I haven’t heard good thrash metal for a while. The last ‘thrash metal’ album I bought was Lamb of God’s Sacrament and though I enjoyed it, it wasn’t long before everything started sounding the same. With the rise of ready for mainstream thrash-pop like Avenge Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch and Bullet For My Valentine I was completely lost. Not that I stopped enjoying the genre. I still jam to Megadeth, Chimaira and some old favorites. I’m still turned on to newer black metal via Underworld, but as for as I could tell thrash was dead.
That is until I heard Let Us All Unite from Syria’s Anarchadia. Finally I was able to hear a band that was brutal, violent, heavy and had no chance to hit the mainstream in IslamArabophic America. Sure, we’ve had one Mideastern band make it in the states, but System of a Down broke big before 9/11. Sweden’s Ghost managed to raise a few eyebrows by advertising their satanic beliefs, but that hasn’t been cutting edge since Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar in 1996. Lets face it, in 2013 America, Allah is the new Satan.
But none of the songs have a dominant Middle Eastern sound to them. The intro, “Devolution” begins with gunshots and shell casings falling to the ground the way Pink Floyd’s “Money” starts off with cash registers. “Beasts of Burden” contains some great harmonized guitars that sound different from anything Slayer has ever done. “Narchaotic” features breakneck riffage with harmonics thrown in for flavor and some rare clean vocals. The instrumental “Elevation Call” is as interesting and innovative as anything I’ve heard from the great shred guitarists. “Adagnito” switched between pummeling metal and soft plucked acoustic guitars before ending with a few flamenco sounding licks. “Occupy The Wall” begins with a George Carlin sample but quickly builds to an anti-totalitarian anthem that may have sparked the anti-Assad movement.
The most moving song on the album is the closer “Let Us All Unite.” It’s a sampled speech set to quiet background music and featuring a touching message of love, understanding and compassion for our fellow man. It helps me to remember that though I see this band through a certain political lens, they are still human and we are all part of the same race.
The only song I don’t care much for was “True World Order” which features Iced Earth’s Jon Shaffer and sounds a bit like a throwback to eighties metal.
Let Us All Unite is definitely among the best metal albums I’ve heard this year. And the best part is, it’s available for whatever you want to pay on Bandcamp. It only cost me a dollar. I’d say I got my ,money worth.