Friday, April 20, 2012

Fanthrash: Duality of Things (2011)

Oldsters Return

Fanthrash's Duality of Things was released in July of 2011, the very tail end of the much-talked-about thrash revival. Or perhaps it was a year late for that particular revival. But it was still in time for the ongoing trend of old bands reuniting and giving it another shot.

They have a familiar story. Fanthrash was originally formed in Poland in 1986. They recorded a handful of demos before breaking up in 1992. In 2007, they returned, and still have three of the original members.

If you've read my blog, you know I'm not a big fan of thrash. But the band were kind enough to send me a hard copy of the CD, so I've given it a few spins. It's mid-paced, heavy thrash with a hint of death metal influence, particularly in the harsh vocal style. I'd be interested to know if death influenced their earlier material, or if it's something that came about from being in a country where Nergal is a regular in celebrity magazines.

As is typical for Polish metal, the production is modern: very clean, and plenty loud. The drums sound a bit too artifical. The music has its memorable moments, and there are plenty of rhythm and tempo changes. Unsurprisingly, nothing seems terribly original. There's a Middle Eastern melody at the beginning of "Green Tattoo," some atmosphere in the verse of "Under the Open Sky" that sounds a little like Meshuggah's weird/softer interludes, and "Lizard Skeleton" is essentially a nifty bass solo. Other than that, it's predictably straight-forward, but solid. Thrash isn't about reinventing the wheel anyway.

The Verdict: This is a pretty good record, that kept me coming back several times. It doesn't have the fire of a band of thrash 20-somethings, but it has songwriting maturity and workmanship of experience. I give it 3 out of 5 stars, but know that I was very close to giving it 3.5.

Buy Duality of Things

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