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Rebellion in Texas Thrashland - 92%

bayern, October 7th, 2017

This batch started as Talon in 1987, and the only demo they managed under that moniker remains a milestone in US power/thrash. Two years later they roam the Texan ranches as Sedition with a 4-track self-titled demo making the rounds, featuring intense old school thrash, with not much power metal left to disturb the relentless, no-bars-held approach.

Arrives the demo reviewed here a few months later, and the layout this time around is way more engaging the guys having grown as musicians, producing nearly half an hour of first-rate technical/progressive retro thrash with echoes of Forbidden’s “Twisted into Form”, and the underground heroes from Germany Flaming Anger. The stylish cannonade starts immediately with “The Window of Pane” which shoots a technical riff after another in quick succession, the mazey rifforamas creating a fine symbiosis with the screamy leads, this appetizing “duel” aptly supervised by the excellent dramatic vocals ala Russ Anderson (Forbidden again) the man (if that’s the same one) helping himself at times with gruffer, angrier insertions. An exemplary multi-layered shredder, this cut opens the Pandora’s Box of less ordinary thrashisms “Little Bitch” following suit with more controlled, proto-galloping riffage also featuring an arresting balladic interlude, a perfectly embedded deviation that has no analogue later, but one would hardly need it pulled in by a more dramatic, hectic bass-dominated exposition.

“The Aftermath” is spastic, shape-shifting technical thrash at its smashing best, a dazzling amorphous riff-fest that may even put luminaries like Deathrow to shame; a constant downpour of overlapping, ever changing time-signatures the dominant layout again not as overtly speedy save for a maddening, lead-driven exit. “Product of Your faith” is a more direct bashing delight with gorgeous melodic embellishments, the more immediate side of the band’s repertoire equally as enchanting not without the help of the lead guitarist’s vigilant interference again. The latter is spared on the short serene acoustic instrumental “Only the Old”, but the whole crew is back in full metal jacket for “The Bum”, a consummate progressive thrasher with a vast array of time and tempo changes, the mood fluctuating the whole time with speedy crescendos alternating with seismic pounding passages all the way to the somewhat hysterical lead-driven exit. “Necessary Evil” enhances the drama as a finale with more heavy stomping technicality, with doomy overtones providing the closure alongside the omnipresent, this time overscreamy leads.

Another excellent underground echo from the more demanding turn the scene took in the early-90’s, this act nicely fits alongside other obscure eye-openers from the US underground like Vision Purple, Ministers of Anger, Nemesys, Brothers Grimm, Penetration, Inferno, etc. A potent blend of nearly infernal intricacy and more direct headbanging feats, this demo was perhaps a bit more contrasting in terms of execution from the works of the mentioned outfits, the guys bidding a hard farewell to their more brutal roots those fighting with the loftier, more complex visions presented; a tussle by all means worth hearing, and one that finalized the band’s spell with the music industry.

The guitar player Pete Lee, who had also had a brief stunt with Rigor Mortis in the early-90’s, later joined the thrash/crossover “monsters” Gwar, and respectively the Gwar side-project X-Cops in team with another Sedition member, the drummer Mike Dunn. The “Fuck the Authorities” compilation, containing the entire Sedition discography, released in 2015 was a commendable way to remind of these unsung heroes, but I guess it’ll take more than old memories to stir another rebellion in an unfathomable, metalclad land like Texas.