Oakland, California has long been a mecca of outstanding metal music. Cultural Warfare’s new EP ‘Future Kill’ adds another volume to the bay area thrash library. Their brand of neck wrenching thrash will have you whipping your head around with wild abandon.
We should start with the bad news first. Cultural Warfare’s ‘Future Kill’ is an EP with only 4 full length songs and a short instrumental prologue. Just as you are getting into the album it is over and you are left wanting more. The album gets started with a call to prayer that launches into the fevered syncopation of “Defy The Blade”. The immediate impact is felt with the blistering kick drums and popping snare of Kevin Doughty. His drumming propels the whole album.
If you had not already felt the presence of the mighty Bay area band, Forbidden, you will on “Ratten Krieg”. The Phrygian riffing of Billy Garoutte is saturated with the blood of these thrash titans. His guitar tone is crisp and crushing with a hefty bottom and nicely scooped mid-tones. While the vocals of Jacques Serrano don’t hit the same highs as Russ Anderson, his vocals are fantastic and very fitting to the music. He exudes power and ruthless strength while adding a nice growl to accent certain phrases.
It is a tough call between “The Damned” and “Future Kill” for the best tune on this album. Each song exhibits brutal heaviness and a sumptuous mix of speed and power. However, “Future Kill” gets the nod as the punchy bass lines of Pete Aguilar shine through. Once you start tracking the deep resonance of his playing it pops to the forefront on the other songs when you go back to listen again (and again).
Cultural Warfare wraps up their release with the instrumental “Our Dead Earth”. This brief tidbit hints at more to come and had me cycling back through the album for another listen. Cultural Warfare have captured everything you love about Bay area thrash on their new EP called ‘Future Kill’. The infectious and tight riffs are crafted into classical arrangements brimming with ferocity. The band plays with the integrity and uncompromising resolve that makes metal music a fabulous art form to enjoy at high volume.