THRASH. It seems that not a day goes by that some label or PR agency sends us an album that is labelled thrash metal, and to be honest a lot are not fit to lace the shoes of the 80s generation thrash bands.
So, when another album is received we tend to approach it with some degree of caution, especially when accompanied by the usual hyperbole.
Such was the case when Finnish band, Lost Society, had their album plonked on to the decks at Metal Mansions. They are getting plenty of push from their label (Nuclear Blast) and have a high profile support slot with Exodus this month (Belfast, 29th February).
The new album, 'Braindead' must therefore cross a very high barrier to receive more than a passing listen....
Fortunately, it exceeds expectations - and that's because it is not just a thrash album. Yes, there are plenty of thrashtastic tunes, but there is a musical dexterity on display here.
Take for example the opening duo of 'I Am The Antidote' and 'Riot'. Both are more mid-paced contemporary metal rather than out and out thrash racing. Both, like most of the album, showcase excellent guitar work from Samy Elbanna and Arttu Lesonen.
It takes until track three, 'Mad Torture'; before you get to a true thrash track, but before you get any more heads down pace 'Mad Torture' reins it in again.
'Rage Me Up' and 'Hangover Activator' display a nice balance between Slayer, Municipal Waste, Kreator and Megadeth, with a little punk sensibility thrown in.
However, it is stand-out track 'Only (My) Death is Certain' that shows what Lost Society are capable of. It takes the 'slow-fast, solo, fast, slow' thrash template, and throws in a chorus dripping in metal melody. Sure it's a clichéd structure, but when performed this well you know that this band formed only in 2010 and with two previous 'average' releases behind them are on the cusp of bigger things.
The album does have major flaws in terms of lyrics. Closer 'P.S.T. 88' has words that a teenage roaring with hormones roaring would find embarrassingly sexist. This is a shame because while there are other equally cringe worthy words on this release, on other tracks the Finns show they can pen darker and more though-provoking tracks.
By album three most bands have ironed out most kinks. With the exception of some lyrical faux pas it is clear that Lost Society have achieved that. If they can translate their musical maturity to the stage - and phase out the stupid words - Lost Society could become a metal fans favourite for some time to come: that is if they can translate this form on to the stage environment.
Review by Jonny