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BEST OF 2017 -... - special
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R.U. DEAD?
R.U. DEAD?
Completely Dead
(Majestic Union Records / Sempiternal Productions)
68:55min

One thing I like are complete CD compendiums of a band's career, and "Completely Dead" is almost one. Kicking off this deathrashing collection is the criminally underrated "A Thought Before the Kill" 12". As my gushing review of it in Snakepit #4 reflects, I consider this stuff to have been as good as '90s Thrash Metal got, and these three tracks alone are worth the price of the disc. Also included is the whole of the "Nothing Will Be Forgiven" MCD from 1995, the "Hypnos" 7" single of 1992, a couple of well-chosen demo tracks, and the previously unreleased 'Ninety-Six', recorded shortly before their split-up. Paying tribute to Uli's roots in POISON are reworked versions of 'Yog-Sothoth', here as the demo track 'Omega / Insane Gods' and 'Alive Undead' as 'Mind Funeral / Lurking Fear'. In no way do these revisions replace the original tracks recorded by POISON, but they do provide an excellent historical frame of reference for the rest of R.U. DEAD?'s career. And if you're one of those wimps who didn't like or never heard POISON, just crawl back into your Nu-Metal hole and stay there. It must be said however that elements of the layout seem to have been overlooked. The track listing on the back is incomplete - and a couple of tracks are in the wrong order. To compound this, the song order for "Nothing..." was changed for some mysterious reason, disrupting the flow that some of us were used to. Still, the booklet is a neat little affair which includes a concise biography of the band, artwork from previous releases, lyrics and photos of their various incarnations. Great stuff. But even more mystifying than the juggled track listing are some of the less than complimentary reviews I've seen of this band through the years. So much today is focused on "old school" bands; reformations, re-releases, tours with half the original members, bootlegged commemorative shirts and badges are commonplace, and every new band under the sun praises the "ancient ones" to the skies. Fair enough. Well achtung kiddies, R.U. DEAD? deserves this sort of respect as well. Contact: stef@majesticunion.de

Charles Keller

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