HardReviews 5
by Martin Popoff

Terror 2000 - Faster Disaster
(Nuclear Blast)

For those who want a little old Soilwork with your new Soilwork in the year 2002, look no further than this second record from Speed Strid's vicious side dish Terror 2000. Aside from Speed's slashing vocal attack, one instantly notices the racing riff work of Nick Sword and Klas Ideberg (Darkane), as well as the blinding steel of the production, a meticulous mix that is the only way to go for such Crown-accelerated Swedish thrash mania. Best riff goes to closer Killing Machine which switches between double time, half time and er, time. New drummer Erik Thyselius stokes the engine room throughout with over-the-shoulder throwing fills amongst the blurry, blazing carnage, providing the framework for a record that, even though fueled by booze and racing cars, is a technical triumph that impresses with each flurry of flailing limbs.
Rating 8

Alex Skolnick Trio - Goodbye To Romance: Standards For A New Generation

Well, if you ever imagined extremely light and airy, improvisationally extended cocktail jazz versions of metal classics, here ya go, courtesy of Testament shredder Alex Skolnick, who is clearly in a different place these days. The set-up here is a traditional jazz trio, graceful drums, stand-up bass and very clean guitar picking from Alex, recorded is stunning clear fidelity. There are two Skolnick originals, but the rest of the album comprises Detroit Rock City (oddly the same thing was just done by that Freak Guitar dude on Favored Nations; can't find it right now), Dream On, No One Like You, Still Loving You, Pinball Wizard, War Pigs and the title track, the touching significance which is explained in Alex's generous and illuminating liner notes. Personally for me, this is a once-through novelty, but hey, different strokes for different, possibly stoked folks. Contact www.alexskolnick.com for more info.
Rating 6