Monday, May 23, 2016

Album Review: "Wings of Chains" by BAT

Wings of Chains
In Under Seige, Tommy Lee Jones's character referred to what he was doing as a revolution and not a movement, because a movement can only go so far before it stops.

What happens when a musical movement runs out of steam?

Thrash metal was once a powerful force in the musical world. Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, and many more would attack audiences the world over.

The problem was thrash metal never evolved. In all honesty, Metallica stopped being a thrash band after their first record. Slayer has always been Slayer, save a couple of the Original Bostaph Era records.

Anthrax, well, they are what they are. For a musical movement to become a revolution, it has to continue to grow and change. Metal is unique in that many revolutions become movements and then birth others....

For those of us who don't know, Thrash metal is fast and relies heavily on the riff rather than chord progressions.

In that vein, BAT is very riffy. There were very few instances of any chords at all.

Thrash also has some speedy guitar solos that typically are fast fast fast.

In BAT's case, sometimes those solos were fast enough to break the time barrier and due to future echoes, it then sounded like guitarist was soloing alongside himself in an epic double lead. (Or it was doubled in the studio..whichever, but I'm sticking with the sling shotting around the sun analogy.)

BAT sounds like a younger band that hasn't quite hit their stride yet even though this album is fantastic. It's heavy. It's fast. The vocals are touch heavier than they need to be, which is great by me.

Those tenor thrash vocals do not interest me. Joey Belladonna, I'm looking at you.

This album has that dirty metal sound. Close your eyes and picture the studio and it's most likely dark, smokey, and smelling of beer. It's a perfect sound for underground metal.

BAT plays without the sophistication of Megadeth, but with all the charm of Metallica's thrash days and that's what makes them fun to listen to.

Release: 6/10/16
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Hell's Headbangers

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