Japanese thrash metal! United has been around as early as 1981, when they started out as a Judas Priest cover band taking their name from the classic Priest song. Bassist Akihiro Yokoyama is the only original member from those early days still in the band. 1995's N.O.I.Q. album is the first to get a released in the U.S. (by Metal Blade).

No I.Q. United-NO I.Q. (Metal Blade) 1995

1. "Revenger" (3:13)
2. "Bad Habit" (3:21)
3. "Run Through the Night" (5:40)
4. "Kill Yourself for Business" (4:10)
5. "Hit Me (One More Card)" (2:12)
6. "Words in Disguise" (4:18)
7. "Outta My Way" (3:57)
8. "Obsession" (5:00)
9. "hidden track" -instrumental (1:14)

I love Japanese metal. I just get such a kick out of the thick Japanese accent. United's first (and only?) American release is heavily influenced by American thrash bands like Nuclear Assault, Anthrax, and especially S.O.D. Shoot a few times I had that de-ja-vu feeling that I had heard this song before. I know I had not heard this disc, but there are some striking similarities to S.O.D. tunes. "Kill Yourself for Business" for instance has a gang chorus echoing "Kill Yourself," which is not unlike S.O.D.'s "Kill Yourself." Regardless, this album is a lot of fun. I wonder if these guys would have taken off had their album come out ten years earlier? I believe this album was originally released in 1995 but the year on the copyright is 1996. There is a untitled hidden track after about a minute and a half of silence on track 8.

Distorted Vision United-Distorted Vision (Howling Bull) 1999

1. "Flash Back" (3:28)
2. "Trust Yourself" (1:56)
3. "Color" (4:47)
4. "Who I Am" (1:54)
5. "Sick and Angry" (3:49)
6. "Locked Inside" (3:11)
7. "So Damn Low" (3:32)
8. "Tiger" (3:46)
9. "Change" (6:02)
10. "Revenger" (3:02)

These guys are stinking heavy!!! I'm a sucker for a good thrash band, and United are good. They do have some more modern influences forged into their molten metal (ie. "Pantera"), but overall, they are just good 'ol thrash metal.

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