Written by Alex Stojanovic
One Shot One Kill
Rebound Of Greed
Land Of The Dead
Our Last Sunset
Cast The First Stone
I Will Spit On Your Grave
Turn The Page
Release Date: July 31, 2019
Label: Stonepath Records
Roman Wettstein - Vocals / Bruno Bomatter - Guitars / Serge Mattli - Guitars
Pascal Trutmann - Bass / Remo Poletti - Drums
After listening to Ninety Nine, I found an abundance of riffs that are just impossible not to headbang to, especially in the first few tracks that start the album, like "Propaganda", "One Shot One Kill", "Rebound Of Greed" and "Headshot". When you find riffs that are able to do that that early in the album, you know damn well that the album is going to be a good one. Roman Wettstein's vocals kind of resemble Rob Dukes (ex-Exodus), and the guitar work from Bruno Bomatter and Serge Mattli is menacing. They unleash riffs that not only thrash, but also groove. They do a great job at mixing thrash influences from different regions. For example, the mid-tempo chugging riff in the middle section of "Cast The First Stone" is straight out of the U.S east coast. The main riff in that song sounds a lot like a riff Gary Holt would write.
The album is also very well-produced. I always say that aside from great performances and great songwriting, great production also plays a huge role in me liking a record. Combine those three main elements, and you've got a record that I, and I'm sure many others will keep coming back to. My only issue with Ninety Nine is that I wish there was a bit more variety in the vocals. Roman tends to stay in the high-pitched shouting range for pretty much the entire record. You should never put limits on yourself when you're a musician. I'm not saying that Roman needed to do clean vocals, but I think if he maybe added some more gritty vocals in a slightly lower tone, like something similar to Chuck Billy, the record would've been a perfect score from me. He does that in "Forsaken", and there's a short bit in the closing track "Turn The Page", where he goes into a slightly clean tone, but I think he should've done those a bit more instead of just in those single spots. That's just me.
With that said, Shadow's Far's Ninety Nine really impressed me, and I can say that I will definitely be re-visiting this record, because the production is stellar, the songwriting is great, and the riffs are menacing and crushing. It contains all the elements I love about thrash. To my fellow thrashers out there reading this review, trust me when I say that you need to prepare your necks because Ninety Nine will have you pushing your headbanging limits to the max.
Highs: All I can say is that this is thrash of some pretty high quality.
Lows: A little more variety in the vocals would've worked.