Ticket To Hell - Operation Crash Course

This is the second release from Mexican one-man band (except session drummer for the recordings) Ticket to Hell. Their debut release reminded me of modern melodic death metal mixed with some SYL for the madness aspect. So album number two brings a slight difference. All of the melodic death metal tones of the early 1990’s styling are still present but the vocal approach is much more fitting and a lot more thrash comes out of this album. The tracks do lean to heavy thrash, but most have death metal arrangements, something that is popular in Europe at the moment, but thankfully not whole heartily jumping on the blackened thrash bandwagon. It could have been close; this country has its marvels, but also has a few one-dimensional single chord purveyors. But not Ticket to Hell! ‘Metallic Overdose’ sounds like Occult (Nld) in some places, before they became Legion of the Damned, very heavy thrash, strong vocal delivery, but this is sometimes lost in the mix. The heavy thrash continues in ‘Bluescreen Circus’ that also has a little black and a little death. A Cocktail of the good stuff then, flickering (…Born of the…!) between each style complements the musician for the seamless effort, but I do have a want for something a little fresher, this is a very popular and common sound in Europe even if the end of the track (‘Bluescreen Circus’) demands a response of your neck muscles, slowed down and rhythmically made for headbanging. Of course, you need good strong muscles to do that to the start of the next tune, the album title track. Again, the blackened intro introduces a thrashier style, but is spoiled in my mind with a keyboard wining away in the background, in fact, it sounds like a violin. I am all for experimenting, but I don’t like it when you mess with “the riff”! The differing styles are pretty distinguishable, is it good or not? It can be frustrating as you get going with the thrash then it goes up-tempo and more blackened events kick in. Being a lone recording artist, you have much more musical freedom, but you always wonder whether these “projects” will ever see the light of day on the stage, one hopes so though.

Whilst Jacobo also plays in Zombiefication (what a band they are!), a purer form of death metal, Ticket to Hell is an eccentric’s choice of black, thrash and death, and that in between this heaven and hell. A solid release and a worthy inclusion to your vast collection, but will it memorable? That is really for you to decide!

1. The Hidden Illness
2. Metallic Overdose
3. Isolation Row
4. The Sickest Lie
5. Bluescreen Circus
6. Operation: Crash Course
7. The Box
8. Last One Standing
My Kingdom Music
Reviewer: twansibon
Nov 22, 2010

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