Released: 2009, Scarlet Records
Extrema is arguably one of Italy’s most popular bands, existing since 1986 and achieving a great deal of success in their home country. International acclaim is another matter however, as I hadn’t even heard of the band prior to receiving this album. So, with 23 years and four previous studio albums under their belts (not the most prolific bunch), let’s hear what Extrema offers up for 2009?
I had heard that Extrema were a thrash band and given the length of time they’ve been active, I figured that I would get one of two things on POUND FOR POUND: 1) Old-school ‘80s thrash, or 2)modern “thrash” like the kind the permeated the scene a few years ago before the latest throwback phase. Well, one listen to the album and it’s quite obvious: Extrema are not thrash at all! They may have been at one point in their career, but I promise you that nothing on POUND FOR POUND is thrash. No, what we have here is groove metal, directly descended from Pantera, and sounding like it’s straight out of 1999, competing with the Skinlabs and Pissing Razors of the world. Ick. There is a reason that those bands died – they sucked! And yes, I know that Skinlab is active again, but they still suck.
Anyway, back to Extrema. Like I said, they are playing nothing that you haven’t heard before, and if you’re a reader of this website, you probably didn’t like it the first time around either. That said, they prove themselves capable musicians, with the occasional interesting riff. Unfortunately the overall listening experience is like taking a trip back to the mid-‘90s in a broken time machine: jarring, headache-inducing, and very likely to remind you of why you’re glad the ‘90s are over.