[8/10] You have to admire Steve Gaines and company for their perseverance to stick to a genre like thrash metal. As a vocalist and guitarist, Gaines has served time in Tactics, Dreams of Damnation and Abattoir, but his main body of work will always be as the dutiful frontman for Anger as Art; one of the more reliable thrash bands active on the scene since 2006. The band is set to take the world by storm in 2013 with their 4th release Hubris Inc.
What I like most about Anger as Art is the powerful vocals displayed by Gaines and the energetic thrash metal played by the rest of the band. Their music stays within the thrash metal formula, but remains fresh at the same time. The style was reinforced on their debut in 2006 and then again on their sophomore release, but I thought they faltered slightly on their last studio release Disfigure in 2009. Although after listening to Hubris Inc., it’s safe to say they have returned with a fast, convincing and memorable sound on an album that I am positive thrash fans will take immediate notice of.
The album is stacked with 14 smoldering tracks and includes guest appearances from Jim Durkin (Dark Angel), Marc Caro (Abattoir), Timothy Gaines (Stryper) and vocalist Betsy Bitch. I dare say Gaines and his thrash brethren are going for broke on this album and intend on making a mark on the thrash metal scene with a balls-out release that kick starts into frenetic action straight from the get go. Tracks like “Head of the Snake” and “Evil you Create” rely heavily upon the guitar tandem of Gaines and Danny Oliverio. Both musicians are intertwined, delivering plenty of melody and sharp riffs for a series of songs that don’t disappoint.
Of all the guest musicians invited to play on Hubris Inc., the song “Rage and Retribution” showcases Bitch on vocals, Durkin on lead guitar and Timothy Gaines on bass. This is a rather short number, but it goes for the throat and provides a cohesive tradeoff of vocals between Steve and Betsy. The other song that delivers is “Speed Kills” featuring leads from Caro and what I hear is also an old Abattoir song from 1984 that gets dusted off here and given a solid make-over. The song assures fans that this is the closest you might get to a full reunion of Abattoir, what with Rob Alaniz appearing on drums, so it brings back memories from what was once a solid act (but now on hold).
Anger as Art do not disappoint with the release and it goes to show you how a scene veteran like Gaines can assemble a varied cast of characters and stack the deck in his favor. He’s come up with a winning hand and this should prove his credibility as a bona fide thrasher in the scene and help to push the band to greater heights in 2013. Hubris Inc. is a quality release and one that will be getting repeat visits from me.
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