Released: 2013, Old School Metal Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Anger as Art, active since 2006, is a band composed of veterans from different classic Speed, Thrash, and even Death Metal bands such as Abbatoir, Evildead, Summoned, Bloodlust, Rise, Dreams of Damnation and Bitch. As if that weren’t enough, Hubris Inc. the band’s fourth release, also includes guest appearances by Bitch frontwoman Betsy Bitch , Abbatoir guitarist Mark Caro, Evildead vocalist Steve Nelson, Dark Angel guitarist Jim Durkin, and Stryper bassist Tim Gaines (yes, THAT Stryper).
The band’s last album, 2009’s “Disfigure”, found them straying off a bit from their Thrash Metal style, but this new album finds them going back to those influences in a big way.
The production is crisp and clear, with Steve Gaines’ vocals sounding quite powerful on top of this set of songs that mix both melodic elements and faster, more brutal sections in the music.
The album opens with the brief title track which works as an intro and sports some Iron Maiden style guitar melodies. Next track, “Time Devours Life”, gets down to business pretty soon with its Thrash Metal attack that consists of some amazing double bass drum work, blast beats and angry vocals, opening the way for the rest of the record.
The band made a music video using this song to promote the record, and it’s easy to see why, as the song is a no-holds-barred affair. “Gods of Hate” is a more melodic song, which though the melodies themselves kind of go on a bit long, the vocals manage to keep the song interesting. “Anger is the Reason” follows, with the more melodic elements being balanced by the Thrash Metal influence and brutal vocals.
“Speed Kills” goes back to the all out thrashing in a big way, being one of the more brutal songs here. It seems the track was originally played during the band members ‘ time in Abbatoir, and it certainly sounds like an update of that particular band’s sound.
It also helps that Mark Caro of Abbatoir is on hand to provide some guitar work here, making this almost like a new Abbatoir song, with all the members of that band present. “This is Why I Hate”, meanwhile, again brings back the more melodic elements in, to go along with the more aggressive touches of the track.
The band here reminds me of Exodus’ more recent material. “As The Exalted Seethe This” seems to be a more balanced song where some killer guitar work and moshable sections share time with the more technical tendencies of the band. “Pearls Before The Swine” and “Divided We Fall” follows the formula of mixing more technical tendencies with brutal Thrash Metal. At this point, it should be said that sometimes the technical explorations in some of the songs kind of worked against them a bit, as they make some songs seem a little repetitive at times.
When the band goes back to the all out thrashing, that’s when the best moments occur. Thus, of the remaining tracks, “Head of the Snake” and “Never Forgive, Never Forget” benefit from a straight forward Thrash Metal approach that certainly grabs the listeners attention. “The Evil You Create” includes the vocal contributions of Evildead’s Steve Nelson, which also makes it stand out somewhat.Speaking of which, it is time to talk about the song “Rage and Retribution”, which certainly grabs your attention, as it features Betsy Bitch on vocals, Dark Angel’s Jim Durkin on guitars, and Stryper’s Tim Gaines on bass, and is definitely a stand out track as well. The song, though short, is another straight forward Thrash Metal number that just doesn’t let up, with the guest musicians all doing a fine job here.
This new record by Anger as Art finds the band trying to balance more technical and melodic elements to their Thrash Metal attack. Though here those elements do not jeopardize as in the band’s previous “Disfigure” release, they still sound a bit forced. When the band goes on all cylinders, the music seems to come alive more.
This release is a fine piece of Thrash Metal for modern times that, though not perfect, still packs a punch and showcases the talents of these veteran musicians.
Review by Titus Isaac