As I discuss in my review of Game Over’s CRIMES AGAINST REALITY album this month. The thrash metal revival continues unabated. However, it’s not just the classic “big” bands (Anthrax, Destruction etc.) and young whippersnappers that are taking part; the old thrash dogs from the classic days continue to be involved as well. A perfect example is Anger As Art, which features three ex-Abattoir members in its ranks, notably vocalist/guitarist Steve Gaines. Anger As Art has actually been around for a decade and have put out four previous albums, of which, somehow only 2013’s HUBRIS INC. entered my consciousness.
After cranking AD MORTEM FESTINAMUS for the last month, I’m definitely going to make an effort to find the band’s previous work because this album is a thrash monster. This is pure old-school thrash, done by the guys who were there when it was NEW school. As such, they have the musical acumen to not just straight-up thrash (“Pissing on Your Grave”), but add in some cool twists like groove (the godly “Hammer, Blade, and Twisting Fire”), brooding balladry (“Praise of the Firehead”), and near-punk aggression (“L.A. State of Mind”). It’s all lead by exacting guitar work and impressive drumming and topped off by an insanely charismatic, chameleon-like vocal performance by Gaines. He throws in punky pissed off vocals, growls, gruff barks, and smooth clean vocals, and he does it all with aplomb.
The band members might all be a bit long in the tooth, but they haven’t lost even a bit of the fire they had for thrash metal. Excellent, excellent stuff here, thrashers need to get this.
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