The first release from the Apple-Core masters in over 25 years? Better check it out then!
With Howard ‘H’ Smith still at the helm the return of Acid Reign has been perilous but here we are, practically a new band – H is the only original member in the line-up – but still very much Acid Reign.
The first question to ask is has it really been 25 years? “Plan Of The Damned” somehow picking up exactly where Acid Reign’s unsung classic Obnoxious left off as if the last quarter of a century passed by in only 25 minutes. Starting over as a Sabbth-esque exercise in elephantine riffing, the band take a scuzzy drudge through achingly heavy riffs led by ‘H”s raw – and still irresistibly unique – vocal delivery before segueing into an all-out Thrash-fest at just over the 3 minute mark. Grinning yet? You should be, this is high quality Thrashin’ and anyone who doubted H’s ability to resurrect Acid Reign without any other band members from their heyday are probably feeling rather silly right now.
Need a comparison? We’ll go with Anthrax circa Persistence Of Time, the slower grooves and urbanised, real-world lyrics of “Plan Of The Damned” recalling the likes of “Blood” and “In My World”. Angry, highly opinionated and sonically massive in scope, Acid Reign’s trademark humour is dropped in favour of an epic bludgeoning that drops a (literal) ‘H-Bomb’ of punishing riffs and fiendish melodies and more than wets the appetite for a full-length album that surely must be in the works. Don’t upset the apple-cart, you’ve planted the seeds boys…now deliver the modern Thrash classic we know you’re capable of producing!
We keep saying it and we’ll say it again, UK Thrash is currently a force to be reckoned with and the return of Acid Reign (Sabbat withstanding) completes the puzzle. Acid Reign, you sweet, tasty, crunchy-riffed bastards, it’s bloody great to have you back! 8/10
Need more Acid Reign in your life? Go to www.acidreign.co.uk/music for more square-danceiest Apple-Core’ than you can handle \m/