Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 6/10/2008
Parasite Of Society
posted on 7/2008 By:
After things went sour in Destruction, vocalist/bassist Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer, arguably the defining character of the band, was left to find another way to vent. He found a quick outlet with guitarist Uew Hoffmann (Talon) and drummer Jorg Michael (ex-Rage, ex-Mekong Delta) in the power/thrash metal oriented Headhunter in 1990. The band would leave the world with three albums before Schmier rejoined Destruction at the turn of the millennium.
Headhunter last left us with the album Rebirth in 1994, a title that certainly would have been more fitting for this release. I mean that in a completely literal way, as in, "Yeah, they're back." You're excited, I know. I am, too. And if you look closely at the tracklisting you'll notice that the trio even threw in a cover of Skid Row's "18 and Life" to up the ante. Oh, joy.
To be fair, Parasite of Society isn't all that bad. It doesn't stray too far from the sonic aesthetic Headhunter established on Parody of Life, their debut. Aside from the fact that they sound distanced from their music, not much has changed. Schmier still alternates between cleaner singing and grittier vocals. Hoffman, who, as far as I know, has been inactive in metal since Rebirth, still knows how to string along some great solos. Jorg Michael, who last played on Saxon's underrated Lionheart, is as tasteful as his history would suggest. However, talent and an obvious chemistry only take this band so far.
There's very little texture here. It's flat and lacking dynamics. Songs like "Remission" and "Egomaniac" run their course and we're left to endure passages of unnecessary and unconvincing experimentation. Those moments might have been considered a charmingly eccentric quality in the early '90s, when Schmier still had something to prove. The context for the band now has changed not only the way we look at Headhunter but the way Headhunter looks at itself, no doubt, and I am not hearing much conviction or passion in the music. No matter how persistent the onslaught of chugging riffs, and there are a few decent ones in "Read My Lips" and "Doomsday for the Prayer," the album still feels pretty safe. It's modern thrash metal with some progressive qualities, nothing less and certainly nothing more.
While Parasite of Society has its moments I am left with more questions than answers. Why revive this band after 14 years of dormancy when the legacy Schmier is still trying to live up to with Destruction hasn't been fulfilled yet? This could have been a really cool album but the guys played it safe and it barely treads water.
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