Acid Death – “Pieces Of Mankind”.

From Greece arrives Acid Death, showing some interesting technical thrash on their debut full-length album _Pieces of Mankind_, the follow-up to their 1994 split LP with Spanish death metal act Avulsed. Not much thrashing actually happens here, though, as things are mostly mid-paced, with plenty of strange tempos and nice interludes. Strange tempos, however, are more easily thrown in than made effective and interesting. Acid Death sometimes make them work, but they often get in the way of better sequences. Indeed, _PoM_ has some good passages (especially on “While the End Is Coming”), but the problem is that they never last for long and seldom have much continuity — they are frequently broken by the band’s attempts at the exquisite tempos I mentioned or simply by unremarkable parts. Nevertheless, this is a varied album that shows talent and plenty of creativity, even if it isn’t very focused.

ACID DEATH Random’s Manifest”.

Greece’s Acid Death return with the follow-up to 1997’s impressive _Pieces of Mankind_. This album shows them moving toward a heavier and more technical style. While I’d generally applaud such a move, I’m not sure that that’s the best move for them. What made _Pieces…_ special in my opinion was the mixing of styles, from power metal to death metal, with interesting and innovative breaks in between. This album has a more consistently heavy sound. While the band still showcases the same diversity of styles and breaks, their effectiveness is somewhat muted due to the more consistent tone of the album. The playing is very good, as the band capably switches styles between heavy thrash, power metal, fusion, and other styles without a hitch. In addition, the music features a number of fairly technical sections, all of which are performed with admirable aplomb. My only real complaint in this regard are the clean vocals: they’re not bad, but they certainly could be better. The production is very good, though it sounds somewhat sterile. A warmer production might’ve been beneficial. While I’ve been somewhat disappointed by this album, I must say that it (like _Pieces.) has grown on me with repeated listens. Overall, it’s a good album, and should appeal to fans of well-played and diverse metal.