Published Aug 19, 2015If you've seen any of the documentaries on it, you know that thrash metal, at least in its early days, was about fun. The hybrid of the NWOBHM and punk was high-energy music, perfect for banging heads and pounding beers. Hell, look at Slayer: vocalist/bassist Tom Araya is Christian, and if singing songs about Satan while pulling one over on the world with your faith isn't the definition of devilish fun, try wiping the shit-eating grin off Araya's face during a performance.
Perhaps that's why the traditional heavy metal noodling that kicks off Extinction A.D.'s debut LP, Faithkiller, works so well; it's just a good time. That's not to say it's not menacing and meaty, though, as "Tu Enemigo" is downright ominous and "To Exist in Purgatory" riffs like Testament. Maybe it was their time in hardcore punk crew This Is Hell, all of whom are in this rebirth aside from vocalist Travis Reilly, but Extinction A.D. really have the aggression of punk down.
Still, it's when you're unsure whether to bob your head or bang it — such as on the title track and "Crisis: Indefinite" — that Extinction A.D. shine brightest. When it takes itself too seriously, as on the stomping "Prisoners," head-bobbing becomes mechanical and headbanging feels forced.
In what could be seen as a nod to hardcore band Terror's Keepers of the Faith, Faithkiller revives the corpse of This Is Hell into the thrash metal band they wanted to be. (Good Fight)