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Anger As Art
November 2005
Released: 2005, Self-financed
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

Steve Gaines is a relatively familiar name on the lips of many Thrash Metal fans, especially amongst the old school Thrash Metal -fans. If you still aren´t aware of Steve´s background, the guy is the founding member of Bloodlust (still remember the band´s raging TERMINAL VELOCITY E.P.from 1988? Good...), the voice of Abattoir, the man behind a Thrash Metal group called Tactics from Los Angeles during the ´90s - as well as a co-collaborator in 2 bands with one of Dark Angel founders Jim Durkin; Pagan Warmachine (vocals and bass) and Dreams of Damnation (guitar).

What about his present musical ambitions? Anger As Art is the first solo CD from Steve in which he has performed all instruments, delivering a highly energetic and angry (surprise!) fast tempo Thrash Metal, spiced up with some Hardcore -elements here and there that luckily aren´t the most dominating element in the songs. Most of the time Steve´s solo album reminds me of kind of bastard child of old Slayer and Dark Angel stuff, played with sort of a ´Punk´ -attitude which has this little tendency to sound dirty and ugly. A song like "I Create Your God" could be taken from a back catalogue of Dark Angel, being an extremely violent and heavy Thrash Metal song whereas songs like "New War" and "Wait for the Hammer" have a huge Bay Area Thrash -trademark in both of them with all those blistering Thrash -riffs mostly manipulating and ruling the song structures. The album´s closer tune "Blood of My Enemies" is basically a pure Slayer -worshipping from start to finish, with ripping and furious guitar riffs that should provide hard times for your neck muscles for quite some time for sure.

My only complaint, however, is that the production could probably be a tad heavier, especially for the guitars´ sound, but on the other hand, this minor ´flaw´ shouldn´t take any points out of the fact this 8-track offering pretty much rips your face off by delivering the goods somewhat perfectly by being such an intense package of well-made Thrash.

To make a long review short, Steve´s solo CD is a truly impressive effort from him all in all - and yes, it should undoubtedly please even most devoted Thrash Metal -fans, so by all means, go and buy this album in order to support him as well as Thrash Metal as its own fine genre of metal music.

Oh, gotta love this quote from Steve, too: "When you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself!" He has certainly done a few things right on his solo CD, no doubts...!! ,,/
Track Listing

01. Attitude Adjustment
02. I Create Your God
03. Wide Awake
04. Hate in My Heart - Hell in My Head
05. Anger As Art
06. New War
07. Wait for the Hammer
08. Blood of My Enemies


Steve Gaines - Vocals & guitar
Mars Castro - Drums
Javier Marrufo - Bass
William Rustrum - Guitar & vocals

Next review: » Anger As Art - S/T
Previous review: » Anger as Art - Hubris Inc.

Anger As Art
October 2006
Released: 2006, Old School Metal Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Madman

If you’re an 80’s metal fan I’m sure the name, Steve Gaines rings a few bells. Steve was the vocalist on Abattoir’s debut album, VICIOUS ATTACK, which is a classic speed metal album to say the least. Though his name has popped up here and there throughout the years since that album, Steve’s recording output has been minimal to say the least. 2004 saw Steve put together a solo release, naming it Anger as Art, though when the album was released it got very little reception and basically no press. 2006 sees Old School Metal Records re-releasing album under the Anger As Art banner (Steve apparently able to put together a full band) with a few bonus live tracks.

Now, picking up the album one sees a full band, but on this release all of the studio performances are by Steve Gaines. A full band wasn’t in the picture in 2004, during the recording of this material. Now what I immediately expected from this album is old school speed metal, though I was actually expecting a very raw and low quality recording, seeing as Steve did this album by himself. Though I was surprised to find that I got some old school speed/thrash with a very clear and, actually, very good, sound that is not overproduced or over digitized whatsoever.

The album opens up with what is quite honestly the worst track on the album, enough so that I actually find it rather troublesome to even listen to. “Attitude Adjustment” is just a fast punk song with some simple melody thrown overtop and the stupid little break with lone bass is almost sad. Admittedly though, Steve’s voice hasn’t sounded better. The album really gets going with “I Create Your God”. The song starts with some soft acoustic guitars but punches in with the thrash riffing I was expecting from “Attitude Adjustment”, it actually creates a very nice surprise because after the opening track I was nearly ready to throw the album out of the stereo and into the garbage. The song also utilizes more of Steve’s range; from rough, aggressive vocals, to screams to something with a little more melody the vocals really work around the riffs. “Wide Awake” shows no sign of letting up and brought a big sigh of relief from myself as there was no more experimenting to be found, pure speed/thrash metal from top to bottom.

The title track, “Anger As Art” starts off with dual melodic riffing, following the drums, before hitting that 1-2 thrash beat, with riffs to follow. Steve’s warm mid-range is all over this track and he works well to create diversity in the chorus when he busts out some screams. The clean/jamming section in the middle section is a bit jolting, thrown right into the middle of a thrash track but it works extremely well, Steve’s vocals giving it a slightly epic metal feeling. The bonus live tracks tacked onto the end of the album, while pretty raw, are entirely listenable, though why one would want to listen to most of the songs that they just listened to 20 minutes ago, again, only slightly different is beyond me but for those that are interested, they are here, and they aren’t bad either.

Anger as Art’s style, if the listener, and reader, hasn’t figured it out by now, will be hit over the head with it time and again throughout the album. It’s simple, straightforward, thrash metal. There isn’t an emphasis on hundreds of riffs; it’s an emphasis on a small handful of riffs THAT WORK and work well with vocals that fit as both a rhythmic accompaniment and melodic component. If you’ve missed Steve Gaines, he’s back, and he’s back with a band that could do some serious damage in the future.
Track Listing

1. Attitude Adjustment
2. I Create Your God
3. Wide Awake
4. Hate In My Heart - Hell In My Head
5. Anger As Art
6. New War
7. Wait For The Hammer
8. Blood Of My Enemies
9. Hate In My Heart, Hell In My Head (Live)
10. Everybody Dies (Live)
11. Anger As Art (Live)
12. Troops of Doom (Live)


Studio Material:
Steve Gains - All Instruments

Live Material:
Steve Gains - Vocals and Guitar
William Rustrum - Lead Guitar
Javier Marrufo - Bass
Mars - Drums

Next review: » Anger Cell - Haven for the Forsaken (EP)
Previous review: » Anger as Art - Hubris Inc.

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