Snarling and rampaging like an agitated and pissed off grizzly bear, Hubris Inc the new album from thrash metallers Anger As Art, is one carnivorous confrontation which has no qualms in turning the senses into a bruised and masticated victim subsequently crushed in hungry speed metal pleasure. Released on Old School Metal Records, the fourth album from the Californian band is a fourteen strong furnace of shotgun powered slabs of thrash metal soaked in the original heart of the genre and driven by an intimidation and muscle drawn from the metallic viciousness of today. As expected it is a torrent of anger and often sheer spite conjured into aural flames which leave the ear wholly infatuated.
Formed in 2004 by vocalist/guitarist Steve Gaines (Abattoir, Bloodlust, Tactics, Bitch, Dreams of Damnation, Pagan War Machine), Anger Of Art has stood as a formidable encounter from their very first days, their self-titled and Callous and Furor albums of 2006 and especially their last Disfigure in 2009, earning deserved acclaim for their merciless aggression and stirring enterprise. Hubris Inc though finds the band at their finest yet as Gaines, drummer Rob Alaniz (Abbatoir, Bitch), guitarist/vocalist Daniel Oliverio (Bitch, Abattoir), and bassist Henry De La Cruz (Maniacal Genocide), ransack the senses with accomplished invention and irresistible aggression.
The title track emerges with a coarse sonic wrap which with inciting rhythms stirs up the ear and beyond whilst a melodic flame scorches the air above them intriguingly. It is a fiery intro to the carnage to follow, a brief welcome which without any lasting burning makes a good avenue into the insatiable energy and malevolence of Time Devours Life. Riffs tumble and weigh forcibly upon the ear with exploitive greed whilst rhythms cascade around them with malice to form a flesh scarring encounter. As is a permanent compelling feature of the album, the bass of De La Cruz is a ravenous predator which fully ignites the passions, a gnarly beast chewing and menacing the senses with a steely merciless appetite, the following Gods of Hate the perfect example. Best song on the album, the track is a devastating onslaught of riveting riffing, annihilatory rhythms, and full blooded vocals cored by that delicious almost rabid bass sound. The song leaves the listener breathless and fully captured by its anthemic and voracious presence.
It arguable whether the album is offering much which has not already been investigated over the years within thrash and extreme metal in general, but it is hard to deny that Anger As Art have involved it into a rapacious storm all of their very own which leaves plenty of recent thrash bands and releases sounding lacklustre in comparison. Tracks such as the incendiary Speed Kills which features the excellent skills of Mark Caro from Abbatoir on lead guitar and with the other members also having featured in that band stands as the last new ‘Abbatoir song’, the tempestuous and wonderfully chaotic This is why I Hate, and The Evil you Create which has Steve Nelson from Evil Dead guesting on backing vocals, inflame and feed the passions only thrash metal can spark up perfectly, a claim the whole album can be attributed with fully.
Alongside Gods of Hate equalling pinnacles on the release come with the tremendous Pearls before the Swine, a raging torrent of crippling rhythms and sonic magnetism soaked in a brutal vehemence from riffs, bass growls and bone snapping beats from Alaniz, and the outstanding Head of the Snake. The second of the two meshes a fire of classic metal and trash into a potent and devouring sonic inferno which consumes and torches the ear and beyond with relish and infectious invention.
Also featuring amongst what are all impressive skilled assertions, the album offers up Rage and Retribution, a riot featuring the additional talents of vocalist Betsy Bitch, Jim Durkin of Dark Angel on lead guitar, and Timothy Gaines from Stryper on bass. With closer Never Forgive Never Forget, they make a forceful and highly satisfying climax to an album in Hubris Inc which is sure pleasure from start to finish. If you want true undiluted thrash metal than Anger As Art are your men.
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