Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sadistic Ritual :"Edge of the Knife"

I grew up in the late 80s/ early 90s so I remember watching thrash crawl out from the underground on Headbangers Ball and from the pages of Rip Magazine. I bought "Pleasures of the Flesh" shortly after it came out with money I made cutting the grass, then I and bought "Bonded By Blood" which is an album this band had coursing through their riffs along with some Possessed, a band who at the time I though of as black metal along with Venom and Bathory. This band is not black anything, the moshy breakdown in the opener is the only clue they listen to other music that is not Exodus or Possessed, as it has a slight hardcore tinge to it. Though thrash and punk often did not know where one began and the other ended even after "Masters of Puppets" came out.Its no surprise that a band like this comes out of Atlanta, a city whose music scene has primarily been punk, until this band called Mastodon came out. Sure Hallow's Eve was around in the 80s, Sevendust and Stuck Mojo are the embarrassing phase hardly worth mentioning. So in Little Five Points things started to change. Hair began to get longer and punk band changed their names and became "metal" bands right out side my front door.

 They stay at a rather rabid pace with drumming that is almost more punk than metal until the double bass comes in. The vocals are in a mid-range Paul Baloff rasp, not sung but not really in a death metal growl either.And like a punk band they are in and out of the song in barely over two minutes. It's too bad we have a rule around here that cool riffs alone do not make for a good song as there is a pretty nice moshy one in "Executioner". When the drummer breaks away from the double bass that leads the song off things get a little cluttered and my metal pet peeve comes out when he gets the real stiff snare tap going that sounds too punk to me, but it's bookended by a couple of head banging riffs. The solos are rather obligatory pentatonic runs. There is a more Anthrax groove to the beginning of "Restless Death" before it descends into a more hurried punk like riff followed by a gallop. The title track holds more groove from the onset, but is quick to pick up the pace to an even more punk extent and then bridges the riff with more of a gallop which tends to be a staple for the band. Their gallops tend to be their strongest moments. Here you begin to hear the influence of bands like Kreator.

Before sitting down and giving this album a listen I had heard they also had elements of death metal, which really can only be felt in the drumming, though they do get pretty heavy on the closing song "Morbid Genocide". But thrashing remains more their thing even when hitting the faster runs. By the end of this album , it's a matter of some riffs are cooler than others, but since the tempo rarely changes they are good at what they do but only do one thing making this album rather dynamically flat, which is a quality that some of the best bands from this era Testament, Voivod, Coroner, and even Slayer did not as their songs offered a wider ranger and at times even melody. I'll give this album and 7 and hope to hear them expand their arsenal.

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