Atrophy-Socialized Hate/Violent By Nature (reissue)

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Reviewed: June 2022

Released: 2022, Dissoance

Rating: 3.5/5

Reviewer: JP

It seems intuitive but the law of averages suggests that most things are, well…average. Due to the very dynamic and exciting nature of Metal music hyperbole is frequently used, overused, to describe music. Pick your favourite term,’ face-melting’, ‘skull crushing’, ‘blistering’ and the like. Because I like the energy and excitement of Metal I am just as guilty for using hyperbole when describing bands…however I am aware that most bands are, again average.

Atrophy is/was an average thrash band. They did two albums and broke up. The Collectors Guide to Heavy Metal ranked SOCIALIZED HATE (1988) as a 6 out of 10 and VIOLENT BY NATURE (1990) wasn’t even reviewed. To the band’s credit they have real staying power and demand in the minds of many fans as these albums have been reissued in 1990, 1998, 2006, 2007, 2014, and now again in 2022.

Dissonance is the latest group to reissue these albums, this time as two CD’s in one nice-appointed digipak. There is a 16-page full-colour booklet with a fine essay by Kevin Stewart-Panko. I actually learned a lot about the band. This set is a bit underwhelming with absolutely no bonus material.

Despite being one of many later-comers to the thrash scene from a fairly saturated Arizona area the band did have above average lyrics, it would have been nice to have them reprinted here. Sonically the band meets all the minimum requirements for a thrashing good time and on any given day this could have been your favourite thrash albums of all time, unless your favourite was any other second-tier thrash band like Whiplash or Devastation or Defiance, or Forced Entry or Heathen, or Intruder, Or Wrath or Bitter End or…well you get the picture.

I do like Atrophy. They are solid and I’m glad to be able to replace my old cassettes but once in a while it is good to have a more realistic assessment. Even band member, Brian Zimmerman looking back in the booklet liner notes says, “I didn’t think we had created anything special.” Good band. Good reissue. Nothing more, nothing less.

Track Listing:

Socialized Hate

1 Chemical Dependency
2 Killing Machine
3 Matter of Attitude
4 Preacher, Preacher
5 Beer Bong
6 Socialized Hate
7 Best Defense
8 Product of The Past
9 Rest In Pieces
10 Urban Decay

Violent By Nature

1 Puppies And Friends
2 Violent By Nature
3 In Their Eyes
4 Too Late To Change
5 Slipped Through the Cracks
6 Forgotten But Not Gone
7 Process of Elimination
8 Right To Die
9 Things Change