PITIFUL REIGN’s second full length album, “Visual Violence” is down right some of the best Thrash I’ve heard in this new Thrash revival movement. When I first caught wind of the band from a friend I wasn’t able to score their first album and had to wait for this one to be more widely released. It was worth the wait.
“Visual Violence” may not be the most original release this year (honestly most of the new Thrash bands aren’t trying to be) but every song is a kick in the teeth of great melodic Thrash Metal. Melodic riffs interchange into catchy leads and impressive soloing. Energetic drumming and some clever underlying bass work keep up the energy of the album while the guitars flurry their own paths and with some more melodic old-school Thrash vocals to compliment it all, this album is just one of the best Thrash releases of the year.
But even beyond some great performances from these young men, I found that the songwriting is what made this album work so well. They keep up the variance in the music whether it’s the straight out Thrasher that is “Human Coldslaw” or the more epic tempo changing “Malevolence Of The Butcher” (the mid-section slow and melodic part just makes the Thrash soloing that comes after all the more impressive) they are willing to play with the music and let it develop. It’s a very mature thing for a young band to do, in my opinion.
I also must applaud the band for not throwing more songs on this release. Where “Visual Violence” feels streamlined and well written, any more songs might have watered down the experience. Of course, having only 8 songs and clocking in under 40 minutes did make me want more from the band, but this album has no filler which is exciting too because I don’t skip a single track. It’s a double edged sword to try the shorter album and take out some of those weaker tracks but it paid off for PITIFUL REIGN.
“Visual Violence” was just a massively impressive outing. For those of you out there that haven’t been impressed with the output of EXODUS as of late, then I suggest that you go out right away and pick up “Visual Violence”. Seriously, I’m not kidding at all. If you loved that 80s aggressive Bay Area Thrash that had that hefty tongue-in-cheek aspect to it, then “Visual Violence” is the album for you. Pick it up today or download it from Amazon like I ended up doing!
Songs to check out: “Human Coldslaw”, “Malevolence Of The Butcher”, “D.I.V.E.”.
(Online December 6, 2008)