ACID REIGN - The Age Of Entitlement LP
"Back in 1988 I visited London’s legendary Shades Records and purchased a copy of Acid Reign’s debut EP Moshkinstein. At the time, UK thrash was on the up but the humour showcased by many of the bands seemed to alienate them from fans across the world, particularly the United States. As a result, many bands of this ilk struggled outside of Europe and so eventually dissolved.
For their time, Acid Reign were a snappy, energetic and humorous thrash act that went on to release two full-length studio albums – The Fear (1989) and Obnoxious (1990) – before splitting up in 1991, and now, like many other seemingly defunct groups, they’ve reformed (well sort of, as vocalist Howard “H” Smith is the only original member).
The Age Of Entitlement is Acid Reign’s new offering, and once again it’s a rather snappy yet surprisingly melodic affair. This is summed up perfectly by the bruising song ‘The New Low’, in which the band displays high levels of seriousness. With “H” being typically punkish in his rants, the band cross into hardcore vibes as axemen Dean “Cooky” Cook and Paul Chanter deliver the goods to a thunderous backdrop of Marc Jackson’s drums and the bass of Pete Dee. Indeed, the best word to describe such a track, in fact the whole album, is “direct”.
Acid Reign have come out fighting, which was already apparent when they churned out the singles ‘Plan Of The Damned’ (2015) and ‘The Man Who Became Himself’ (2017), and with The Age Of Entitlement the vigorous strains continue for the whole duration. Rarely letting up for breath, the guys have created another moshpit to become part of and yet without the generic feel or repetition which continues to bog so many bands down.
The tracks on the album fly by with such aggression and zip; the punky vim of the band’s rendition of Suzanne Vega’s ‘Blood Makes Noise’ is full of lethal tendencies, while ‘Hardship’ makes us realise how we’ve all grown up… I’m still in shock that the Acid Reign isn’t the young pups they were back in 1988!
But with maturity comes class, and through all of its intensity and speed Acid Reign’s third full-length album remains invigorating in its melodies. ‘Sense Of Independence’ is a rigorous thrash work out, and closer ‘United Hates’ is bursting full of angst and bitterness, the band becoming sudden masters of political seething.
Elsewhere, there’s the straight up skull cracker ‘Ripped Apart’, the punked up attitude of ‘My Peace Of Hell’ which shits on Anthrax and gives them a lesson in the meantime, while ‘#NewAgeNnarcissist’ seethes with venom. In fact, this record couldn’t be more malicious and lethal; “H” clearly fed up with the modern age and putting us to rights with his vitriolic tongue.
To be honest, I thought that a new Acid Reign album would be good but underwhelm, but this one shows just how a comeback should be done. Acid Reign is very much a band with no eye on the past and its acid tongue firmly lapping and flicking away at our brains. The Age Of Entitlement is a mocking, spiteful and abrasive record that puts the genre of thrash to shame. It’s time to wake up and smell the toxic rain."
9/10 - Metal Forces
Black vinyl LP in gatefold sleeve
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