Rise of the Infidels (Megaforce)
By Martin Popoff
Amusingly, this is framed as one of the longest extended EPs of all time, S.O.D. offering four previously unreleased studio tracks, with the bonus being a 20 selection live show from The Fenix in Seattle. First the studio tracks: They’re sub-standard, S.O.D. (two originals, two covers, not that the distinction matters), with a crap and toneless production job that makes them sound like ProTooled Pro-Pain out-takes. The concert proper starts and ends appropriately with “Ballad of Nirvana,” after which Billy shouts out “Thank you very much, Seattle! Good night!” But then there’s a generous 19 song encore, so everybody goes away snap-necked, having witnessed one of hardcore metal’s funny and fat treasures. Warning: Get to the tummy of the beast, and there’s fully six ballads in a row, a brief concept suite produced out of polluted thin air. The nice digipak packaging I suppose is designed to make up for the fact that the sound quality of this set is dodgy, not down to boot levels, but distorted and missing a few frequencies.