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While most of us, the old thrashers, agree the nineties were the downfall of good thrash and speed metal, there were some exceptions. There actually were a few bands succeeding at re-inventing it AND keeping it enjoyable. Wrathchild America were such a bunch. Yes they threw in some groove. Yes they threw in some, almost glam-ish, rock and roll. But all in a good way. The band could handle their instuments so well, it all sounds perfectly normal and convincing.
In a way they never sound as if they’re taking everything too seriously yet they easily blew 90% of the early nineties competition out of the water when it came to re-inventing thrash metal. The surgical tightness of their more furious songs is impressive. “ 3-D Man”, “What's Your Pleasure” and “Surrounded By Idiots” are easily the best three songs here. The band is all over the place stylewise yet these songs remain thrash metal-focussed, strong, logical and do sound very energetic when picking up the pace. The hooks and breaks are all well contrived and executed perfectly.
Brad Divens’ vocals are melodic yet raspy enough to suit the more aggressive aspects of this album as well. His vocals are an important element in keeping all their influences and styles together and giving Wrathchild America a very characteristic and recognisable sound at the same time. Chapeau!
The only reason for not giving this album 99 points is because some songs are just slightly less impressive. With an eclectic sound like this it’s logical not all your songs will come out equally briliant. Especially “Draintime” has a good idea behind it but fails in efficiency.
For some thrash metal fans Wrathchild America will be too soft or even a bit too humoristic or sleazy in a way but if you’re into metal in general you will surely find something appealing here!