Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reader Submission: Bitter End: Have a Nice Death!

One of the effects of the recent revival of thrash metal is that lots of obscure bands have reunited in order to take advantage of the market. Bitter End was a technical thrash metal band that formed in the mid 1980's, released one full-length album in 1990, and then disbanded in 1992. I first heard about the band when I was contacted by their label to listen to their new album released this year. This is an album of unrecorded material that was not released.

Bitter End is a technical thrash metal band. Think Watchtower, Heathen, and groups in that vein. They also sound like they are having a blast making music, with a sense of fun similar to 1980's-era Anthrax. I loved the more progressive and technical thrash metal days, so this is pretty much right up my alley.

There is definitely a sense of humor behind these songs, with clever and funny lyrics, particularly on "Tiny Minds". The vocals are clear and easy to understand. The vocal style matches the music quite well.

Musically, there is enough technicality and progressive song structures to keep things very interesting. The riffing style is aggressive and the guitar solos are extremely melodic, and based in blues. The bass plays a prominent role in the music, kind of rare for thrash. I definitely like it. This is an upbeat and fast-paced album with very few moments where the band slows things down.

The only complaint I have is that there are only six new songs here. There are eight additional tracks, demos and live versions of songs off of their 1990 release. I am intrigued by the band from this material and would like to check out their first release, but it seems I do not really need to with all of the extras here. I suppose if it was particularly hard to find, that would be one thing, but there appear to be several copies on ebay and Amazon. Nevertheless, that does not really affect the music so I won't be taking points off or anything.

This is a pretty good album. It's authentic late 1980's/early 1990's sounding thrash metal, when the genre was evolving into something more technical. I will be picking up their earlier album.

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