66. Vengeance Rising: Once Dead

(Intense, 1990)
(Intense, 1990)
There was definitely no sophomore slump for Vengeance Rising on Once Dead, the band’s follow-up record to the shocking debut Human Sacrifice. In many ways, Once Dead was a fitting sequel. It featured a wealth of tracks (13), a Deep Purple cover (Space Truckin‘), and a pair of songs that stretched beyond the 8-minute mark. And that was on top of Vengeance Rising’s usual fare of Roger Martinez’s growl, the twin pronged guitar attack of Doug Theime and Larry Farkas amidst a superbly executed, hardcore thrash sound.
In retrospect, in some ways Once Dead was better than Human Sacrifice. It wasn’t as revolutionary, but boy, the songs were solid. And how do you pick a favourite? That said, this album would not be great without Warfare, The Whipping Post and Into the Abyss.  All three feature superb arrangements and display the band’s ability to expand on the thrash metal formula. And as far as covers go, Space Truckin’ totally rocks. I can’t listen to the original and not think about how much more I like Vengeance Rising’s version.
And that’s what makes this record so entertaining. There’s so much variety. Once Dead may be typical thrash metal, but the band continually mixes it up. They can play it fast (Cut Into Pieces) or slow (Arise, Frontal Lobotomy), all built upon a base of superb songwriting and musicianship. Vengeance Rising was indeed one of the greatest Christian hard rock bands ever assembled, and Once Dead is just a great, great record.

2.Can’t Get Out
3.Cut Into Pieces
4.Frontal Lobotomy
5.Herod’s Violent Death
6.The Whipping Post
8.Space Truckin’
9.Out Of The Will
10.The Wrath To Come
11.Into The Abyss
12.Among The Dead




One thought on “66. Vengeance Rising: Once Dead

  1. My favorite track would be “Out of the Will”. It’s kind of different from other songs. A good album but I like “Human Sacrifice” more. Too bad that they lost their touch after this album – “Destruction Comes” wasn’t as good as the first two albums.

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