Released: 2010, Cognitive
Wow. Détente. I never thought I’d see those guys again. But here we are about 24 years later and the band is back. I remember buying the debut album when it came out back in 1986, on cassette, back when Roadrunner weren’t the whipping boy of modern metal labels.
Why are they back? Good question! What would possess a band, any band to reform after almost a quarter of a century later after the unfortunate passing of a key member? Well, the band was pretty revolutionary at the time. They were perhaps even ahead of their time and might have left some of the more conservative metal fans scratching their heads. Some people (older fans) mostly remember the debut fondly, myself included, so there was probably just enough interest for the band to have another kick at the can.
So what do they deliver? Well for one thing, the album DECLINE is too damn short. I understand you want to leave them wanting more but 28 minutes for a ‘comeback’ is really just an exaggerated EP. Next item is the addition of new vocalist, Tiina Teal who does a fairly decent Dawn Crosby impression. Dawn was one the earlier female vocalists to sing in a really heavy style and it was pretty interesting at the time. Today it’s not uncommon for heavier female front-women, so it is not perhaps as innovative. Irrelevant gender issues aside, she does a great job on the microphone.
The songs are pretty damn heavier, an excellent blend of punky thrash, some chanting gang vocals by the guys in the band and pretty good mid-paced drumming, propels the whole thing along. The whole album never gets too fast and there are the occasional moments of quietude with acoustic guitar and some clean singing to add some diversity to the compositions. It’s a solid record bolsters by decent production and some strong songs, but nothing earth-shattering.
There is a lot of competition out there and one thing the band does have going for them is some limited name recognition. Even if you have never heard the band the first time around, I’d recommend the album for fans who like their metal raw, fast and not too polished.