We totally admit to dribbling over our hi-tops, trying to squeeze into skinny jeans and windmilling the fuck out of our necks once more, when we get the latest Municipal Waste, Warbringer, Exodus etc.(delete as appropriate) land in our laps. So when an album from an Australian band named 4Arm arrived in our grubby mitts, it pushed every single thrash button in the office… moshing carnage ensued.
Australia eh? Let’s face it, AC/DC have been hogging the Australian metal limelight for quite some time now, and Mortal Sin have been holding the Aussie thrash beacon aloft during that time. Now with 4Arm bludgeoning their way forward, perhaps it’s time for the rest of the world to take note of another potential Aussie thrash contender.
“Submission For Liberty” is the third album from these antipodean thrashers, and it is a straight up, balls to the wall quality thrashfest. With Matt Hyde (Machine Head, Slipknot, Trivium) at the production helm, and delivered through the often maligned Rising Records, this album begs steals and borrows from every corner of the thrash spectrum, with appreciative nods to all the old school thrash greats along the way.
Danny Tomb leads the charge with vocals sounding like a crushing union between James Hetfield and Steve Souza. Combined, this four piece build everything around melodic hooks, military precision riffs and neck breaking speed. “While I Lay Awake” is a monster; a seven and a half minute assault that forces you to grasp at Exodus comparisons. It’s exhausting and frantic, a superb onslaught following the “Great Dictator” speech opening. “Raise A Fist” is huge, addictive and packs some wrist cramping speed riffs from the twin guitars of Tomb and Johnny Glovasa, Scott Ian would more than approve.
Title track “Submission For Liberty” is another neck snapper, ticking all the “genre” boxes as it smacks you square in the face. As with all quality thrash, there are no moulds that are going to be broken, and we’re glad that 4Arm don’t try and do anything off the wall. The odd speed change here and there, underlay the tracks with some addictive melodies and bring forth some Tom Araya vocal despair every now and then, in particular with “The Oppressed”.
If we have to pick fault, it would really just be a personal gripe, and that is tracks that just “fade” to finish. “I Will Not Bow” is a great track, but as it flounders and fades to finish, it just doesn’t work. It’s a personal gripe, but just feels like the guys have run out of ideas.
On the whole “Submission For Liberty” is a top thrash album. It shows that 4Arm are not just making up the numbers in the thrash arena, they are starting to tussle with the heavy weights… and rightly so!