Bristling with defiance and attitude the third album from Australian thrashers 4 Arm pounces upon the ear to equally punish and satisfy with an excitable collection of muscular tracks that deliver no frills hard edged thrash. Submission For Liberty may not be the most original album but it fuels up the senses with pulsating riffs and eager melodies as well as excellent instrumentation to make it one of the most enjoyable albums in recent months.
Formed in 2004 4 Arm hit the ground hard and fast without taking a backward step ever since. Debut album 13 Scars laid waste to an ever increasing fan base and acclaim, the album leading to the band gaining a nomination in the top 5 Metal Bands at the 2006 Music Oz Awards. Their second album The Empires Of Death in 2009 saw the band’s rise continue, the evolution in their sound showing them to be stronger more accomplished songwriters. Off of the release the following year saw the band headline the ‘Crush the Empire Tour’ across Australia and support Testament on the Australian leg of their ‘Damnation Tour’.
4 Arm entered the studio in 2011 to work on the third album Submission For Liberty, bringing in Matt Hyde (Machine Head, Slipknot, Trivium) to mix the album. The resulting beast released via Rising Records February 6th without digressing far from the sounds they emerged with on previous album, is a full blown assault on the senses and declares that the band has stepped up a few notches yet again. Across the ten tremendous tracks it is fair to say one will not find many groundbreaking elements for the genre or band but 4 Arm have progressed into an even stronger and well rounded intimidating band. The edges are sharper and even more intense and aggressive making the album one that will surely find a regular place at the top of any rock playlist.
Submission For Liberty opens with a brief but powerful piece containing sampled extracts of the speech from ‘The Dictator’ backed by haunting piano music. The track is the perfect announcement of the intent and message from band and album, the words from what is acclaimed as one of the greatest speeches ever made, perpetually apt in this world. Immediately with barely a breath to absorb the words before, the album erupts into ‘While I lay Awake’ and the beginning of the relentlessly intense and enjoyable rampage ahead. Punishing riffs, ear badgering grinds and excellent melodies all consume the senses wonderfully. The guitars of vocalist Danny Tomb and Johnny Glovasa are mesmerising from their sonic bombardment of the ear to the invention and glorious solos from Glovasa. Tomb’s vocals though heavily influenced from James Hetfield and probably Tom Araya somewhat, are impressive with their balanced mix of smooth and harsh tones to compliment the energised sounds flooding form the tracks.
The album is ferocious and even when it brings in more expressive melodic touches it still is thrusting deeply and firmly into thought and heart. It is a giant call to arms and battle cry with tracks like the outstanding ‘Raise A Fist’ and the chest beating ‘I Will Not Bow’ defiant rallies for the senses. Every track is impressive and an eager heavy feast to enjoy but the band raise their own existing high bar with the violent explosive ‘Taken Down’ with drummer Michael Vafiotis and bassist Andy Hinterreiter unleashing their already impressive skills vigorously and the closing and stunning track ‘Blood Of The Martyrs’. This latter song finds the band stretching their creativity and sound more than on the rest of the album, bringing an invigorating meld of thoughtful melodies and invention alongside riveting and breath taking power.
Submission For Liberty just to be picky does offer many Metallica flavoured instances and riffs that are recognisable to make the album unique but against the immense enjoyment the album brings it is not an issue. 4 Arm are ready to set the world alight with their insatiable thrash sounds, this album the initial exhilarating fuse.