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>>>   R e v i e w s   >>>   ARAKAIN "Schizofrenie"

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>>> BERRY | 2007-09-06 >>>

ARAKAIN "Schizofrenie"

(1991 Supraphon)

A worthy follow-up to the debut

In 1991 Arakain was on top with their excellent debut "Thrash The Trash" out and the sophomore "Schizofrenie" didn't take long. Lots of live plying all across the country, including my hometown. It was on a weekday, but all metalheads came (thos who wouldn't as if didn't exist) dressed up in the most fancy clothes that time already blew away. The atmosphere then is unrepeatable, same as the charm of a gramophone record, that sees its renaissance today, still, you can hardly have this feeling waking up the other morning and heading straight to the record store for the LP.

The vinyl "Schizofrenie" was out only after the mentioned show. I remebered a few songs from the upcoming album and when I put it on on my old gramophone, as if I had known them ever before. So, let me mention them. One after another.

Opener "Strážci času" comes down like a bolt out of the blue and mercilessly goes in a thrash metal tempo with everything that makes the style its own: sharp guitars, yelling voice, firing drums and pounding bass, and all that with an revolting generation protest in the lyrics. This topic is sort of a linking thread of the album anyway. Second "Teror" starts dark and slow to develop into a butcher spree with melodic themes. But the third "Řekni a máš mě" goes astray somewhat, both musically and especially lyrically - from the orthodox metallic thrash the band switches to a glam rock sleaze. I don't like the overcliched lyrics nor the phrasing, although the music itself still has the quality. The A-side is closed by a ballad with some thrash passages as well "Kamenej anděl", that was also made into a video clip shown a couple of times on TV back then. While the amateruish video made you smile a little, the mood and feeling of the song is absorbing from the very first tone. B starts with a cunning thrash number "Antikrist", a statement of a generation, which could be easily slightly adjusted to suit just anyone else. And Brichta's compassionate declamation is simply without a flaw. Even more of a ride is "Gilotina", a sharp number with an excellent introduction part, guitar breaks, samples of a real guillotine (the hit of the blade really kills!) and a shred figurative lyric. The seventh seal "Sedmá pečet" is an instrumental that slows down and its role is mainly to prepare you for the title climax. "Schizofrenie" closes the album in an immense thrash blast, which is of course equally reflected in lyrics. When Brichta frantically repeats „schizofrenie“ over and over again, you would believe he really went through what he's singing about.

The album basically lacks a weak spot, although I could do without "Řekni a máš mě" and even the instrumental "Sedmá pečet", but since they've been there for 16 years now, let them have their place. To compare with "Thrash The Trash", "Schizofrenie" is absolutely equal, not a second-rate nor an overdone follow up. A fully worthy second album where band adds another pearl into their glorious discography. And be sure these were pearls well above standard size, as time proved with lots of records to come but never make the monumental greatness of "Schizofrenie" or the debut.

The cover of course deserves attention in the LP format. The motive somehow goes with the title, a split head as insane as the vocals in the title track. The cover, including the yellow logo, was painted by Gustav Vávra and it's not bad at all, although nothing like "Thrash The Trash". I can perhaps add there is a sort of reminiscence on the rear side - a gleaming long nail, but not of a clenched fist, rather of a raised middle finger.

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