On Phoenix, Arizona’s Thrash Metal (20 years ago) Newbies– Atrophy

They’re a generic Flotsam & Jetsam.

And…as awesome as that may or may not sound…

to this day, many years, nay– two decades later– it’s thrash metal very-darn-near-perfection.

No innovation on there to speak of… “generic” at best… but within those narrow confines– greatness.

I got the Violent By Nature cassette for Christmas in 1990, along with Manowar’s Kings of Metal. Later, I even got the vinyl of Socialized Hate (originally released 1988).

Both albums are splendidly-straightforward, genre-pure thrash metal.

“Chemical Dependency,” off the first record, Socialized Hate, opens with a vaguely-synthesizer-y, heart-beat-ish bit, quickly becoming, at around 1:10, your typical late-80s thrash metal tune, replete with solos, wicked-hyper tempos, and Eric A.K.-esque vocals (though obviously-less-operatic); track two, “Killing Machine” opens with a great trash riff and continues from there, though with something less than success… and novelty tune “Beer Bong” is SOD-ish fun….

–and this is not a bad thing at all

Their second album,Violent by Nature, opens with the anti-animal-testing “Puppies and Friends,” which starts at breakneck pace… and being someone who was vegan at the time, this song really resonates for me, even now (and it’s a great, if somewhat comic, epilogue that so many cosmetic companies state very obviously that they don’t test on animals, in this, the future, 2012).

You also notice quickly that Violent by Nature is much more muscularly-produced: the tracks sound powerful and yet distinct….

Title track “Violent by Nature” is a generic if crazy-rocking thrash tune, “Slipped Through the Cracks” opens with a rockin’ breakdown-ish riff in high gain, low-reverb riffitude, then galloping away in a polka-ish speed fest… “Process of Elimination” sounds sinister as hell, even beyond the infernal-sounding intro to the downbeat-crushing verse… and closer “Things Change” forgoes the intro all together and fires off a blistering riff with similar lyrical content, closing the record out with the stacco-sputtered choral chant of Things Change…!

Like thrash metal? You will enjoy this. Otherwise? You might still dig the socially conscious/furious lyrics with the similarly-aggravated hyper-paced thrash metal.

Investigate the whole album, courtesy YouTube:


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