Anger As Art – Ad Mortem Festinamus


Listening to and basking in the furious unbridled thrash spawned onslaught of Hubris, Inc. back in 2013, there was a moment where thoughts wondered where Anger As Art could go from there to eclipse the might of their acclaimed release. Quite simply it seems, the Californian quartet racked every element of their sound, from aggression and creative tenacity to adrenaline and individual imagination and come up with another inevitable crowd pleaser in Ad Mortem Festinamus.

Formed in 2004 by vocalist/guitarist Steve Gaines (Abattoir, Bloodlust, Tactics, Bitch, Dreams of Damnation, Pagan War Machine), Anger Of Art is a band unafraid of showing its roots whilst savaging ears with its own individual collusion of raw thrash and insatiable speed metal. The years and releases have seen the band becomes more creatively bestial and gripping, as proven by 2013 album Hubris, Inc. and even more imposingly now within its ravenous successor Ad Mortem Festinamus. Equally, the band’s melodic and sonic enterprise, which springs as effortlessly from the band as senses crushing ferocity, has also evolved into something as insatiable and creatively virulent to captivate like a high class hooker within a war driven landscape within their new offering. In Ad Mortem Festinamus every element of the band has hit new heights to emerge a psyche twisting irreverence of vicious rock ‘n’ roll which for us Anger As Art’s finest moment yet.

It all starts with the album’s title track, a relatively brief incantation of voice and portentous ambience which soon breeds an imposing sinister lit tapestry of intrigue laced with a pent up hostility which is just waiting to erupt, something it does in Pissing On Your Grave. The second track initially lays down a bed of rhythmic and sonic traps before bursting with unrestrained animosity through ears, in turn marauding through emotions and sparking the imagination. Gaines’ vocals leads the looting of the senses amidst a torrent of crushing riffs and searing grooves offered by his and Dan Oliverio’s craft upon guitar strings. Rhythmically the swings of drummer Rob Alaniz are welcomingly intensive whilst the bass of Eric Bryan incites primal instincts, each adding to a tremendous and spirit rousing encounter more than matched by the following Aim For The Heart. Just as predacious and uncompromising, the track rhythmically picks at the already placed bruises whilst sizzling on the senses with sonic imagination and a great blend of vocal rapacity across the band.

art_RingMasterReviewAs expected, the pair of Tombward and L.A. State Of Mind show no mercy next, the first the most grievously enticing and volatile tempest so far upon the album whilst its successor is barbarous punk infused metal out to devour and annihilate anything in its way. Both tracks find a fresh gear for the album in their individual ways, the twists of imagination in the first a rival for the sheer irresistible and brutal rock ‘n’ roll of the second, though even so, the pair do get a touch over shaded by the similarly frenzied and venomous Unknowing, Undead. The great physically and emotionally caustic vocal pairing of Gaines and Bryan roar spitefully within the song’s blistering storm but just as easily wear the web of sonic invention which escapes the guitars to magnetic effect around them.

The album is nothing left than a series of highs but an inescapable pinnacle is the rousing anthem of Hammer, Blade, and Twisting Fire. It is a sure fire call to arms for spirit and energy driven by a relentless and deliciously nagging bassline. The track is like a brawling celebration on the eve of battle, with liquor like hooks and grooves extra intoxication before We Hurry Into Death becomes the vehicle for ears and imagination to dive headlong into a barrage of adversarial thrash fuelled rancor.

Anger As Art barely gives time for a breath to be swallowed let alone calm to approach body and emotions, Two Minutes Hate living up to an extended version of its title with its unsympathetic and combative animus of sound and intent. A moment to regroup is given by Praise Of The Firehead as it opens with a great melodic caress of guitar aligned to an earnest lure of clean vocals. In time though, its heart and underlying intensity bursts free in a mighty bellow with the song continuing to merge mellower reflective moments with angst soaked crescendos thereafter. Wrapped in volcanic melodic flames, the song, if without quite lighting personal tastes as forcibly as many of its predecessors, easily captivates as the band reveal further inventive exploration of ideas.

A final trespass of tumultuous energy and imaginative adventure is uncaged by Dim Carcosa; the track the link between the band’s unrestrained thrash intrusions and the more tenacious imagination of the last song, and ultimately another pinnacle of Ad Mortem Festinamus.

In many ways, fans know what they will get with Anger As Art, but with each release the band always surprises and provides a fresh encounter as they push themselves. There are many reasons why thrash metal excites so many of us and now Ad Mortem Festinamus provides yet another unopposed excuse to express that ardour.

Ad Mortem Festinamus is released March 11th via Old School Metal Records across most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 11/03/2016

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Anger As Art: Hubris Inc


    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 hubriscoverscorches 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.


RingMaster 06/02/2013

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