North Carolina and thrash, as of late we have some very interesting music in the States coming from areas not often associated with a style or genre. When I hear North Carolina I go to that sludgy, Appalachian, doomy sound and Eugenic Death are far from that, I mean like really far. This young foursome have chosen to follow in the footsteps of their thrash forefathers and offer up their debut album “Crimes Against Humanity”. Thrash has experienced a nice comeback in recent years albeit with some modern makeovers. These easterners chose to stay old school and old school they are, and that is a good thing.
From the opening riffs of the title track, it is quickly apparent that fast, aggressive, brutal and old school are the recipe. About three notes into Keith Davis vocals, we know these lads are dead damn serious about their business. Davis has captured that real emotion and delivery of the original thrash style. These riffs are fast and crunchy with those blistering solos of yore thrown in to complete the picture. In short they nailed it, capturing that rough cut playing and singing of the early days of thrash.
I considered production for quite awhile about this release and almost offered a negative on it but then I really started to think about some of the early stuff coming out on cassettes. Gritty, rough, organic, real, and finally came to the conclusion that this was what Eugenic Death was aiming for. Trying to capture that organic sound of the past, so in the end, its that raw real production that adds to the release and not takes away.
‘Medication Time’, which for some reason always make me go back to the Ramones, ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’, ‘The Devil Waits’, and ‘The Practice’ are great standouts along side the opening title track on the release. Punkish to the end these exemplify in riffage, drumming and blistering solos a soul and feel of thrash. And there are those pesky, spot on vocals through this. Its this vocals that really cinch up the whole mess here. Davis’s delivery coupled with the top shelf playing that proves again the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
‘Epitaph’ an instrumental, a gutsy move, maybe but it works nicely. There are not loads of thrash instrumentals out there but here it works well. Its got the construction and flavor that is loyal to their sound. The solo has a more modern feel but its backed nicely by the old school beat and riffs to make an interesting and fitting addition to “Crimes Against Humanity”.
Absent here is a litany of thrash bands of the past that they may or may not sound like and some creative analysis to the early days of Slayer, Metallica, and Testament. Why do we need that, the music stands on its own merit. Eugenic Death has captured a emotion and feel from the past, its their own music and interpretation of thrash. Lets appreciate them for them and what they have accomplished. They have assembled a release that on its own is fantastic, and, to us older crowd, allows us to recapture some feelings of the past. This is in your face aggressive thrash as it should be. Warning, this will induce spontaneous head banging and head and neck injury is possible and more than likely.