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Twisted And Tormented - * * *

Look in my eyes and remember who did this

- Getting Tough On Tough Guys

There's been a lot of buzz about this band for the last year or so. The first time I was able to hear them was opening for One King Down. See Lord of The Pit for some info on why everyone should see Wrath live. After the show, I walked half a block to my ATM machine to secure the 8 bucks that I needed to buy their CD. If that gives you any idea of how poor I am, than you should understand that I don't have the money to waste on crap. The fact that I took money out of an ATM in downtown Albany really late at night to buy the CD is already testament to the fact that Wrath is a band worthy of its praise. So was it all worth it, do they live up to their hype? It was worth the eight bucks that I paid. While the CD does have the inevitable flaws of a young metal band, Wrath are a lot better than most that I have heard recently. While lacking the visual element and rabid excitement of their live show, the CD was definitely a worthy purchase. This is 8 full songs of hardcore influenced metal which is chaotic, brutal, and pissed off. Thereís a ton of upstate hardcore influence in this band's sound. The edginess of the guitar and unpredictable nature of the rhythms are straight out of Section 8's last CD. The vocals are also reminiscent of Kasey's heavier screaming parts, but lack the pseudo-gothic harmony parts of that band. A style more akin to this would be Ryan Murphy of Cutthroat and Phil Anselmo of Pantera. When the band locks into a groove, it bridges the gap between hardcore and metal flawlessly. The aforementioned edginess of the rhythms takes a little from the continuity of song structures, but adds to the chaotic underground feel of this record. When they do find a groove however, it is fucking pounded mercilessly in an all out attack on the senses. Wrath could probably be arrested for assault if this record is played too loud. In places the guitar is really great, in other places it's too fucking chaotic and never really settles into anything resembling a song. The almost progressive chord structure of Avenger definitely places that song near the frontline of Wrath's arsenal. The Iron Maiden style intro on Last Straw is fucking brilliant but unfortunately it is only used briefly. Wrath lives up to its namesake both lyrically and musically. The lyrics are openly abrasive and hostile. Poison Upon Poison conjures some demons which are a testament to well-written emotional hardcore. There is a lot of pain and suffering as always with metalcore bands, but Wrath also possesses a sense of humor which is uncommon in bands that focus this much on emotion. Getting Tough On Tough Guys is a personal favorite. An old school hardcore diatribe against guys who go to shows looking for fights. This song is quick paced hardcore with a fat bassline and a chorus which screams repeatedly, "fuck you, oi oi oi". The rest of the disc walks a line between passion and pain, relying on a lot of churning guitars and quick tempo changes. Avenger, containing the ultra happy sentiment "If there's a god in heaven, I hope you burn in hell", is musically their most proficient track. The rest of the record is chaotic as hell. If you don't have a good stereo system itís going to be hard to listen to the whole album. I tried playing it in my car and it sounded like hell. But if you do have a good system, it makes all the difference. Turn the bass up and the volume to about ten, sit back with a beer and tie down all your valuable shit. When the disc is over, skip ahead to 14:30 on the last track. There are 3 songs, one is an acappela version of an Indecision song, the second is a blues acoustic version of One King Down, and the last one is Section 8's Chapter 11 done gangster rap style "I dream to kiss you in the darkness, when a look of love won't bring me pain nigga". It's an inside joke for an Albany band but it's pretty god damn funny. That alone was worth the 8 bucks if nothing else.

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Reviewed: October, 1999

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