Atrophy – Violent By Nature

Arizona’s Atrophy aren’t the most well-known Thrash Metal band out there, but their 1988 debut album Socialised Hate is somewhat of a cult classic. Two years later they would follow it up with Violent By Nature on Roadrunner Records, before breaking up like many of the less successfully Thrash acts would as the musical landscape of shifted in the ‘90s.

Although their debut gets most of the attention, this follow up aint half bad either. There’s a song on here called ‘Forgotten, But Not Gone’ and that’s sort of the way I feel about this album. You won’t read about it in many metal magazines or websites nowadays, even in a Thrash retrospective special, but that doesn’t mean its not there, offering some value to those that are still interested.

The production is perfect, the length is perfect, the performances are solid and the musical direction is perfect if you like pure American Thrash that isn’t proto-death, proto-black or crossover, but rather just Thrash through and through. Musically, Atrophy are kind of reminiscent of Testament, with low pitched vocals, meaty riffs and speedy but satisfying drums.

This album takes on a slight Death Angel kind of bounce at times (check out the catchy beats of the Title Track). They also attempt to get a bit more technical, as everyone seemed to in 1988-1990 and start playing with complex structures and messing with their time signatures a bit more (check out ‘Slipped Through The Cracks’ to see them get a bit more ‘And Justice or Twisted Into Form in scope).

If you like Thrash, and just have to have some more, then this album is no disappointment and you should definitely check it out. Its got the crunch, its got the speed, its got the attitude. The only thing that’s missing is the killer songs. Its one of those albums like For Whose Advantage by Xentrix or Ticket To Mayhem by Whiplash or World Circus by Toxik that are brilliant if you like Thrash, but which are sort of hard to recommend them to people as they sort of offer nothing new to someone already familiar with the genre, and don’t have any unique selling point to draw in new fans. ‘’What do you mean they don’t blend it with west coast hip hop, vintage big band jazz and lengthy oboe interludes?’’

In summary; Like Thrash? Here is some good if unremarkable Thrash. End of story.  

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