SUDDEN DEATH - UNPURE BURIAL - LOCOMOTIVE
Sudden Death’s Unpure Burial (Impure Burial?) puts the listener in a decidedly undecided state of mind. The Florida-based thrash metal band (which should not be confused with the Italian band of the same name) is dedicated to metal and it shows. It is easy to hear the band’s affinity and bond for belting out metal tunes that are hard and fast. That is great. Unfortunately, for all that the band’s songs are not exactly top-notch. Taking influences from Pissing Razors and Pantera the quintet’s repertoire is comprised of your average angry songs which come across as standardized with the scratch-your-eyes-out-vocals, heavily distorted guitars, buzzing bass and under-mixed drums. The singer tries his hand at clean singing a la Phil of Pantera as well, which just adds to the feeling that the band is borrowing from its forerunners. The material might generally be average, but My Left Shoulder stands out as plain awful with its crooning vocals and rapping lines.
Locomotive Records is beginning to remind one more and more of Massacre Records’ mid-'90s’ signing policy. The German label had found its way to the USA with an office and was signing second or third-rate American bands with a dated sound. None of those bands ever grew past their local following and the label soon retreated in America and globally. The same process is apparently going on here with Locomotive. Signing smaller bands is an honourable undertaking and potentially lucrative if the act takes off. It is just that the label needs to figure out which groups are above average and which are simply rethreading the basics. - Anna Tergel