Lich King - Toxic zombie onslaught 3.5/5

Reviewed: 2-6-09


1. Cheesy metal intro
2. Attack of the wrath...
3. Office politics
4. Thrash resurgence
5. Black metal sucks
6. I destroy
7. Predator
8. Cold steel machine
9. Toxic zombie holocaust
10. Lich King II

Amherst, Massachusetts' powermad predators of the pernicious - Lich King - comprise fierce frivolity, while incorporating barbaric Bay Area lessons in violence. Once you partake in their thrashssacre, you will join the bodies on bodies of bangers, rallying to their cause for conflict.

'Toxic zombie holocaust' is the sophomore effort from Lich King following their thrashing, humorous, and totally old-school debut attempt - 'Necromantic maelstrom'. Lich King must have a thick skin, and surely do not take themselves too seriously. They are just having a laugh, playing the music they relish; while poking fun at the poseurs. Honestly, I find it all funny, and a jolly good time. In the words of the band themselves, "For the Lich King is fierce, and he is wicked... awesome!"

They even consider themselves to be the best thrash metal act in the world, employing the Manowarish proclivity for self reference; with their tongues planted deep in their own butt cheeks. All this may appear to be a bit pretentious, thrasonical, and too over the top; but, then again these guys garner their namesake from fantasy roll playing games that feature trolls, dragons, orcs and warlocks. With anonymous pseudo-names like: A Fucking Tyrannosaur - vocals, Rambo - lead guitar, The Hulk - rhythm guitar, Hulk Hogan - drums and Darth Vader - bass, this cold steel machine obviously isn't too preoccupied with fame or fortune.

Lich King have a real knack for drollery, and I challenge you to listen to them without bursting into laughter. The anthem "Mascot war", from 'Necromantic Maelstrom', which pitted popular cereal killer mascots against the metal mascots; whereby, Eddie, Charley, Wrex, Snaggletooth, Murray, Flotzilla, etc. decimated Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, Trix Rabbit, and their sour ilk, had me in stitches, bleeding and screaming for more.

This time around, the ribald insanity continues with - "Attack of the wrath of the war of the death of the strike of the sword of the blood of the beast" - "The most metal title of all!", according to the mighty Lich King. This Nanowar of steel vengeful metal command, along with the apt titled - "Black metal sucks", is why I find myself enthralled in their wily wit and war of wordcraft.

The Paul Baloff banshee cry on Tyrannosaur's bated last breath is as menacing as a piranha puncture. The finger-licking fret board display of derogation, intertwined with licks, and leads pervades with paroxysmal poignancy.

Lich King will kill your guts out, as they smash their brass balls to the wall, having written the song "Black metal sucks', with a sinister sneer. With this rant, they willingly mock the maligned genre, with a shrill inchoate scream; immediately following the Billy Milano mayhem. With this anthem of insurgency, they have pissed off a whole generation of Hot Topic shoppers and shirt burners. Here's a small taste of the lyrics:

"Over there in Norway, the churches all burn down
Let's go dress in goth clothes and get painted
Like a clown awesome leather armbands with spikes,
Like two feet long Hair is parted down the middle, frowning like a frog

In league with the Devil, talking Satan, skulls and
Hell making mommy mad, 'cause that's original
If you hate good music, then it can't hurt to go
Image-conscious assholes, black metal fashion show

Blacke Foryst of Despayr, taking photos of the band
Put 'em up on Myspace you're the envy of the land
Posing with a battleaxe and grimacing with hate
When you're done with this, figure skating at the lake

The music is best, it's got the hardest metal sound
Quickly riffing on one note is certain to astound
Dimly echoed drumming and some goat heads to distract
From the terrible screeching that you pass off as your act."

If you enjoy the humour of Tankard, M.O.D., F.K.U, Coven, Carnivore, S.O.D., etc., then Lich King will rain on you like a blood storm. They play real thrash metallic resourced riffs, seriously seasoned with an homage to their patriotic sense of steel. They honoured Exodus and Vio-lence on their debut, with awesome covers, so the angry melodies and rapturous rumblings all celebrate this legacy of overkill.

Lich King are 80s all the way, in every cliche'. They even emphasize a vinyl cut and paste production. Like so many championed acts, they also write songs about movies. "Office politics' is an awesome homage to Mike Judge and the 9-5 suicide. In the vein of Austrian Death Machine, they celebrate Arnold Schwarzenegger with their cut - "Predator".

The song "Thrash resurgence", with its hilarious intro, from what one may think is a little girl, screaming, "I love thrash metal!" verifies that Lich King know that thrash is not new, trendy, or a way to modify metalcore; instead, this attitude has always existed, and the true followers will always support it.

Most reviews of their CDs are found in disfavour, and incriminating. If you view their on-line bulletins, posted on their favorite forums and Myspace, the cynicism and sarcasm run rife. Surprisingly, musician - Tom Martin painted the cover for Bonded by Blood's - 'Feed the beast' CD, and he created all the Lich King artwork, with his own twist on Ed Repka.

I must assess, and assert that not every song is a winner. Again, there is another mediocre instrumental - "I destroy", and the thematic Lich King scenario is continued with "Lich King II". Thankfully, the title track is an episode of ultra-violent rippin' toxicity, and will please fans of "Reavers" and "Thrashssacre", from their debut.

Stormspell Records are renown for reviving ancient metal relics, and packaging them with awesome additions. Lich King work well with this label, and will please anyone who buys speed metal from Iordan (Stormspell's owner). Forget about all these new thrash bands, join man's quest for fire, and get captivated by their caveman aggression, and learn your lesson in violence!




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