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Striking out alone - 85%

gasmask_colostomy, May 24th, 2019

The most recent of Mosh-Pit Justice’s four albums changes very little from the preceding ones, except for revitalizing the minor power metal elements that the intense thrashiness of Stop Believing Lies swept aside in its aggressive energy. For me, that’s the detail that makes the three-piece interesting and shamefully neglected, because George Peich has an unusually scorched voice for thrash metal, sounding like he’s survived a thousand wars, but also producing elegiac melodies at times. However, when the whole band is on form, as guitarist/drummer Staffa and bassist/backing vocalist Mariyan Georgiev often are, the music is challenging too, producing something slightly different to the general mass of modern thrash.

Fighting the Poison both has elements of relentless modern thrash and more nuanced influences, as can be seen in the memorable ‘God Wills It’, which angrily declares its intent through savage verses, then drops to a calm melodic guitar section that – at some unknown point – Peich decides to make the chorus, building up energy again through a well-directed solo and progressive bridge, before slashing out another verse and aching chorus for good measure. That blend of riff-centric masculine aggression and more considered melody allows the songs to build natural dynamics, beating away the tedium of too much repetition. Staffa’s vibrant lead guitar style helps matters too, popping a grandiose introductory solo before the impassioned verses of ‘In the Final Days’ and changing the dynamic when the second chorus concludes, swirling out a hammer-on melody to set up a folkily-phrased verse from Peich, then finally giving the proper lead full whack over mid-paced riffing. Another truly fascinating song.

As such, it doesn’t need any more examples to analyse the strengths of Mosh-Pit Justice: they play a style with plenty of possibilities and explore most of them with great energy and invention. Once again, Staffa engineers a very solid production for the group, which ensures everything hits hard and everyone is heard, despite a few of the cymbals falling a way down in the mix. Fighting the Poison notably sounds slightly less like other bands than the previous albums, partly as a result of the progressive touches to these medium-length songs, though Forbidden, modern Death Angel, and Testament remain valid references. However, the knottiness of songs like ‘Forging Our Fate’ hints at Mosh-Pit Justice starting to move in their own direction, boding well for the future. Here’s to the next album.