Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Album Review: "Ad Mortem Festinamus" by Anger As Art

Ad Mortem Festinamus
It is good to know the spirit of the 80s bay area metal scene is not only alive, but well, in the hands of thrash masters Anger As Art.  

Although the four piece does not actually hail from near San Francisco their sound would fit well amongst the legends of northern California.  

Their third album Ad Mortem Festinamus, which will be released by Old School Metal Records on March 11, 2016, not only keeps the thrash genre alive, but contributes significantly to it. If drawing comparisons, I would consider their sound to be most similar to Exodus and Overkill with maybe an influence from Hallow's Eve and Iced Earth. 

Yet they manage to put a unique element on these classic sounds, with relentless riffs and aggression infused melodies. What I like best about the album is how the song compositions allow the musicianship of each individual member of the band to take front stage at various intervals.  

The listener gets the impression creation of these songs was a truly collaborative process, and a quick glance at the songwriting credits indicates contributions on this front were widespread.

Anger As Art

A strong contender for best song on the album is “Aim For The Heart” as it encapsulates, both in title and content, the breakneck angry passages which are a trademark of the album. 

Another outstanding song “L.A. State of Mind” laments the pitfalls of life in the band’s hometown. “Unknowing Undead” similarly plows through a gauntlet of high octane riffs.   

If you are looking for powerful thrash metal, you really cannot go wrong with any track as the shredding is relentless throughout. 

A standout track is "Hammer, Blade and Twisting Fire" which features a superb, infectious and clever bass line.  

It is a departure from the rest of the album in the sense it is not as riff driven as the other tunes, but rather seems to be an as yet unidentified sub-genre unto itself.   

Although not necessarily the best track on the album, it was the first one I listened to for a second time.

The last two tracks of the album "Praise of the Firehead", and "Dim Carcaso" really impressed me regarding the band’s versatility.  I would argue these two epic songs could be categorized as power metal. I loved their inclusion on the album, as it really drove home the musical range of the band.  

I might have placed "Praise of the Firehead, a few tracks earlier in the album to create some space between it and the similarly musically themed "Dim Carcaso", but if the only flaw is the order of the tracks, rather than the tracks themselves, it is easy to recognize this as a great album.

If you, like myself, miss the days when thrash was king, and are looking for an heir to the throne, check out the latest release from Anger As Art.

Release: 3/11/16

Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Old School Metal

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