Alcoholator - Escape from Reality - (9/10)
Published on July 1, 2015
With a name like Alcoholator, it’s easy to dismiss the band as a gimmick act. Even with their debut Coma, Alcoholator presented an old school thrash style that was much more than their silly band name would have indicated. No, they are not some sort of Tankard wannabe and never does the band fully feed into the tongue-in-cheek nature that their name would direct. With their sophomore effort Escape from Reality, these Canadian thrashers are only tightening their grip on blending old school thrash foundations with a modern tint. Not only is this second album better than the impressive debut, it’s likely an album that will stick with listeners for years instead of being a ‘flavor of the month.’
Escape from Reality isn’t the kind of record that is reinventing the genre or even pushes a lot of boundaries. At its core, this record is pure thrash. The triplet riffs, the snapping drum work, the snarling and slightly harsh vocals; these are all elements that comprise the core of what Alcoholator have to offer. “Punch Drunk” features an ambitious amount of thrash riffing, the speed oozes out of “The Bleeder,” and there is a significant crossover appeal to “Fuck Your Skull” that is introduced by the famous sound clip from Full Metal Jacket. While the style of thrash that Escape from Reality is using rarely shakes the Earth in originality, it’s the quality that lifts it above being your average modern thrash record.
What Alcoholator does well is that they keep the album decently diverse despite its adherence to the staples of thrash metal. Whether it’s the punky ‘whoas’ that instantly identify “Out of Control” or the popping bass opening of “Molotov Cocktail” that quickly dives into an impressive and chunky riff, the band weave a decent amount of memorable fun into the mix. It’s rarely the gimmick that it could have spun into, particularly when they have songs named “Cursed by My Thirst,” and the quality is sure to impress any and all thrash fans that get their moshy mitts on this record. Escape from Reality is strong thrash complete with strong musicianship, but it’s the streak of fun that carries the album above and beyond.
If you haven’t already taken a drink from the bottle of Alcoholator from their debut, make sure you take a swig from Escape from Reality. The thrash is pure, the album is fun, and the quality is that of a finely aged wine. The core of the album is something that rarely redefines the genre, but fans will be hard pressed to find a record as efficient and effective as Escape from Reality so far this year.