Released: 2015, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
There’s something about New Jersey that seems to breed quality thrash metal. Overkill is the obvious go-to, but heroes like Ripping Corpse, God Forbid, Hades, and even Mucky friggin’ Pup all call(ed) the Garden State their home. With their sophomore, self-titled full length upon us, Jersey boys Anticosm are poised to be the next great name on that list.
Describing their sound as “black thrash n’ roll”, Anticosm claims everything between Naglfar and Dissection to Judas Priest and Motorhead as an influence, and damned if they don’t make it work. The ten new tracks have a decidedly thrashy foundation, but it’s the layers of sonic complexity that are built upon that truly make ANTICOSM a great album.
“Kill or Be Killed” opens with an old school flavor and throws some wicked licks in your face right away just because they can. Which, if I might digress for a moment; you expect a thrash record to be riddled with humbling guitar work, it’s a prerequisite. Anticosm deliver riffs both fast and frequent, solos that will make you salivate, and manage to bake it all together into something wonderful. “Black Magic” reeks of Norse inspiration, while “Root of All Evil” and “Wake Up in Hell” pummel with equal parts brutality and melody. “Erected From the Grave” was probably my favorite of the lot with its classically inspired segue, but the closing “The Season of Ill Wind” is no slouch either; a seven minute opus that weaves the band’s heavier inclinations with moments of trad/power metal. And while it’s easy to get excited about the bonus cover of Men at Work’s “Land Down Under”, don’t dare dismiss these guys as a joke band. Yeah they’ve got a sense of humor the same way Nuclear Assault and D.R.I. used to, but they’ve got the chops where it counts too.
While ANTICOSM doesn’t release until August 25th, the band is kind hearted enough to offer the rest of their discography as name-your-price downloads on their Bandcamp page. Even if you don’t feel up to throwing a few shekels their way (c’mon, don’t be cheapskates), you should still spend some time with Anticosm’s body of work. THE WRECKONING EP is a great preface to the new album, you’ll enjoy it – trust me. There’s also a wicked Van Halen cover that’ll stick in your brain for weeks, and it’ll warm you up to the rest of what the band has to share.
Some bands just “get” what metal’s supposed to be about – a fun, heavy, fast, makes you wanna air guitar and chug beer good time. Anticosm gets it; hell, even the album cover looks like it was doodled by a high school longhair in detention while listening to THE YEARS OF DECAY on his Walkman. Support new music and check this out.