Existence Is Futile
posted on 12/2009 By:
Considering a lot of early classic thrash (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Dark Angel, Toranaga, Xentrix, Onslaught, Kreator etc.) was much of my indoctrination to metal at a young impressionable age, it’s a little surprising top me that I have not embraced the current thrash revival more. Maybe my tastes have developed and thrash just does not appeal to my more mature senses now, as the likes of Municipal Waste, Warbringer, Rumplestiltskin Grinder and even returning stalwarts like Exodus, Destruction and Defiance do little for me anymore.
However, when I saw the amount of hype this Boston trio had garnered with their Relapse debut, I thought I’d check it out, especially seeing them mentioned on quite a few year-end lists and mentioned by many of my own journalistic peers as one of 2009's best releases. Well, while I’m certainly impressed and entertained by this band and this album, I’m not quite as allured as many of my peers or the metal public. While certainly better than similarly styled black/thrash/melo-death hybrid Skeletonwitch and certainly gifted musicians with a tightness that cannot be denied, I found Revocation little more than a very enjoyable album, hardly the world changing metal release I was expecting.
The slightly more aggressive, busier and technical take on retro thrash is certainly well played and chock full of head banging goodness and enough shreddage to entertain the most jaded metal head such as me. The slightly more raspy melo-death vocals of Anthony Buda do elevate the music into more extreme realms and the drumming of Phil Dubois is actually one of the more impressive drum performances of late, and even with a dash of melody here and there, the whole effort drips with a competence and retro sounding tone that sounds unforced.
The 47 minutes trot and canter by with injections of well timed aggression and melody making energetic tracks like “Pestilence Reigns,” “Deatheconomics,” “The Brain Scramblers,” and "Re-animaniac". The rather fun instrumental “Across Forests and Fjords” and the somewhat epic 7 minute closer “Tragedy of Modern Ages” are enjoyable for a quick blast of well done, not too complex or taxing robust modern thrash metal.
That all being said, I’m giving the debut from Enfold Darkness a lot more attention because it added just a little more blackened extremity to the thrash backbone. Still, this is much better than Skeletonwitch’s Breathing the Fire, and this is a band that has effortlessly glossed retro thrash with a modern polish and bite that bodes very well for the future.
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