
10. Gone ballistic
11. Bloodbath!
Tom Gattis is a household name in metal, you might know him from Deuce (if you're old enough, heh - Marty Friedman was in this band as well), Tension and Wardog. In 2000 he left Wardog and started to look for musicians to form his own band: BALLISTIC. For this intense kind of metal Tom needed to find some top-notch musicians with old school metal roots just like him, so it's not very strange to find none other than Jag Panzer's Rikard Stjernquist on the drumseat! From the jazz-fusion and prog scenes come bassist Tim O'Conner (Tension) and Bulgarian guitar-talent Petio Petev (Mass Of Virtue). Even though Petio has a classical background, you don't have to be afraid to find bombastic neo-classical stuff on this album. It's mostly riff-based (though with great solos), intense, in-your-face kind of (speed) metal and Tom sounds like a mix of Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, Bruce Dickinson, John Connelly and Phil Rind! The backing vocals are often in the old Bay Area fashion (Exodus etc.). The songs definitely have an 80's metal feel and the production supports that perfectly - very powerful (the drums are very prominent - killer job, Rikard!) but also fresh and clear.

From the first second on, it's full speed ahead, when Ballistic's metal comes out of your speakers. Talking about a good band name! Gattis and his friends don't waste any time and persue this for the next 48 minutes, in the meantime they only slow down a tiny bit for a few songs. In the beginning I thought the CD was a bit too hectic and enjoyed those slower songs the most, but that changed once I got to know the whole album better. Guess that's a good thing - the easy-to-digest albums usually don't last very long. On to the songs... that good old-fashioned fast thrash starts with "Collision Course" and breaths a bit of Sacred Reich! Now that's a sound I haven't heard in a long time! Then "Corpse Stacked High" sets in even faster and that's where I first realized Tom's got that dirty Overkill-ish aggression in his voice. "Watch Me Do It" starts fast too, but has a few slower moments that make the song a little bit catchier. "Call To Armageddon" has Rikard's fast double bass again just like "The Dissection/Into The Sever Chamber" - with some death-ish vocals by Dave (Oderus Urungus) of GWAR! Just when you need a little break there's "They Call Me Evil" that gets stuck in your head right away. Not as fast, more melodic, brilliant song - best one on the album IMO. The melody continues in the opening solo of "Silent Killer", but then there's Raging Rikard again;) The chorus is a bit funny.. the vocallines are almost happy, yet don't sound happy with Tom's aggressive voice and the thrashy background. Hmmm. On with the thrash - "Threshold Of Pain" takes no prisoners! Next up again a melodic start in "Undefeated" that has mid-paced as well as fast parts. "Gone Ballistic" is a definite highlight again with an amazing riff that would've made Dave Mustaine jealous. Esp. the part where the music stops and the bass continues with this ultra-fast riff - fucking awesome! "Bloodbath" closes the CD in good speed-tradition. Sometimes the songs could use a few more slower moments, but if you need a shot of adrenaline, then by all means, go Ballistic!

submitted by Marlies 15.09.2003

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