Released: 2005, Mausoleum/Marquee
I heard many, many good things about Andralls before I heard them. There was some good talk on our very own Metal Rules message board in 2005 when the band’s third full-length INNER TRAUMA dropped. The band’s Brazilian heritage obviously forced a lot of Sepultura comparisons upon them, but when I first put INNER TRAUMA in my stereo it almost sounded like the classic Sepultura had reunited and had a good knock in the head.
If I were to compare the sound of INNER TRAUMA to anything, I’d say to think of Sepultura’s ARISE and give it a touch more melody, just enough so that every riff doesn’t feel like a hammer to the head. Alex Coelho handles both guitars and vocals and does a reasonable job on the microphone, a very hoarse shout, yet again, not unlike Max Cavalera’s better days. I hate to constantly pull out the Sepultura references, it makes me seem like a complete hack… but a rose (or in this case a hammer) by any other name etc. etc. The band’s style is ferocious and unrelenting. The aggression and energy never lets up, even if the listener might. Unlike a lot of other bands playing similar styles of thrash, Andralls are able to infuse their music with just enough memorability and distinction that by the 30th minute you aren’t going to be reaching for the stop button anytime soon.
The band opens the album with an intro before starting the album off properly in “Fear is My Ally” which can work well as a band anthem. The song immediately builds up on a rolling, cycling riff. The guitars dirty and rough, while notes trip overtop of each other and the bouncing, chugging continues. Pure speed erupts with solos coming out of nowhere, jumping out at the listener with constant dropping runs. “Down the Jokers” starts off using some very choppy riffing, thrust into a slightly more straight light by the simple drum line. The song moves into faster, simpler riffing for the verses and the way the riff has its little accents really helps highlight the vocals; the guitar and vocals working together to create the song’s most memorable sections.
While “Down the Jokers” and “Fear is My Ally” are only two songs from a single album, it’s only fair to say you aren’t going to get much different of an approach when you get to songs like, “Developed Underground”, “Non-Shooting War”, or “Heads or Tails”. While the style may not change, some changing tempos and impressive riffing will keep any thrash fan at least half interested. The problem I do have with the album is that while it will keep me interested and I can even remember most of the tracks when the album’s off, I don’t feel the need to listen to it. Why listen to Andralls when I can put on any number of classic thrash albums or even some more modern classics? Certainly Andralls are no slouch and I would be nuts if I didn’t say that I’m sure many thrash fans out there will freak over INNER TRAUMA (and probably already have) but I can’t help but feel like the band needs just a little something extra.
A winner but not a home run, Andralls may certainly be thrash metal’s future and will leave many a modern thrash band in the dust.