Heresy>>Atrophy>>Head Circus>>ATROPHY - USA

Socialized Hate - 1988 - Roadrunner
Violent By Nature - 1990 - Roadrunner
Asylum - 2024 - Massacre

Atrophy image
Brian Zimmerman - BRIAN ZIMMERMAN

Chris Lykins - Rick Skowron - Condemned To Dream>>MARK COGLAN>>Condemned To Dream - NATHAN MONTALVO

Maniac Kill>>James Gulotta>>Maniac Kill - Thrash Or Die, Solstice, Swamp Gas, Malevolent Creation, Alphanumeric, United Forces, Cornered>>JOSH GIBBS>>Thrash Or Die, Swamp Gas, Malevolent Creation, Alphanumeric, United Forces, Cornered

White Hott, Parasite>>Tim Kelly>>White Hott, Parasite, Scars Of Atrophy - Diësis, Eraserhead, Sapiency, Sacrosanct, Condemned To Dream, Cyclopean Walls>>Jonas Schütz>>Diësis, Sapiency, Sacrosanct, Condemned To Dream, Cyclopean Walls

History & Biography
The act has its origin in singer Brian Zimmerman and guitarist Chris Lykins getting together in 1985. There was a band called Heresy and a solid line-up as of 1986 however. Drummer Tim Kelly and guitarist Rick Skowron were in next. The band noticed the English band Heresy and changed its name. Atrophy was picked because Chris Lykins was a pre-med student at that time and would go on to become a physician. The medical theme continued with the 1987 demo, Chemical Dependency. Arizona thrashers Atrophy caused a big buzz in the metal underground as the first band to manufacture and send out demo CDs in the early days of Compact Discs. With support from the UK heavy metal magazines the band garnered record label attention and chose to sign with Roadracer for seven albums. The debut was recorded with producer Bill Metoyer who had already worked with other Arizona bands, Flotsam And Jetsam and Sacred Reich.

The band began working with manager Gloria Bujnowski (later Gloria Cavalera) who managed Sacred Reich at the time. As such, the two bands toured the USA. Playing crunchy thrash, the band slowed down a little on the second album which predictably sold less. This album was supported through the band's first tour of Europe.

The band dropped off the face of the planet. Grunge was all the rage and metal was not hip. Roadrunner had dropped Atrophy and was supporting acts like Fear Factory et al instead. The late '90s saw the band back with some live shows and a new singer. The name change did nothing for the band, Displeased Records would re-issue the band’s Socialized Hate and Violent By Nature albums in 2006. Zimmerman had also developed a drug habit and would be in a hip hop band.

Rick Skowron, James Gulotta and drummer Kelly. reappeared as Head Circus in 2002. Predictably, Atrophy re-appeared in 2015. The first gig upon returning was the Maryland Deathfest in 2016. The band played concerts in the USA, South America, Canada and visited China in 2018. A new song was called Riptide in 2017. Original members remaining were James Gulotta (who left in 2019), singer Zimmerman and drummer Kelly. The band attempted to record several tracks, but the resulting demo did not meet expectation and disappointment ensued. Zimmerman left in 2020 ostensibly because touring was unavailable due to COVID-19 (the band was in Europe to begin 2020), but soon resumed musical activities with newer members. The remaining members, including original drummer Kelly, shifted to a new monicker namely, Scars Of Atrophy. This band had a demo and video called Nations Divide in 2022. Brian, however, pulled a switcheroo on the members and resurrected Atrophy with all new members except for himself. Atrophy had a new album. entitled Asylum, through Massacre Records on 15.03.2024. A lyric video for the song Punishment For All was also available. Drummer Jonas Schütz had already departed. In fact, the German drummer had been replaced by American drummer Sage Johnson who, in turn, left to begin 2024. Atrophy’s last album was called Violent By Nature and issued in 1990.


The jester is back and thrash metal fans are curious how the band sounds, as well as why. Admittedly, while it retains the Atrophy monicker, this is a new band with only singer Brian Zimmerman from the old albums’ line-up, the last album of which appeared in 1990. Yes, it is not quite Heavy Load’s forty-year gap, but the last album was 34 years ago!
A song called Rip Tide was previewed, but does not make the album, possibly due to member changes, but regardless Zimmerman and his new crew deliver. The snare sound is lighter and the production thinner than most contemporary albums, perhaps as a nod to the act’s intention to remain authentic to its earlier days, the album’s bass is less crackling and the music less hardcore than the earlier records, but frankly not by much as Atrophy presents an honest and powerful thrash metal record in 2024.
The band is not and was not from the Bay Area, but there are references to Testament only with Skolnick’s solos replaced by the band's own fast and ripping and melodic solos present. The vocals are comparable to Testmanet too. Opener Punishment For All has a touch of old Anthrax's drumming. The band remains socially conscious, as the second wave of thrash bands (Nuclear Assault, Sacred Reich, etc.) used to be. Read the lyrics to Seeds Of Sorrow, which is full of compassion and common sense or American Dream that condemns corporate greed. Incidentally, there used to be a Sacred Reich album called The American Way. These guys have brains as well as brawn. The Apostle is either quoting The Bible or Pulp Fiction, not sure which, but in any case the song sounds like Suicidal Tendencies. Think back to Too Late To Change from the Violent By Nature album. There is a guest solo by Heathen’s Kragen Lum and an appearance by Alphakill’s Justin Stear on bass.
Asylum is thrashing mad and true to both the tenets of the genre and to the original Atrophy. Don’t know how old these guys are but this is frantic and has energy and urgency. Check it out. It has no fillers. - Ali “The Metallian”