After an absolutely sensational self-titled debut, The Crucified followed it up with another great record. Unfortunately, it would also be the band’s last due to personal differences or something like that. The Pillars of Humanity was another furious offering of punk-inspired thrash, bustling with all the energy and aggression fans had come to know and love. And there was more superb drumming from Jim Chaffin, who continued to beat his kit into submission.
One thing you notice about the record is its depth and maturity. Sure, it sounds like The Crucified. But the formula is mixed up just enough to keep it interesting. Take Path to Sorrow for instance, which begins with spoken vocals before breaking away into hardcore thrash, with a mix of yelled lead and shouted background vocals. Oh, and the guitar solo is awesome. When the band does sound like it did on the debut it’s amazing, no more so than on Focus. But when you start naming favorite tracks it gets to be like splitting hairs. Mindbender is great, so is Blackstone/So Called Living, 1991, The Strength and The Wrong One… well the list could go on.
If there is a flaw with the record it’s that Mark Salomon’s vocals get buried in the mix at times, but it’s only a minor flub at that. Pillars of Humanity is a great album and must have for any punk/hardcore/thrash fan.