Reviewed: May, 2021
Released: 2021, independent
Reviewer: Jack Merry
IMMORTAL SYNN is a thrash metal band hailing from the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado, and originally formed in 2004. After dealing with several lineup changes, the band has released two EPs and now two full-length studio albums: 2017’s Machine Men and the brand new album Force of Habit, releasing May 7th, 2021.
Sometimes, all any self-respecting metalhead needs is a quick blast of some thrash metal, and I’m pleased to say this album delivers exactly what you are looking for, even down to the 1980’s style cover artwork. Lyrically, Force of Habit doesn’t tread any new ground, but I wouldn’t expect it to either. Themes of political corruption, society, and other current events have been a staple of thrash metal for a long time, so why change what isn’t broken?
The opening track ‘Anamnesis’ tells the story of a man experiencing nightmares after the death of his lover and creating a fantasy world in order to cope with the loss. The song has some musical echoes of Iron Maiden but it’s different enough to stand out on its own, and it definitely has some radio-friendly vibes with some catchy melodies and clean vocals (think a slightly less gritty Death Angel) to help tell the story. ‘Nuclear Terror’ is another classic thrash metal highlight along with Satan’s Tavern’ and ‘Fight the Prince,’ all complete with razor-sharp riffs and powerful drumming; topped off with stratospheric lead guitar work during the solos.
‘The Ballad of Marvin Heemeyer’ also deserves a shout-out, just because of the story behind it. For the unschooled, on June 4, 2004, Marvin Heemeyer took a modified bulldozer that he built and demolished the Granby, Colorado town hall, the mayor’s house, the newspaper editorial office, and several other buildings. His motivation? A zoning dispute, the man, and, of course, being commissioned by God for this specific duty. If you don’t know this story, you need to look it up, it’s well worth a read!
The only real misstep is the final track, ‘Whiskey II: The Wrath of Corn.’ Riding the current trend of sea shanty type music, the track is a very tongue-in-cheek attempt to push the resurrected genre through a metal blender and it just doesn’t work, sadly. Props to Immortal Synn for trying it, but it’s just not for me.
Force of Habit won’t be winning any awards for innovation or originality, but what the band has delivered is a bonafide modern classic thrash metal record that is one of the strongest 2021 has to offer so far. It acts as both a love letter to the bands that came before them and a strong leap into the future of Immortal Synn. Let’s hope they maintain this for their next record!