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 The Ultimate Review of You Are What You...

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Date d'inscription : 26/11/2013
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MessageSujet: The Ultimate Review of You Are What You...   The Ultimate Review of You Are What You... I_icon_minitimeVen 12 Déc - 13:05

One could accuse the crop of younger thrash metal acts of the past 10 years or so of lacking any originality or ingenuity, but one would be thus relegated to that growing group of people known as wrong. Having gathered to itself a sizable collection of new bands from across the globe, the thrash revival has been a force to contend with since about the mid 2000s, and while it had an ardent adherent in Belgium's Sanity's Rage going back to about that time, it wasn't until 2012 that their neck-snapping potential was realize with their debut LP You Are What You Swallow. With the title comes all the obvious trappings of the more serious side of the thrash metal equation of socio-politically oriented lyrics, from issues of war and peace to broader philosophical sentiments regarding daily life, all told through a rigorously agitated and raging sound that manages to be modern, yet also an obvious nod to the glory days of the past.

While the stylistic influences present on here are fairly eclectic, the overall presentation definitely points towards a post-1990s character, featuring a production that is time appropriate for the band's time of formation in the early 2000s and also their fairly close proximity to the birthplace of Teutonic thrash metal. The powerful punch of the guitars, the thunderous glory of the drums, the crisp yet largely supportive character of the bass, and the present day Schmier meets early day Petrozza shout and snarl vocals all point to something along the lines of the 2001 Destruction classic The Anticrhist, with a slightly more technical edge to it that's not too far off from the recent outings by Testament and Exodus. It's a formula that allows for maximum aggression, but also a bit more of a virtuoso edge that's in keeping with the noodling character of a number of early 90s Bay Area albums, particularly insofar as the guitar soloing is concerned, which has a healthy dose of precision and methodical charm in spite of largely being relegated to short and chaotic bursts.

In contrast to a number of older school sounding bands, Sanity's Rage doesn't shy away from tapping into a number of late 80s through early 90s quirks, making for a varied and complex listening experience, though they still maintain an affinity for tradition when push comes to shove. The better examples of this multifaceted songwriting approach can be found in longer songs such as "The Wheels Keep Grinding" and "Aberration Mandatory" where extended instrumental sections with a mid-tempo drive include some sampled sounds of politically charged speeches and civil unrest, the former employing a subdued clean section that's fairly reminiscent of something that Megadeth dabbled in extensively on Countdown To Extinction. Even the short intro song "The Madness Continues" features a creepy clean guitar passage that could have passed for any number of intros off Testament's The New Order. Nevertheless, the true meat and potatoes of this album's power is found in shorter, more speed infused numbers such as "Kisses With Fangs" and "Taste Of Decay" where the band's Bay Area meets Teutonic duality is at its most intense and inviting.

Contrary to what a number of 90s groove metal bands might demonstrate, having a modern sound does not necessarily involve dumbing down a working formula, and Sanity's Rage stand as something of a representative of the opposite side of modern thrash metal, perhaps even more so than the recent works of Destruction and Sodom. You Are What You Swallow perfectly captures the growing interest in technical and expansive songwriting that became prominent in thrash metal in the early 90s while giving it a nice injection of speed and aggression that was somewhat falling by the wayside come 1991. It is definitely geared towards those who love what's been coming out of the older guard in Germany, but it would also definitely have a healthy appeal to the newer offerings out of Heathen, Exodus, Testament, and the mishmash of young and old that is Zetro's recent brainchild Hatriot. Fire up the metal grinder and prepare to see some massive sparks fly.

Originally submitted to () on December 11, 2014.
Final Score: 4 / 100
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