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'Bonded By Blood' is widely hailed as a thrash metal classic, but viewed outside of the hype it's actually a rather standard offering. As a thrash debut it fares better than Metallica's 'Kill 'Em All' but doesn't come close to Testament's 'The Legacy,' and its punk energy and repetitive riffs make it distinctly average.
Paul Ballof is the star here, his alternately shrieking and yelling vocals summing up the aesthetic and ideology of the genre, but the other performers seem to be too comfortable in their niches. Songs such as the title track are led by enjoyable guitar riffs that begin to grate after a while due to the repetition, and there's very little variation between songs, the notable exception being 'Metal Command' which sounds more like classic heavy metal indulgence.
The somewhat weak mid-eighties production values mean this isn't particularly hard-hitting no matter how loud you play it, and although it's pretty fast at times, it's certainly no Megadeth.
1. Bonded By Blood
3. And Then There Were None
4. A Lesson in Violence
5. Metal Command
7. No Love
8. Deliver Us to Evil
9. Strike of the Beast