Released: 2012, Rising Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The explosion of the Bay Area scene may have delivered thrash kicking and screaming to the world at large, but it remains the charge of the new school to ensure this sensation doesn’t lapse into middle-agedness. They may hail from the other side of the world, but Melbourne four-piece 4Arm are one of these flag-bearers keeping the music industry black-n-blue.
In the case of album number three – Submission For Liberty – the easily bruised may be advised to invest in some body padding. This doesn’t just not let down the side, but practically cements it a foundation to build upon. Whilst Submission For Liberty hugs undeniably close to the old-school thrash template scratched out in metal’s desk by the likes of Metallica, 4Arm do so without sounding like they’ve been held back a couple of years.
On that subject 4Arm do excel themselves at doing the sort of thrash that some would say that the big M no longer hit the nail on, such as in title track ‘Submission For Liberty’ and album closer ‘Blood Of Martyrs’. This perhaps springs to mind more so due to frontman Danny Tomb having a touch of a young James Hetfield around the vocal chords.
A spoken word laid over piano piece, opener ‘Sinn Macht Frei’ effectively sums up the message of Submission For Liberty – individuality, freedom, and power to the people. Unless we’ve horribly misread the signals there. Having established a platform, the heavy drum strokes of ‘While I Lay Awake’ fall like an axe to cut through this moment’s reflection setting the album on its aggressive course.
Mixed by Matt Hyde (Machine Head, Slipknot, Trivium) all elements of Submission For Liberty conspire together in the musical equivalent of one long cathartic, but brutal, rant. Complete with stamping feet and flailing fists. A con of all of this negative energy is that it’s harder to pick out any natural pauses or deviations in the album, which means songs can feel as though they’re running into one another like a backed up conveyor belt. Still when it’s made up of this many golden-touched riffs, one long thrash song is worth ten poor cousins, and this should be enough to make 4Arm a contender for the affections of both old and new thrash fans alike.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs