Sound — 9
The second offering from the Danish thrash posse Artillery, Terror Squad is, much like it's successor By Inheritance, a prime example of the quality that can result when technical thrash and melody collide. The musicianship displayed on this album is astounding, and an apt demonstration of the sheer talent that resides in this band. Perhaps the first thing one notices when the opener, The Challenge, starts is the great, crisp production that this album possesses (especially impressive for an album from 1987). There is not a note missing or sullied in this intricate riff-fest, letting the guitars (the obvious focal point of the album) truly shine. The riffs are constant and catchy, supporting the speedy leads. Even on the slower songs, such as the title track, the guitars maintain a good crunchy rhythm, perfect for the headbanging frenzy that this album is sure to induce. Flemming Rnsdorf's vocals are quite good as well, especially when he belts out the high notes, as in the chorus of Terror Squad. Overall, he does a good job of keeping up with the rapid guitar assault, though his vocals do deviate from his otherwise consistent performance on a few tracks. The tracks themselves are all pretty solid. The Challenge is a suitable opener, Terror Squad truly does itself great justice, and Let There Be Sin, At War with Science and Decapitation of Deviants are all top-notch.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics here are actually pretty good. They seem to mostly focus on the issues of rebellion and anti-authority, your standard rock/metal themes really. They provide some good fodder for Rnsdorf's shrieks and falsettos, although at times it seems like he has almost too much to say.
Overall Impression — 8
Really, each member is performing more or less at their peak here. Sandau maintains good, pounding rhythms, which mingle with Michael Sttzer's impressively skillful, blisteringly intense leads in a symphony of intricate guitar work. The bass is well done, with the occasional solo and the drums are suitable for the music. As previously mentioned, Rnsdorf performs admirably on most of the material, adding icing to the cake. All in all, these elements come together to make an excellent album, showcasing the rawer side of Artillery. Pick it up if you enjoy hearing some interesting technicality with your thrash fix. Despite being somewhat inferior to the follow-up, this album is deserving of every bit of its reputation.