Noise Art Records (2012)
The thrash resurrection is 10 years strong- what may have begun as a Chuck Billy cancer benefit for the Bay Area with Thrash Of The Titans now sees older bands with renewed strength touring the globe and putting out new albums while a younger generation excitedly are forming bands and placing their own creative mark on the scene. California’s Fueled By Fire have been through a dozen personnel changes yet their quest for thrash dominance remains at the forefront of their minds with this second album “Plunging Into Darkness”. Five years beyond their Metal Blade “Spreading The Fire” debut album, the quartet have no commercialistic aspirations driving their sound- they live for unbridled energy and riff after riff that creates incessant pit-moving, stage diving antics.
Names like Slayer, Testament, Devastation, Demolition Hammer and Whiplash seem to be the most common when tackling songs like “Within The Abyss”, the gallop triplet happy “Eye Of The Demon” and up/down riff attack monster “Amongst The Dead”. No ballads in sight, the dual Ricardo Rangel/ Chris Monroy lead guitar tradeoffs often resemble the best King/ Hanneman paint peeling glory days, executing whammy dive bomb tricks and cramming hundreds of note flurries in a quick eight bar measure. Ricardo’s vocal approach is fast, fierce and punctuated with the occasional drawn out, blood curdling scream- everything you would expect in a premiere thrash/ speed singer. The rhythm section moves with the adrenaline flurry of a quick hitting mixed martial arts affair- tightly keeping “Unidentified Remains” and “Mass Infestation” running like Sepultura/ “Beneath The Remains” clockwork.
These musicians would readily admit they are paying homage to the late 80’s thrash movement with occasional nods to the early 90’s Dark Angel/ Demolition Hammer sound. As long as you the consumer understand that Fueled By Fire aren’t the most original new generation act on the block, this album’s conviction should win you over.
Rating: 4 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe