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FAST AS FUCK IS RIGHT...... - 100%

J Sinn, December 31st, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Malevolence Records

The new Anger As Art release is made up of thirteen blistering live tracks that were recorded at the Chi-Cali Lounge in Monterey Park, California on February 3, 2018. There's an additional three new studio bonus tracks that were recorded at Rev Sound Studios in Chino, California from July - August 2018. With one of the new studio tracks a cover of Matriarch by Montrose.

Anger As Art are all over their discography track-wise that appears on their latest live release. With the majority of the tracks arising from the bands latest two releases of Ad Mortem Festinamus (2016), with Aim for the Heart, Tombward, Unknowing Undead, Hammer, Blade, and Twisting Fire, Two Minutes Hate, Dim Carcosa, and from Hubris Inc. (2013), with Time Devours Life, Gods of Hate, Never Forgive, Never Forget, and Head of the Snake. Unfortunately, only a few tracks from the bands early to mid studio releases with The Crush from Disfigure (2009), Race for the War from Callous and Furor (2006), and I Create Your God from their self-titled debut (2004) appear. The live performance from these L.A. thrashers is an understatement when I say that these guys are off the fucking hook! Just as I thought things could not get any more interesting from the quartet after five full-length studio releases under their belts, these purveyors of thrash metal couldn't have come up with a more befitting title to their latest installment simply titled: "Fast as Fuck!". This is exactly what this CD is!

The current Anger As Art line-up consists of Steve Gaines on lead vocals and lead guitar. Eric Bryan on bass whom also shares lead vocal duties. Daniel Oliverio on lead guitar and backing vocals. Rob Alaniz on drums and backing vocals. The obscurity of which being two lead vocalists. Not very common in a thrash metal band. Vocally-speaking, the styles of Steve Gaines and Eric Bryan polar opposites in terms of vocal style. Steve's higher vocal range having similarities to Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth of Over Kill and Thomas Rosenmerkel formerly of Destruction. Eric's deep, dark, and heavier vocal style emulates more to that of Peter Wiwczarek of Vader and Jeff Becerra of Possessed. Vocals are definitely not bland by any stretch and although most of the tracks appearing on Fast as Fuck! are lead vocals by Steve Gaines, it's a killer change of pace when you hear the likes of Tombward and Vicious Intent where Eric Bryan is the lead vocalist. Unpredictable vocal change-ups included on Unknowing Undead, Two Minutes Hate, I Create Your God, Race for the War, and Aim for the Heart where both men share the lead vocal duties through out were a definite plus.

The guitar duo of Daniel Oliverio and Steve Gaines are not too be underestimated nor taken lightly as they are two very highly talented axemen. These two transcend the rhythm and lead styles of old-school heavy metal guitarists of Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden, K.K. Downing formerly of Judas Priest, and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, to old-school technical thrash metal guitarist styles of Lee Altus of Heathen and Alex Skolnick of Testament, with the added brutality of death metal guitarist Trevor Peres from Obituary. Under rated guitarists whom possess vast capabilities musically comparable to virtuoso guitar duo's of Phil Demmel - Robb Flynn of Machine Head and Jim Durkin - Eric Meyer from Dark Angel. Where the guitar duo shine on are Aim for the Heart, Tombward, Unknowing Undead, Race for the War, The Crush, Matriarch, Everybody Dies, and Head of the Snake.

Newest member of Anger As Art is the savage Eric Bryan on bass. This young man's talent and influences heard on Fast as Fuck! are heavily deep-seeded roots from old-school tops such as Lemmy from Motorhead, David Ellefson of Megadeth, D.D. Verni of Over Kill, and Rex Brown of Pantera. I consider the backbone to most bands that of the drummer. With Rob Alaniz behind the kit pounding the skins, this is no exception. What a fucking monster and complete animal! The current Evildead drummer is comparable to Scott Peterson from Cryptic Slaughter meets Dave Lombardo of Suicidal Tendencies topped with the tempered benevolence of Mike Portnoy formerly of Dream Theater and Neil Peart from Rush. Proof positive in particular on I Create Your God, Race for the War, and Gods of Hate. The rest surely follows.

The overall production on Fast as Fuck! from both the live set and new studio tracks appearing is simply......jaw-dropping! This was definitely not amateur hour in this department. It is not what most would think about a live recording and being a less than desirable cut-rate bootleg. Hell no, it's anything but that. It rivals many studio releases on the market today. You're also not going to get a bunch of shit-talking for minutes on end between songs from the band. The quartet simply does what they do astoundingly well by belting out an hours worth of high-octane thrash metal. What was captured live grasps you by the throat, pulls you through a Marshall cab, and throws you straight into the pit! Many props for sparing no expense there.

The new studio tracks that appear as bonus tracks on Fast as Fuck!, well, if this is where the band is headed and leaving things off at with a new studio release; look out! Anger As Art are showing no signs of letting up. Everybody Dies sounds like something straight from Slayer's - Undisputed Attitude album. It's that damn hardcore D.R.I meets Slayer heavy! Stunned after only thirty seconds into the cover of Matriarch and covered so well that the late Ronnie Montrose would approve. Vicious Intent written during one of Steve Gaines' early tenures with Abattoir was transformed brilliantly to an actual Anger As Art song that has not the slightest bit of comparison to Abattoir.

I can gladly add this epic "thrashterpiece" right up there with these other live greats as Slayer's - Decade of Aggression, Testament's - Live at the Fillmore, Deep Purple's - Made in Europe, Thin Lizzy's - Live and Dangerous, KISS' - Alive II, and Black Sabbath's - Live Evil all were. Fast as Fuck! has taken Anger As Art's epic Over Kill meets Gammacide sound to new extremes. With the tightness, brilliance, hooks, and sheer professionalism that rivals greats like Exodus, Kreator, and Anthrax. With production and engineering second to none by the mastermind and ingenuity of Ronald Sandoval, Fast as Fuck! not only punishes the fans sonically, it also destroys the competition with pure songwriting skill. Anger As Art are not raising the bar, they are the bar. Tremendous effort all around, top-notch performance, job well done, highly recommended.