Reviewed: September 2021
Released: 2021, Redefining Darkness Records
Reviewer: Kieron Hayes
“WRAITH hasn’t set out to reinvent the style,” states the band’s biography, “or introduce some new ‘core element, they only live to thrash and do it better than most.”
A bold claim, but after listening to Undo the Chains, it’s certainly not one without merit. The band make no secret of their intentions, wearing their influences loud and proud on their leather sleeves. This is classic old-school thrash that benefits well from their respect for the classics and a production that straddles the line nicely between clarity and grit, between vicious intensity and a punkish boisterousness.
Undo the Chains is an album intentionally dominated by aggressive yet catchy riffing and a full-throated vocal assault. Just like many releases from thrash’s heyday, Wraith make good use of overlap with speed metal and even some traits of blacker material. Everything here has a classic metal catchiness to it, but never takes its foot off the gas. Matt Sokol’s vocals are manic echoes through the moshing cavern, and it’s all coated in a layer of filth that calls to mind some of Venom or Motörhead’s blitzier numbers. “Gatemaster” (in which I kept hearing the chorus as “King Bastard!” without at all diminishing it), “Gift of Death”, “Dominator” and the crossover-esque “Disgusting” are some of the best breakneck fun on an album jam-packed with it, while “Born to Die” shows off just how catchy this delivery can be, conjuring images of a leather-clad biker tearing down the highway.
Undo the Chains isn’t the most inventive work put out, and those seeking something more mould-breaking might want to look elsewhere. But for anyone looking for a great kick of absolutely filthy fucking thrash, this is quality stuff.