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For years and years I hoped thrash would make a comeback. And at the end of the nineties it did slightly. Bands like Hypnosia and Dekapitor kept the flame burning a bit but shortly after Y2K we were in bloom again and now in 2010 we can speak again of an almost over crowded scene. This unfortunately means that there are also a lot of horrible acts around and it’s getting more and more difficult the separate the good from the bad. There are plenty great unsigned demo acts around and unfortunately also shitty acts with a record deal.
Lich King resort to parodyism most of the time and the generic riffing doesn’t make it much better for them. By ‘generic’ I mean the kind of watered down riffs that seem inspired by bands who in turn plagiarized the Great Ones from the eighties but without the genius. (try to imagine a new band imitating Viking, who back then were already copying Dark Angel without being as good). The vocals sound as if recorded in a cardboard box. Now this would be nice were it a third rate album from Mexico 1988 or even a current underground demo but for a US band with an actual record deal (who are not playing black metal) the sound is almost hilarious.
Apart from the sound, the vocalist himself sounds as if he can’t choose between imitating a light weight Billy Milano (especially on ‘Black Metal Sucks’) or a half screaming – half shouting ex-black metal vocalist who has seen the light and converted to thrash (‘Attack of the Wrath…’ etc) trying to combine gruff eighties thrash vocals with Stevo Dobbins. Well, after Toxic Holocaust and Diamond Plate this is the third US retro band horribly failing in the vocal department.
It’s bands like these who make it real hard to convince thrashers and non-thrasher that there’s more to the new wave of thrash than just reliving the past the fundamentalist retro way. Yes, I’m gonna say it. Lich King give 21st century thrash a bad name. What Lich King does terribly wrong is not bringing their thrash/crososver with humour as SOD and Wehrmacht could pull off, but turning thrash into humour. And that’s precisely where they got it wrong and are a painful experience. A Mockery. It feels like Lich King want to be for thrash what Impetigo was for grind and death but fail to sound convincing and resort to painful obvious clichés, making them turn into the 21st century thrash-parody aside a death metal parody such as Dethklok.
We have adolescent thrash humour of the eighties on one side, often beer-laden and winking at Satan himself, versus the pre-pubescent He-Man worshipping kiddie thrash from the 21st century as Lich King bring us. On the next album they’ll be singing about pooh and start giggling. I’ve made my choice, 666.