It might not be dramatically unique but with a sound blending the voracious fury of a Testament or Exodus with raw causticity vocally and aggressively of Suicidal Tendencies, the new album from Swiss thrashers Algebra is one of the more compelling and exciting releases in the genre this year. To that irresistible rage of thrash hostility though, Feed the Ego and its nine tracks infuse an invention and riveting enterprise which as their band name suggests, is calculated and specifically honed to ignite the imagination. The album is a riveting and increasingly thrilling onslaught and its creators an emerging exciting force in the genre.
Formed in 2008, the Lausanne quartet set out uniting inspirations from eighties thrash metal and bands such Slayer and Sepultura with those of more technical and melodic thrash/death persuasion like Forbidden, Gojira, and Pantera, twisting it in with their own ideation and hostile yet ruggedly seductive sound. An early demo in 2008 brought the band strong local attention reinforced by the Procreation EP a year later. Their self-released debut album Polymorph awoke a far greater attention and recognition of the band in 2012, it subsequently earning a re-release with Stormspell Records. Now after signing with Unspeakable Axe Records earlier this year for their new unleashing, Algebra is ready and poised to push nearer to the frontline of thrash metal with Feed the Ego. It is easy to suspect that the album will bring hordes more to their feet in acclaim, fans and media alike and if not now sow the seeds to a deserved breakthrough in world metal.
The Andy Classen mixed and mastered release opens up with the steadily intimidating Survival Nowadays, its ear crowding wall of riffs and rhythms a menacing bait to which spicy grooves bring added portentous temptation. The song starts like an imagination stalking warning, an insight to darker, heavier, and more open hostility which soon expels its weight across the expanding song. There is an essence of Biohazard to the now forcible stride and attack of the provocation but an incitement spiked with impressive endeavour and sonic enterprise from guitarist/vocalist Chaos Edy. The intensive riffing of rhythms guitarist Phil Void aligned to the thumping beats of Tony Sharp and the predacious lines of bassist Mat Showman, create a just as appealing challenge and though the song does not quite set a fire in the belly it warms up senses and passions nicely for the glories to come.
The intensive tempest of Prisoner Outdoors ignites ears and thoughts further, its determined insatiable stroll a platform for the scathing tones of Edy, his every syllable an accusing roar over his and Void’s captivating sonic sculpting. The track never relinquishes its rugged assertiveness but colours it with some alluring melodies and addictive hooks before the twisted enticing of Necessary Evil takes over. Riffs and rhythms again make a virulent and vicious contagion, the swings of Sharp senses dulling as Edy backed by the band casts a vocal web which is just provocative and unpredictable. With blistering grooves and a gripping solo, the track offers numerous enthralling flavours to its rampant charge keeping the album in firm control of body and emotions.
My Shelf is a slower more heavy metal seeded encounter, opening with a rich acidic twine of guitar invention. There is a bluesy lilt to its expressive smouldering of sound and a presence which intrigues and surprises with its emotive melodies and progressively hued emprise. Vocally, though Edy makes a potent offering it is an area which does not fully convince at times though it is more a personal preference than flaw. The song grows and persuades to potent effect over time though always pales against the might of Profound Guilt. Drama soaks it from first note to last, guitars creating an opening caress of haunted temptation before the track explodes into recognisable thrash ferocity. The core of most songs hold little to surprise but it is the layers of guitar invention and melodic mystery which turn strong propositions like here into irresistible fascinations.
Its success is followed by the title track, its threatening body emerging from transfixing scenery of rolling rhythms and winding sonic enticement aligning for a climactic atmosphere and conspiracy. The track is a mouth-watering exploration embracing its eventual thrash cored dance with a binding of guitar ingenuity and rhythmic tenacity yet never releasing that initial imposing charisma and danger soaked charm. One of the major highlights of the album it is an invigorating incitement which, as we said at the start, although the album is not openly unique it like most tracks provides something new and strikingly inventive.
With only the fade out a slight niggle, the stunning track is succeeded and emulated in glory by Ego System, its entrance and body similarly commanding and addictively imaginative before unleashing its raw thrash gnawing on the senses which in turn is bound in the inescapable lures of toxic grooves and sonic trespassing. Its triumph is followed by the again similar structure and presence of The Fort Broke. If there is one criticism to the album it is the familiarity between the thrash built spines of songs, this track’s lures a very close relation to its predecessor’s at times though that is tempered and often lost in the mesmeric creativity of the individual members which again only sparks a hungrier appetite for band and album. The last song Monotask simply reinforces all the power and potency of the album with its own individual and punk infused thrash provocation, again leaving emotions full and appetite wanting more.
A thoroughly enjoyable rampage, Feed the Ego is a rollercoaster of aggression and voraciousness for those with a head for hostile heights and the adventure for tight curves of imagination.
Feed The Ego is available via Unspeakable Axe Records on 16th September @ http://unspeakableaxerecords.bandcamp.com/album/feed-the-ego
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