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Anger As Art: Ad Mortem Festinamus

While I've been aware of Anger As Art bubbling underneath the thrash radar, I have to admit that their fifth album, Ad Mortem Festinamus, is the first time I've actually clapped ears on them. Thrash is their game and with the likes of Exodus and Testament brought to mind via a more aggressive slice of classic Iron Maiden, while we're hardly talking boundary smashing, what the triple A expound, is mighty indeed.

Raining riffs down on you as though they had a ton more to spare, everything from the slow atmospheric "Praise Of The Firehead" to galloping sneer of "Pissing On Your Grave" hacks deep into the mind. Featuring three chaps with links to Abattoir, Anger As Art are no wet behind the ears copyists, vocalist Steve Gaines running the gamut from barking howler to snarling biter. His occasional attempt at more traditional singing may expose his weaknesses but with 99.999999% of this album filled with the very anger inspiring the band's name, rest assured that his performance is a huge strength – and that too can be said about the varied guitar work from Dan Oliverio, his choppy riffs, gargantuan grooves and searing solos up there with the best. Add in the busy but never cluttered drumming from Rob Alaniz and booming bass from Eric Bryan and the likes of "Aim For The Heart" and "Unknowing, Undead" make the sort of statements you won't forget in a hurry.

Cleverly AAA know that to keep things fully engaged it takes more than just being able to notch up thrash licks and tricks; especially when countless bands are attempting to do likewise. Hence the little set piece intro's to the excellent "L.A. State Of Mind" and "Hammer, Blade And Twisting Fire" are welcome deviations, while the splash of glockenspiel during closer "Dim Corsa" is inspired. This year has seen a real renaissance in old school American thrash, with four or five classic acts already exceeding expectations. Proving that the newer vintage is every bit as potent, Anger As Art have delivered in Ad Mortem Festinamus, an album that while staying true to the very core of what made thrash great, still manages to feel urgent vital and important. It's no mean feat and one few bands can pull off this well.

Track Listing
1. Ad Mortem Festinamus
2. Pissing on Your Grave
3. Aim for the Heart
4. Tombward
5. L.A. State of Mind
6. Unknowing, Undead
7. Hammer, Blade, and Twisting Fire
8. We Hurry into Death
9. Two Minutes Hate
10. Praise of the Firehead
11. Dim Carcosa 

Added: July 19th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Anger As Art on Facebook
Hits: 1855
Language: english

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