This was a hard one to review.
This is an interesting project which I do like a lot. It's only half a
thrash metal album at best though. The guitar tones are nice and heavy, the
vocals are nice and aggressive in most parts, but soft when it suits the music
and that is good. The drums are pounding fast and heavy and the shrieking guitar
solos are plentiful - but for those expecting thrash, the project of Exodus'
front man may fall down because of many slower, cleaner and even sludge
elements, in my view. Now, why would that be an issue? I know it sounds like I
am sat here thinking a song should have the same pace throughout. How dare they
slow down! How dare they play without distortion!
No, I don't mean that at all. The problem is this: "We're All Gonna Die" has
been (in my humble view, quite wrongly) promoted as a thrash metal album. It
made it hard for me to know where to go with it. Of the 39 minutes we have to
enjoy, maybe about 18 of them are thrash metal. Hence the 'half a thrash album'
statement. This is more thrash/sludge crossover. Let me break it down a bit:
We charge in with the opening track 'Born to Serve', and you would have no
reason to suspect what is coming afterwards. Slow sounding sludge style music.
It's not bad. It works well. It's just that it happens too much to call this
thrash metal. 'Death Comes Calling', for example, lacks any thrash element
whatsoever. Many of the songs start, or finish, with charging thrash riffs but
are half composed of stuff that reminds me a lot of, among others, Corrosion Of
'Friendly Fire' and the title track are pure thrash throughout, while 'Vegas'
brings on the sludge after 2 minutes - which is almost the mirror opposite of
'Prophets Of War', bringing a mad dash from middle to end. 'There Is No Hope' is
similar, and some may find it anti-climatic in that is hits the ground running
at full steam and then grinds down and goes from thrash to simple clean, melodic
and calming music reminiscent of Testament on one of the rare occasions where
they decide to forgo the use of distortion. 'Carny Love' sounds a lot like that
What does all this mean? It's an entertaining mix up that works, and very well.
It is at risk of people going into it expecting a thrash album and not getting
what they'd hoped for. For that the rating is slightly lower than I may have
otherwise given, but as some of you are already no doubt saying - who the hell
am I and what do I know? Ok, point taken. I'm really glad they sent it to us
because it's not straightforward, you don't know where things are going to blend
together. Crossover fans will dig this - and in my rookie view I cannot imagine
why we were told it is thrash and not some kind of crossover.
So to finish, I am going to call this a great metal album, just not a great
thrash album. I am going to rate this as rock solid because it's good work and I
think it can work, maybe not again though - in the future I do not know what is
planned for Generation Kill. You can't have half a thrash album.........or