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Early Metallica Influence - 70%

VilliThorne, September 27th, 2013

Rusted Brain are a four piece thrash metal outfit that were founded within Warsaw, Poland in 2009. The group recorded and released their demo, Juggle, in 201l, which was the same year they won a rock contest. The band have done a small amount of touring since the release of their demo, and have now followed up with their debut full-length album, High Voltage Thrash. What do these newcomers offer to the ever growing thrash scene?

The intro track is a comically over-done, unexpected, over-the-top opener for the material. What tamely starts out with the sounds of rustling, children singing and dogs barking, quickly escalates into an invasion of whirling helicopter blades, exploding bombs, gunfire, and the icing on the cake... the operatic "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner. Obviously, for those unaware, this snippet is taken directly from the movie "Apocalypse Now", thus the parentheses subtitle to the intro track. However, without the immediate cinematic visual, the audio comes across hysterical by itself, especially as the introduction to an album.

That being said, the material recovers and bursts into a ferocious storm of breakneck thrash riffs. Immediately, the content comes on strong with throwback influences to the early Metallica days, more so in the vocals and drums than anywhere else. As the title of the album promises, what is provided here is conveyed with high voltage energy and done in style with crystal clear audio quality. The layering and mixing are solid, and someone had the good idea to give the vocals a hint of an echo to distance from the instruments.

Despite the previously mentioned, an extensive majority of the actual instrumental composure is your standard headbang-until-your-brain-hemorrhages thrash riffing and blast beating. Both of the guitars, when playing simultaneously, are nearly undifferentiated and plain in tone, save a slight overdrive distortion. Despite that fact, the lead guitar does happen to offer up an array of solos that are quick, slick and creative. As for the rhythm guitar, the element typically sticks to short power chord riffs that chug along in time with the various drum patterns that line the background of the content. The drumming itself shows massive potential, coming equipped with gunning double bass footwork, fluid rolls and promising, imaginative beats. However, the patterns tend to relapse to average at best one-two blast beats that work different parts of the drum kit. Hands down, the greatest aspect of the material instrumentally is the bass line. Whether it's plugging along to the main guitar riff, rising above for a small solo, or working frantically behind the scenes, it's always driving the album with a hollow distortion and exceedingly upbeat tempo that finds itself outdoing the guitars and, at times, even the drumming.

High Voltage Thrash is an album that can definitely stand on its own in the modern thrash world, but that doesn't mean that the content is not in need of some work. More memorable, thrashy hooks and a more recognizable, distinctive instrument tone could potentially drive the content to a whole new level. Rusted Brain have the characteristic vocals down to a tee, however James Hetfield they may sound at times, but they are a definite breath of fresh air versus the all too standard vocals associated with the genre to date. Worth a listen to thrash enthusiasts and those in need of some refreshing vocal work.

Digital Download Provided by: Vlad Promotion

- Villi Thorne