My first contact with German Power/Thrashers JUSTICE was at the 2002 Summerbreeze festival, when one of their songs woke me up rather rudely in the middle of the night. Sounded good, but at that time of the day (or rather night) not the right thing. Now with “The Descendant” I have their already fourth complete album (plus 4 live albums), the band has been around since 1989 already, so no newcomers around here.
And “The Descendant“ has one thing especially: Power! Now it is pretty well known that I am not a big fan of Thrash Metal, but still there are some bands that reach my ears that also find consent, not least, if they rather play Power/Thrash Metal. After a short introduction the riff thunderstorm of “New Machine” gives us a new hair-do, with shout chorus and altogether rough vocals by fronter Michael “Mitch“ Schmidt, so lack of power definitely is not an issue here.
The lyrics also fit the aggressive music, song titles such as “Die Your Life“ or “Asshole“ showcase that pretty well, also showing some Death Metal-like vocals here and there. But thankfully they do not only put the pedal to the metal, “The Descendant” is balefully slow-paced, yet without losing any of the intensity, with some Death vocals more, but a very straight and catchy chorus, very good song!
And this catchiness is taken up right away by “This World Is Mine“, driven forward by fat double-bass and enriched with very good melodies, this way Thrash is entertaining for me, too! “War TV” then explodes, processing more pure Thrash Metal, not so much my thing, but for the Thrasher a nice meal, no question, while “Endless Pain” closes things off with a great chorus and guitar lead. And at the very end “Quintuplets Of Madness“… Well, let’s just say that you can’t accuse the band of exaggerated seriousness.
The production has a lot of power, too, everything is played pretty tightly and offers us a very good balance from the Bay Area of the 80s and more modern elements, so I am pretty surprised that JUSTICE had not attracted the attention of the masses before, because friends of Thrash should definitely like “The Descendant” and even Power Metal fans, who like it a bit heavier should definitely check these guys out! (Online January 20, 2005)