Review for iDeviant :: Brutalism.com
"Anihilated are one of those UK thrash bands from the eighties that many seemed to overlook - everyone's attention tends to be focused on the likes of Onslaught, Sabbat, Virus, Lawnmower Deth and Xentrix, ignoring bands such as Anihilated (amongst others) who deserved a hell of a lot more credit than they got. Their first two albums, Created In Hate and The Ultimate Desecration, were terrific slices of speed metal that sadly went unappreciated until their reformation a few years back and their comeback album, 2010's Scorched Earth Policy, was great but maybe a little bit monotonous. So I'm absolutely ecstatic to say that iDeviant is a very different beast altogether - in fact, it's absolutely fucking brilliant.
Frontman Simon Cobb tells me that iDeviant is about "the influence of media on what is seen, the government control of information, the sensationaliism of the media and the real story that is never shown" - so Anihilated have taken a route similar to that of Hellbastard, opting to point out the hypocrisies of our government and media in hopes of making a difference in our country. There's nothing to complain about with a message that says "Fuck the Tories and fuck the Daily Mail" and so, so much more considering the state of the UK and the rest of the world these days, and it's another case of the band having more than just some clever metaphors at hand for their sticker album... they have a serious message to convey here. That's an immediate bonus right there, but then we have the music itself.
Anihilated in many ways sounds like fellow British thrashers Kemakil, especially when you compare Si and Rob's vocal styles. They both sound very 'German', like Mille Petrozza or Tom Angelripper doing a bad British accent or something which is a pretty good style for thrash and once again it's nice to hear a vocalist who doesn't just scream or try to sound like every other bay area frontman in history. This goes as far as the music itself though, as the songs are actually a rare case of... well, it sounds like a UK thrash band. One thing that Britain has lost over the years is a truly identifiable and unique sound with it's heavy metal bands (think Deathwish or Sabbat for prime examples) and here, Anihilated seem to have brought that back somewhat. Again, it still has that teutonic thrash sound to it in places but mostly, this sounds like a UK band. It sounds like Anihilated - a point that's very difficult to get across in a written format, but I'm sure a few people will understand what I'm trying to say. The tracks are justified and paced well too, despite the first four tracks pushing nearly five minutes, and there's quite a lot of variety displayed here in terms of riffing arrangements - some of that delicious eerie, semi-clean stuff is present on a few tracks which helps you recover from the vicious thrash metal assault the rest of the record throws at you. At the end of the day, there's nothing but great songwriting to be found here alongside some honest messages that really need to be listened to, and as a double 'fuck you' the album's artwork doubles up as a code you can scan into your phone to access special Anihilated goodies. Using technology to fight technology is the sort of snarky humour that will always get bonus points from me, why more bands can't think a bit more creatively is beyond me.
iDeviant is another album that was on my 2013 hotlist, but something of this quality was totally unexpected. The album's composition, message/themes and overall sound is something remarkable, and though it may just fall into the catagory of 'just another thrash album' for some of you cynical bastards out there, I can safely say that Anihilated have made one of the best albums of 2013. Catch them at Full Thrash Assault festival in Wakefield next year if you want to witness a truly monstrous live performance.
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