When one thinks about thrash metal, I guess the name Anger As Art sums it up. The aggressive speed and the darkened themes of hell and hatred combined together to create a medium adored by the masses. For their fourth full-length, Anger As Art stick to their roots and attempt to push your boundaries when it comes to you need for speed. The American quartet compromising of decades of experience including former members from ‘Bitch’ and the eighties groove has clearly stuck with them. Hubris Inc. holds all the necessary traits for a good thrash album, including Steve Gaines slightly guttural shrieks which have an Overkill tone, a consistently smooth pace and riffs you would dress in denim jackets.
Guest appearances add further interest to the mix, including Dark Angel’s axe man Jim Durkin and old friend and metal poster girl Betsy Bitch bringing her style forward; however whether that blends with thrash is another story. Tracks such as ‘The Evil You Create’ are fuelled with guitar-driven melodies but when you realise you are only half way through the album, the enjoyment starts to fade. The band never slows down to allow your ears a breather and although that’s fine normally, fourteen tracks feel like a bit of a chore when you are consistently banging your head to over 200 BPM. The riffs start to get stale and the attention starts to dwindle, which is a real shame when you consider the sheer musicianship behind these energetic veterans.
If taken in small chunks, Hubris Inc. is a retro dream with remnants of Exodus and Anthrax throughout and even a smidgen of vintage Iron Maiden in the opening title track. Anger As Art have stuck to what they know which has caused a lack of development since previous releases and generally two decades ago. One thing is for sure though, they still kill the old way and that is by dragging you along at a million miles an hour.
Written for Ghost Cult #4