One of the UK’s most revered and vital Thrash bands are back and after the unequivocal highs of 2010’s Scorched Earth Policy and 2013’s iDeviant, expectations for Anihilated’s 3rd album in 5 years were stratospheric. Fans can lay their fears to rest, the boys have delivered and Anti Social Engineering is ample proof that Thrash is still the most thrilling sub-genre in Metal history, 30+ years after it first conquered the globe.
Anihilated’s Punk origins still ring true in Si Cobb’s snarling vocal delivery and barborous social commentary but this is blistering Modern Thrash through and through. “They Lie, We Die” and “Seas Of Red” are an opening combo of devastating Thrash with Anihilated’s rhythm section locking into colossal grooves while pure Thrash riffs are peeled off at a dizzying rate, speed and technique ruthlessly executed.
“The Slaughter Continues” recalls Seasons Of The Abyss era Slayer with its ominious grooves and mid-tempo stomp while the title track, featuring the guttural delights of Anton Reisenegger (Criminal/Pentagram [Chile]/Lock Up) on dual vocals, is a Testament style Death/Thrash face-pounder which takes just two and a half minutes to leave indelible scars; aggressive Thrash at its finest.
Stripped back and bloodily raw, “Zombie 13”, “A Vile Congregation” and “Torn By The Tooth” are mid-album killers, all continuing the savage Thrash attack and avoiding the dreaded status of ‘filler’ but it’s on “Thrashing Crew” where Anti Social Engineering reaches its zenith. “Thrashing Crew” can officially be added to the list of ultimate Thrash anthems; a call to arms to rival Megadeth’s “Rattlehead”, Testament’s “Into The Pit” and Exodus’ “Bonded By Blood“. Featuring guest vo-kills from Sy Keeler (Onslaught), Coke Finlay (Virus) and Jason McLoughlin (D.A.M.), UK Thrash could not be better represented and “Thrashing Crew” is a pit-inducing whirlwind of lacerating riffs and larynx-ripping vocals. Is it too much to hope that these 4 titans of UK Thrash will tour together and perform this shit-kicker around the country!
“Vultures” is another carcass-shredder, built around some incredible kick-drum work, while “I Am The Beholder” is the kind of epic closer Thrash used to deliver so well in the 80’s. A suffocatingly crushing blast which builds and builds in intensity as the speed increases and Si Cobb’s vocals become ever more feral, this immense track is the perfect way to close an old-school Thrash album that fearlessly embraces a modern audience’s desire for face-melting riffs and 100% committed performances.
Despite an incredible 34 years in the business, you’d be a fool to consider Anihilated as a band on the comeback trail; this is a band operating at the top of their game and nostalgia means sh*t. Anti Social Engineering is a modern Thrash record that will slam you into the canvas and on this evidence, you can consider The Big 4 officially redundant. Standing toe-to-toe with Reign Of Fury’s equally astonishing Death Be Thy Shepherd and last years epic releases from scene legends Exodus and Overkill, Anti Social Engineering leaves the so called big-guns of Thrash drowning in a sea of mediocrity and past glories.
Simply put, Anihilated annihilate and Anti Social Engineering can be considered one of 2015’s compulsory albums; UK Thrash goes from strength to strength! 9/10
ANTI SOCIAL ENGINEERING is due for worldwide release on Monday April 13th 2015. Pre-Order now at www.anihilated.bigcartel.com!