without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Oh man … Where to begin with Sonic Pulse? Well I’ll start off by saying this is a thrash band that really is more on the fun, beer-pun, party loving side of the coin. Although where most “Art of Partying” type thrash bands tend to have a more upfront, hardcore punk/cross-over thrash Influence, Sonic Pulse instead replaces it with…power metal. Let me tell you, you are in for one catchy, sweaty, puntastic, alcohol-laden thrash record that puts Municipal Waste to shame (although in my opinion that’s not saying much).
To be blunt, I don’t really think Sonic Pulse is something people haven’t heard before. Power/Thrash (or rather Thrash/Power) has been around since the early 80s and as such isn’t particularly something brand new. But the way Sonic Pulse use modern thrash and power influences, as well as their beer related humour does make this album a lot more entertaining than your run of the mill Metal Church or Iced Earth wannabes. If I were to briefly explain the sound of “Lager than Life”, it can pretty much be summed up as mean, slightly melodic thrash that every once and awhile takes a second to sing an epic, power tune of Queens and victory (except by Queen I mean hot bar waitresses and by victory I mean getting shitfaced).
Despite not really taking themselves seriously, the musicianship that Sonic Pulse displays is great. Other than the vocalist (who sounds like a pretty common thrash vocalist, not that he’s bad or anything), Guitarists Dace and Mick are a whirlwind of tasteful shredding. The two are capable of pulling off chaotic thrash riffing and solos as well as power metal dual leads, with influences ranging from acts like Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian and even the dreaded Dragonforce (video game-like ridiculousness included). The bass work actually manages to stick out from time to time; helping to build up the more adrenaline laden songs and keep rhythm aficionados satisfied during the mostly melodic guitar solos and leads. The drum work is pummeling and definitely gives the album its push, but it seems that for melodies sake it was made really thin, and thus is somewhat in the back most of the time.
By the end of it, there isn’t really anything wrong with this record. The only problem I can see people having with it is the odd Dragonforce inspired bit, but in all honesty they are quite strewn throughout the record and unlike Dragonforce, it isn’t used constantly nor is it used to mask an inability to write good riffs (As Sonic Pulse certainly are capable of great riffing). There are enough catchy songs to entertain people, and some of the lyrics are laugh out loud hilarious. At the same time, I can’t say the whole thing exactly blew my mind either, and being a comedy band will probably make it harder for people to take Sonic Pulse seriously. But it’s hard to knock fun and funny, and most of the power metal bits are very well done.
[Originally written as Adam Korchok for AXIS OF METAL http://axisofmetal.com/2012/05/sonic-pulse-lager-than-life-review/]