Lich King, a five piece band from Massachusetts, consisting of Tom on vocals, Rob and Joe on lead and rhythm guitars, Brian on drums and Dave on bass, took it upon themselves to release an album that would emulate the style of 80’s thrash metal without adding any kind of spice, i.e. no bullshit. In 2012, they released their fifth album “Born of the Bomb”, a ship that will journey you to back to the good old ‘80’s.
The album opens with ‘All Hail’, which is one of the best intros I have heard in a long time. Starting with a march and war cries, distortion kicks in 20 seconds into the song leading to a slow heavy thrash metal sound which is extremely haunting, border-lining on diabolical. This intro can very well be used as a soundtrack to a clip of Leonidas and his 300 men, waiting to kick the bejeezuz out of the Persians. ‘All Hail’ is followed by ‘We Come to Conquer’, which is basically the starting current for the shovel headed killing machine to come. The chorus has a mischievous nature. The song ascends to a face melting solo and you get the sudden urge to tear shit up. ’Wage Slave’ is your typical thrash metal song characterized by fast double bass beats and masturbation on the last two strings of the guitar. The mid-section is extremely interesting in this song as it has a minor-scale dominated solo and a melancholy rhythm section. The song is again brought back to the thrash fest that it was.
‘In the End, Devastation’ starts with a severely fast thrash sound…..I mean, you actually feel like standing up and admiring the beauty of the destructive nature of the intro. It then slows down to a heavily down-picked riff, a chorus which makes you want to break stuff and a groovy mid-section which accentuates the aggression in which your soul is engulfed in. The rhythm section during the solo is so beautifully thrash……I shit you not, a little pee came out. ‘Fan Massacre’ continues the destruction with pentatonic infused solos and a brief interval of decreased tempo, which will make you want to dance in a thrash infused-ecstasy with your fellow metal brethren.
’Agnostic’, which is my personal favorite off the album, starts with a choral intro followed by a clean guitar sound, which is extremely soothing and will make you want to sit down and enjoy the song, contemplating on the chaos that just happened. It then mutates to a triplet structure with clean vocals, i.e. a crowd-centric headbanging frenzy of the slow kind, which is a much needed change from the breakneck speed at which the album was going. The solo was extremely Scolnick-ish and in about the sixth minute, the song metamorphosizes into a very Maiden-inspired passage and goes onto a groove-inspired ending with a clean guitar passage. ’Combat Mash’ brings the album back to 100 miles an hour. Special mention should be given to the mid-section which is basically an audio clip of an angry mob screaming ‘KILL! KILL! KILL!’, a la ‘Creeping Death’. ‘Axe Cop’ and ‘Agents of Steel’ supplements the thrash fest with overwhelming panache. The last track on the album ‘Lich King 4’ starts by augmenting the growing crick in your neck with its vigor and then slows down, builds up speed again, during the solo and slows down finally to a fade out outro to end this Leviathan of an album.
Listening to the album, gets one thinking of the bizarre possibility that the members of Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament and Vio-lence had a gang-bang session with the same groupie, knocked her up and gave inception to a species, previously foreign to the sands on earth and more specifically, the ears of the Homo Sapien. The only flaw in the album is the length. In my opinion, an album should average 30 minutes and not go above 40, and all songs should accompany change in texture and tempo. Other than that, the album was unquestionably immaculate.
There have been a lot of bands that have foolishly proclaimed that their upcoming album(s) would give thrash metal the surge that it needed and that had gone out with the blitzkrieg of Nirvana and the Seattle-based grunge scene in the ‘90s, but this band, with its direct and denunciatory language, its mascot, which is characteristic of thrash metal (Megadeth, Anthrax, Overkill) and its aversion towards ‘The Establishment’ gives one a ray of hope. Easily a contender for album of the year, their next album should have an interesting effect on the senses, with balls and swagger.