Saturday, August 17, 2019

review: Repent

Condemned to Fail
High Roller Records
August 16th, 2019
Love-it-all zealous fanatics of thrash can make a bee line for the mosh pit instigated by Repent. The German band began in 1992 and this is their fourth album, five years since the third one. The album is fueled by a wide variety of the same basic emotion of ire, irritation, frustration, fury, anger, wrath, indignation and everything else that would be shoved into this boiling blender of exasperation. As an album dedicated to translating a racket into a rendezvous at the pit, it pushes all the buttons necessary for ignition. The drumming is fast, but stays at a pace to keep people moshing. Never too fast for the pit, never too slow to cool down, this workout in friendly violent fun does not end until the album itself ends. The guitars seem obsessed with getting people off their seats and start a pit at the show or at the office or in the halls of the local grocery store or wherever the moshers find themselves hooked up to this matrix of thrashorama.
Do you know who doesn’t want fancy and happy melodies to be part of this experience? Repent, that’s who. The riffs are packed with a thick, relentless beat that pauses only between songs. There is an angry groove to it all to help people distinguish what is happening, but this never even attempts to make things safe, comfortable and acceptable for casual fans. The album is something that true thrash fanatical raging maniacs—you know, that dude at every show, that dude wearing that old Slayer shirt who begins bumping into people because he wants, he needs, that pit to get going already—will take an interest in. The band sometimes gets negative reviews because they are “only” a thrash band and are not very melodic, because they play thrash like it is their religion. If someone wants a sugary type of thrash, then, yes, avoid Repent, but a person wants on-point, meat-and-potatoes thrash that does not try to be all things to people, then check out this back-to-basics, fundamentalist thrash with the stubborn attitude of the early days of the genre, but with a contemporary, brutal chunky sound, and very abrasive, throaty vocals. The band is not melodic and they are proud of it; they offer a small olive branch to fans by way of the shredding solos, but that’s about it. Fans of unmelodic and mosh pit thrash should consider the work of this veteran act dedicated to giving it to you raw, pure and angry in the basic, anti-fancy way.

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