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Suicide Watch: Figure Head Of Pain

A British thrash gem unearthed and enhanced

Originally released in 2008 as a download-only affair, the second Suicide Watch album sought to consolidate the growing reputation these Brits had earned with their Global Warning debut.

Featuring two former members of UKHC diehards Stampin’ Ground, this ferocious quartet play thrash metal with a dirty, pugilistic edge, eschewing the hardcore crossover leanings of their modern US counterparts and focusing on a thrillingly British take on the genre that, for all its precise belligerence, owes a subtle spiritual debt to the muscular but raw punk rock blitzkrieg of Slaughter And The Dogs and One Way System.

Death Support System and Make No Mistake exhibit a mastery of the riffs, hooks and pinpoint rhythmic about-turns that have long made the best thrash such a visceral joy. The whole thing sounds oddly timeless, too, the original album’s unfussy production job enhanced by a deft remastering job. This reissue features four bonus studio cuts and some endearingly grubby live material, all of which slays like Saint George on cheap street speed.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.