posted on 6/2008 By:
I'll be the landlord here and ask you to turn your music down.
And I'm as reckless as a person should be, really. I'm all about nostalgia, long nights of revisiting the garage days, and waking up looking like that guy on the cover of Tankard's The Morning After. As a matter of fact, I'm surrounded by the glory days at this very moment. I have thrash metal at my command. At arms reach is an extensive library suitable for an in-depth study. I'll make my selection and let the ghetto-blaster roll tape, and when the smoke clears, what suddenly appears is an antidote for the new dilution. It's a pollutant that can be traced back to this NWOBAT (New Wave Of Bay Area Thrash) thing. Mediocrity is a disease. Meet the cure found in our forefathers (Slayer, Testament, Exodus), extended family (Forbidden, Death Angel, Vio-lence), and a couple of our closest friends (Defiance, Holy Terror).
Surgery on Awaiting Evil is not really necessary. A long review would only draw a plethora of comparisons to the above mentioned, in favor of the above mentioned. I enjoyed this album if only because it tapped on the shoulder of my inner eleven year old hiding away while I was currently obsessing over anything with blast-beats at the speed of projectile vomit. It had me clutching at the album crates for a return to the form that Hatchet takes cues from. Their ways do wet the appetite, and I'll give 'em that, but that's all I'll give. The recorded sound sounds starved of a production budget. Retro chic? Bad move. Listen to these songs on headphones and the slop is revealed. The doubled-up rhythm guitar tracks at times fall away from each other and actually miss notes. The drummer occasionally struggles with fills and has been heard wrestling with the tempo. The vocalist is an identity-less amalgamation of Tom Araya (Slayer), Russ Anderson (Forbidden), and Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) if they had habitually recorded immediately after they woke up, before that first piss on par with enlightenment. Some people have written in high praise of Hatchet's "twin guitar attack".... I have two guitars in my room right now, on their stands and side by side. Is that an attack? No. They're on display, but neither one are engaged in warfare. And so it goes for "dual leads" on Awaiting Evil. You'd be hard-pressed to find sparks flying from frets on this one. The songs themselves are forgettable and seem devoid of any concentrated effort to pay tribute to their idols. Think leather-and-nails era Slayer, but with plastic and tacks; Bonded By Blood era Exodus, but bonded by masking tape. I have no malicious intent toward throwbacks, but you gotta bring your A-game if you're gonna tread precious ground.
Thrash is my life-support. When I want to send my EKG through the roof, I need a headbanger face-rip, not a slap in the face. All I know is that I was sitting here awaiting evil for days, and it never arrived, so I like that "reuniting" became the new "let's start a band", because the tried and true can come up to ride the first wave's rising new tide by grabbing the latest Exodus or Testament, and not falling a penniless victim to a trend. If it's mid-eighties Californian obscurity that you're craving, then believe me when I say that there's a thousand bands that did it back then, better, such as Tyrranicide and Bloodlust and hundreds more that you have yet to discover. The Dekapitators, Warbringers, and Hatchets of the world are merely flicking you in your ear. If you wanna grab my cash, then mug me.
The landlord says: Hatchet pay rent late.
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