Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

Rifftacular - 80%

DeathRiderDoom, April 27th, 2011

Hailing from the rich Northwestern scene, Strychnine kick things off with a radical band name and a blazing speed thrash attack with plenty of dominating riffs and balls galore. As their final demo, this one benefits from its date - with solid production bringing through some crispy guitars, as well as a refined, locked in, tight feeling performance from the boys. Unfortunately, the bands cool demo material never went anywhere, the band disappearing sometime after this final work, with no full lengths on offer. Still though, a good USPM demo is a decent legacy, and if you're into that kinda thing, and you like bitching rifftastic metal, then this one should suit you just fine.

The bands sound is quite thrashy, I'm reminded in tracks like 'Pull the Plug' and 'Once Before i Die' of bands like Flotsam & Jetsam. The riffs on show, particularly in the title track, are intricate, and awesome - definitely some creative axemanship going on here. Vocals are reminscent of Bush from Armored Saint - manly, rather than soaring or screeching. In the slower, pounding number 'Time Waits', things are again in the Armored Saint-ish vein, with a heavy, ominous feeling and again some really inventive scaling riffs shredding their way through the later part of the track. The guitars on offer throughout the whole demo are super sick, and definitely will make you wanna get the ol' air guitar out after a beer or two. Tighter than hell riffage also abounds in 'Death Warms', which gives off some early Anthrax vibrations.

Overall just a really cool demo with a good degree of creativity and a tight polished feel evoking an air of professionalism. Another case of "Shame they didn't stick around to do more albums" really, the well monikered Strychnine is onto a winning formula with this '87 work, forming part of the credible canon of Washington 80s metal. Not as well known as Glacier, Heir Apparent, Metal Church or the mighty 'Ryche, Strychnine proves they can hang with the big boys with this collection of intricately riffed bangers displaying prowess and veteran-ism, alongside other lesser known but awesome northwestern acts like Taist of Iron. Collectors of old USPM demos would be well advised to check it out; crank it at 11 and start the insanity.

-DeathRiderDoom