Sunday, March 21, 2021

Angkor Wat : "Worst Enemy"



The most under rated thrash band of the late 80s.  Alumni of this band went on to form Skrewe as well as play with both  Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. Their 1990 album "Corpus Christi" was light years ahead of it's time , though both of their albums have held up over the years. They have remained marginally active since 1990, with a few small tours here and there. When I stumbled across this album this morning I was a a wonderful surprise. They have picked up where they left off as the first song rips into you have with razor sharp riffing. It is more straight forward than "Corpus Christi" so owes more to their first album "When Obscurity Becomes the Norm" 

There has always been a touch of hard core punk and this continue to make it's presence know here  the lose this edge. They have always been dense and heavy, but always make song writing a priority. Things have not changed on this front. The only hint of metal from the 80s comes on the solo section in " Barrage". It works well as a melodic texture. There is a more sung than caustically shouted vocal on the title track. I like how they have have stayed true to their original sound and kept the vocals behind a filter of distortion. They hit like overdriven shards of glass. They are not like the vocals of many extreme metal bands today where they are spewed out as just another obligatory sonic texture. They have a function here giving the songs a more accessible tone  despite these guys being all up in your face all the time.

The close the album with " Knock Out" which throws in some of their jerk you by the neck shifts in riffing. They have stuck to their guns and not thought to conform to any of the current musical trends because they do not have to. They were already ahead of the game, today's bands just caught up to them.   My only complaint is this is a five song EP , so after all the years that have passed I would have liked more, perhaps this will inspire them to release a full length , though with the current state of the music industry my logical mind knows why they did this. This gets a ten and I am not sure how any thrash band will be able to come close to the bar they have raised here.   

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