Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Convicted - s/t 3.5/5

Reviewed: 7-1-10


1. Copkiller
2. I crave
3. Fuck off and die
4. Inside of me
5. The legion of the damned
6. Merciless
7. Minds of war
8. No way out
9. Stand up

It seems that everywhere you look these days, more and more people are expressing a sense of exhaustion with the retrothrash movement. Like every other subgenre under the metal aegis that experiences a sudden resurgence in popularity, the classic thrash style has become overdone and oversaturated in the last couple of years. The sense of weariness is understandable, given the glut of new acts coming out of the woodwork doing nothing more than mindlessly aping old Slayer, Testament and Exodus without offering any new or innovative twists. The biggest problem to my ears is that so many of these thrash clone bands may have the riffing style down pat, but they leave out the catchiness and cannot write a song to save their lives. These depressing truths do not mean, however, that there's nothing worthwhile coming out in the old-school thrash genre these days. One simply must be more selective and take the time to separate out the wheat from the chaff.

Greece's Convicted are an example of a retrothrash act doing it mostly right. It helps, I think, that Convicted are not a new band; rather, the trio from Thessaly have been plying their trade since 1998, with their debut CD, 'Nuclear escape', dating back to 2004. Bands that predate the trends are usually in it for the right reasons, having an authenticity that the Johnny-come-lately acts cannot hope to match. Such is the case for Convicted. This new self-titled CD (released on the up'n'coming Slaney Records imprint from Ireland) doesn't revolutionize the genre, but it does a fine job melding the well-worn, typical 80s thrash influences into something that is both aggressive and memorable. The riffage is mostly of the simple, straightforward, almost punkish variety, but is injected with enough hooks and variety that most of the songs succeed in having their own identity (check out "Copkiller" and "The legion of the damned" for good examples of this). If I had to nail Convicted to a particular branch of the thrash metal family tree, I'd pick the Sodom/Tankard limbs. You know, concise, to-the-point songs, repetitive choruses, shouted vocals, and at least a lurking tinge of punk sensibility. That description fits Convicted to a T, albeit with the occasional Slayerisms bubbling up as well.

Vocals are definitely not Convicted's strong suit, as vocalist/guitarist John Kospantsidis offers up a fairly standard issue growl that owes more to death metal (think John Tardy from Obituary mixed with Rob Dukes from Exodus and you'll be in the ballpark) than to traditional thrash. He's not bad, but his voice is not distinctive or unique in any way. Fortunately, the band compensate for this shortcoming with an impressive batch of songs that thrash mightily, change up the tempos seamlessly, and manage to stick in the listener's head as well. As an added bonus, CD closer "Stand up" begins with a lengthy soundbyte culled from the 1976 film Network, where Howard Beale is railing about how things are bad, what with inflation and Russians and crime in the street, and all there is for us to do is to get mad. Quite a propos for today's oil-spill laden, terrorist-infected, economically-crippled times, and a perfect fit for a thrash metal CD.

Look, this 'Convicted' CD is not going to change your life or alter the way you look at thrash metal. But if you're looking for a competent, well-executed thrash act that gives you 36 minutes of honest neck-snapping energy with above average songs to boot, then Convicted garners an easy recommendation.




MAIN - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - MISC