Release DetailsLABEL Trinity Records [Hong Kong]
RELEASED ON 5/21/2006
National Napalm Syndicate
Resurrection of the Wicked
posted on 6/2006 By:
This is somewhat traditional thrash metal done about as right as a modern act is going to get away with. In fact it sounds so much like records I bought twenty years ago I almost want to knock it out of reflex. But if I leave aside my prejudices I can't deny that this is, as often as not, a really good collection of well written songs.
It is old school, which means nothing is happening you haven't heard a few dozen times before, unless you haven't heard any of the mid eighties thrash and speed bands or their modern offspring. Slightly lighter, slower melodic death metal may best describe it. It is, in fact, where melodic death metal came from. It's a little bouncier and better recorded, but essentially the same as what people were doing a couple of decades ago. This is not a bad thing, but it's not a good one either. It's a thing. And here you will find it done with little pretense, professional competence and a spirit of fun. When discussing most metal these days that is high praise.
The musicianship is top drawer. The singer, who IS in fact singing under the growls, pulls off some impressive vocal feats. He resembles John Bush, only much much gruffer. He lends the whole affair a great sense of style and authenticity, as he really does sound like an old thrash vocalist. Keeping only tenuous grip on the melody, he rams the songs through your speakers by force of will.
The guitar tone is lacking a bit and the drums are a little canned. When you make music that has lots of open space like this, tempo wise, it's best to get a real mean, crunchy sound to fill it with. Blasting brutal death bands can take a "clean" mix, chugging thrash bands need filthy, massive production or they come off weaker than they are. This is the one sense in which modern thrash bands can't ever "go back". Death metal has, for better or worse, redefined how "heavy" sounds, and anything less simply no longer cuts it. But I have to say that you shouldn't let these production critiques keep you from this record. Energy and songwriting make the faults trivial in this case.
For the bottom line I am going to suggest you hook yourself up with this one. The well worn paths are trod for a reason, and this band gets it. I would like to say they are paving their way with new and innovative takes on old themes, but they aren't. They are simply doing everything that has been done before correctly, intensely and passionately.
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