New review of Deathamphetamine’s “The Lost Album” from Hellride Music!
Amherst to Boston transplants DeathAmphetamine sure knows how to thrash both brutally and melodically. Along with Deceased’s Surreal Overdose, The Lost Album is some of the finest thrash/punk/death/grind but mainly thrash cut to tape in recent years. This trio isn’t fucking around. There’s a unique backstory to go along with the release of The Lost Album, as it would seem that the original masters were stolen by crackheads!? Since the band loves peppering their blazing riff grind with sci-fi/conspiracy themes, it’s very fitting that the story of the record is about the last man on Earth uncovering this MIA album in the midst of wartorn, post-apocalyptic distress.
Sadly, I can’t reveal the names who perpetrated this work as the Internet is getting increasingly dysfunctional and harder to find information on. I can’t load Myspace anymore, the group’s Bandcamp is sparse on information, the press sheet’s appropriately vague, and I won’t even strain my eyes looking at that Facebook Timeline mess. Ugh. Remember when the ‘net was neatly organized? Maybe, I should have checked Encylopedia Metallum, but to be honest, I just kind of want to write about the music at this point, since it’s bubbling fresh in my cranium like a vat of dissolving acid. So the strong soldier on without information and hopefully don’t make an ass out of themselves (yeah right). Opener, “The Story so Far” is an FX-fucked smatter of key/organ drone ran through a meatgrinder of sci-fi laser blasts. It has you thinking that this record’s going to sound like Voivod’s The Outer Limits or something along the lines of creepy space prog/metal, yet when “1-1-2-3-5” starts us off proper with a gravity defying stop/start blast beat and riffs to match, you know what you’re really getting into. Deep space tremolo picking lends a black metal atmosphere to the band’s relentless grind, while the chunky slowdowns, dual vocals (a scream and a low growl), and rapid fire guitar solos cement DA firmly in the classic death/thrash dirt.
“Losing it All” is the first real standout. Sounding a bit like Dismember in the early going the band revels in Swedish melody, limber bass groove that’s cleanly played, and fluid, mid-tempo double bass. What’s to follow is some of the most rock n’ rolly thrash ever cut to tape, the riffs strangling a Motorhead groove into submission over a rollicking d-beat punk tempo as rebel guitar solos cut a swath straight to Jupiter and back. The rest of the track never chooses the easy path; they drop off right before the midpoint with what sounds like an epic crust break (Tragedy/His Hero is Gone type stuff) that lets the toms give a tribal workout while the guitar adds a few melodic note patterns beside that gorgeous bass tone, but that idea is quickly crushed like a soup can by interstellar, blackened grind then reassembled by chugging, mid-tempo thrash grooves before the whole thing collapses into an abyss of the exact same manic, rocked-out thrash that kicked things off in the first place! Wow, you can call me a fan right about now because “Losing it All” is a classic thrash song if I’ve ever heard one. They work the same formula on the shorter “Dactyl Nightmare,” grind, black, thrash, and death coming together in an orgy of semen, douche, intoxicating Slayer riffs, and grinding d-beat carnage with just a little bit of Northern darkness stalking the background. Another exercise in tight songwriting and structure comes in the form of “The Black Moment,” and its intro melodies that are somewhere between Tragedy’s melodic stuff and glossy Swedish melo-thrash (Dismember, At the Gates…the hard stuff, not In Flames). Once the song itself begins to take shape, we’re greeted with an executioner’s axe of kinetic crust-punk with overtly melodic riffs, jazzy clean bass runs, and hyperactive drumming that stops and starts on a dime, pounding out a typically thrash-y rhythm one minute, a punk d-beat the next, and working technical snare fills in between nearly every stylistic transition. There’s still enough terse, palm-muted thrash groove to remind your head of which beat to bang on, and just when you think they’ve got nothing left in their arsenal DA spazzes out with some grindcore blasting, throaty hardcore punk vocals (there’s a Lemmy inflection going on), and Slayer shred soloing for a fulfilling metal romp that strides the fence right between Deceased sounding thrash/death mince and Tragedian punk groove.
The album’s second half is no slouch either, “The Immortalist” kicking things off with potent, unfiltered thrash/grind that’s all about ear irreverent aggression and methlike reflexes. But as you might guess from what I’ve been yammering about so far, this isn’t a band that likes to stay in one mold and the group presages the climax with an explosion of slightly melodic black metal where the lead guitar shines with frostbitten arpeggios beneath a shower of concrete blasts and bass licks that eat, sleep, and shit a jazz-like, clean proficiency. I mean there’s not one bum track in this batch, which leaves me looking for an exit point for this review. How much more can I say to convince you? I’ll tell you that the mid-tempo thrash chug at the 1:30 mark of “Domestic Human” is one of the best of its kind…or how about how “More Sauce for the Goose,” opens with wailing, completely sung power metal vocals and has the best set of riffs, solos, breaks, grooves, and rabid crusty, d-beat belligerence of the entire album? Yeah, I could write another 1,000 words easy, but let’s talk to the conductor about stopping this train before we can’t.
DeathAmphetamine’s The Lost Album is essential for thrash fans. The instrumentation, concept, and songwriting are all top-notch. If Surreal Overdose, and Satanic Royalty are two of your most played “fast/extreme” metal albums of the last year, well this is what you should be buying next. No ifs, ands, or fucking buts about it…this is thrash the way it should sound, with a lot of other cool elements putrefying the mix. And, “More Sauce for the Goose” has a nearly minute long guitar solo to die for that’s by far one of the best you’re going to hear all year long in the thrash realm. This review is already too fuckin’ wordy, and repetitive…buy this damn album as I shut the fuck up and go listen to The Lost Album one more time!
Pick up a copy here — http://obscenitycultrecords.bigcartel.com/product/deathamphetamine-the-lost-album-cassette
Or buy the digital version here — http://obscenitycultrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-lost-album