Anger As Art - Ad Mortem Festinamus

California’s Anger As Art have been around since 2004, and with 4 full-lengths already under their belt, they have returned with their 5th full length entitled “Ad Mortem Festinamus”. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but I was a really great listen and is just a little bit more than just your typical thrash album. For some, it may take a few listens for it to grow on you, and for others it will be a hit from the first listen. Whatever the case may be, there is definitely something here for every metal head and fanatic of the thrash genre.

Even though this is a great album to listen to and more than your typical thrash album, there is really nothing new or innovative here. Mind you, nothing sounds rehashed, but everything on this album has been done before. I wouldn’t say that this is a negative, but that is why I said it may take a few listens to grow on some listeners. Especially those who are looking for the envelope to be pushed here. I am sorry to say that does not happen, but none the less, the bands style of playing is spot on and incorporates some very slight progressive elements, and a few blast beats here and there to break the monotony from the lack of innovation. Picture if you will Exodus mixed with the likes of older Testament, Forbidden, Realm, and Atheist. The riffs are quite menacing and lay over the rhythm of the drums quite well, almost to the point where you get the feeling that the music is just “oozing” along. The solos are the traditional type found in this genre, but seem to have a very slight progressive edge to them which makes them stand out. In my opinion the volume of the solos could be just a tad bit higher to make everything sound a bit more even. The vocals here are some of the fiercest I have heard for a thrash band. Definitely not your typical thrash style of vocals. For most of the album they take on a “death metal” feel. The vocals are probably the highlight of the album. Seriously, this guy really has a set of lungs on him that just won’t quit! It’s like the vocals from Kreator done with more of a slight death metal style. I was really impressed with the vocal patterns here.

Even though this is a “typical” sounding release, these guys have a lot of passion in their hearts and it really shows in their playing and presentation. This album was my introduction to the band and I admit, at first, I didn’t know what to think about this release, but the more I listened the more it grew on me and I liked it. No, by no means is it a perfect album, but for the material presented here, it should definitely be admired for what it is. A 5th full-length effort from a band who has been doing this for 12 years without a sign of stopping any time soon. Their hearts are metal, and their souls are metal and it really shows on this album. A little innovation and pushing of the envelope would be cool if the band decides to go in that direction. Perhaps on the next release they will be comfortable enough to do so.

  1. Ad Mortem Festinamus
  2. Pissing On Your Grave
  3. Aim For The Heart
  4. Tombward (Bryan)
  5. L.A. State Of Mind
  6. Unknowing, Undead
  7. Hammer, Blade, And Twisting Fire
  8. We Hurry Into Death
  9. Two Minutes Hate
  10. Praise Of The Firehead
  11. Dim Carcosa