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A Simultaneously Contemporary and Eternal Classic - 90%

Weeping_Branches, July 25th, 2013

Birth A.D. started their scathing crossover-thrash assault back in 2009 with the "Stillbirth of a Nation" ep, and returned angrier, hungrier, and more level-headed on their Sophomore debut "I Blame You". For those new to this band's content, Birth A.D. mixes the guitar and drum work of Slayer with S.O.D.-on-steroids lyrics delivered with a Dr. Know-esque shouting style. The band essentially takes the songs from "Stillbirth of a Nation", re-energizes them with slick production, and interlaces newer and just as aggressive material between, making for a balanced album in both quality and consistency that warrants repeated listening.

Lyrical topics range from general destruction of overall societal failure (I Blame You, Short Bus Society, Fill In The Blank, Failed State) to more personal scenarios (This Scene Sucks, Wrong Again). The members of this band have no shortage of targets, including the state of retro-current, fashion-oriented speed-metal (Mission Statement), slackers who cut corners (Parasites Die, Equal Opportunity), and overzealous patriots (Popular War) just to name a few. No doubts here that this album will offend plenty of people in its honesty, but no one can deny how the songs themselves, while very current, will probably stick with you for years and years to come, as both contemporary and eternally relevant.

The vocal delivery, at times, is surprisingly less articulate than the original cuts on "Stillbirth of a Nation", but smacks with more venom and punch to cover proverbial tracks. The crowd shouts on songs like "Popular War" are delivered with more said punch as well, both keeping with tradition and turning the energy up even higher. Drums are definitely more balanced and self-assured than the freshman-output, with deliciously tight d-beats, rolling fills, and blasting that modern metalheads have come to love. Guitar playing is less thick and more in the front than the previous output, the riffs and song structures themselves obviously are collage-d from the timeless thrash and speed shredders from the past, but remain somehow distinctly fresh and in a class of their own, much like the band as a whole.

In conclusion, rarely does an album these days inspire me to pick up a guitar and get back to work. If you are one of those jaded individuals who feels like the current metal and punk scene has little-to-nothing to offer you, Birth A.D. is a shot of adrenaline straight into the brain.