Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Thrashitary Thrashitude. - 85%

Metal_Jaw, December 30th, 2013

Despite still hanging on and actively performing even today, Meliah Rage still hasn't exactly climbed the ladder of heavy metal. Back in 1990, they tried to leap forward a bit by hardening their sound, maybe become a bit more known. The result was their sophomore effort, the hilariously redundant "Solitary Solitude". This album still retains some of the group's USPM roots, but overall an even sharper turn towards thrash has been taken, resulting in a mostly mid-paced record that is comparable to Anthrax and even some of Overkill's stuff. The final product is entertaining enough, but seriously lacks the bite and energy that debut had.

The crew from "Kill To Survive" returns with a vengeance for this one. Mike Munro refines his voice oh so slightly this time out, with some minute variations throughout the run-time, but mostly he keeps that barking snarl he had on the debut out in front. Once again Anthony Nichols and Jim Koury are the heroes, their guitar skills having been sharpened nicely in between albums. Their forceful rhythms and riffs are still remain strong, but their solos and breaks in particular are a big step up from the sloppy shredding of the debut. Jesse Johnson's bass abilities don't stand out quite as much this time, but the bass tone is of itself is richer and a bit higher in the mix. Stuart Dowie still drums nicely, but he goes through the motions a bit more on here; he's still a solid kit smasher, but his energy and creativity from "Kill To Survive" is missed.

Despite going down a thrashier path, much of the music on here is not all that fast. Much of it doesn't go past mid-paced, savoring riffage for speed. In fact, unlike the debut, we have a few sub-par tracks. The opening title track, for example, is just plain boring. It's a decent song, but leaves very little of a mark on the listener. "Lost Life" is a little better, but not by a heck of a lot, mostly going down the same uninteresting path. Then there's the useless ballad "Deliver Me"; just...just skip it. The rest of the tracks are fair game thankfully. The tense, biting rhythms of "The Witching" and "Decline of Rule" are much more interesting. Speed comes in the form of the snapping "No Mind" and the ridiculously fun and catchy "Evil Dead"-inspired "Swallow Your Soul". Probably the best song on here is "Retaliation", armed with vicious galloping riffage and neck-snapping tempo shifts.

Overall, as you can probably tell, Meliah Rage's 2nd studio effort does suffer from "sophomore slump" to some extent. The performances aren't as vigorous, and a there's more than a few boring throwaway tracks to go around. The stronger tracks do make the album standout more, and if you're a fan of the east coast thrash sound and crunchier mid-paced thrash, you might wanna give it a shot. Otherwise it's not quite as solid or as essential as the debut, which warrants re-discovery first. Do give "Solitary Solitude" a spin if you come across it though.