When it comes to musical hero worship as a general concept, there are only two ways the resulting album can end: either it is slammed as a copy-cat riding on the success of the original, or praised as an ingenious re-interpretation of a classic. In the case of these crazy guys from the Maldives, they have clearly done their thrash metal homework, modernizing several oldschool thrash bands and yet adding their own twist.
Aside from the opener “Judgement”, every song starts out in a strong and explosive fashion. The police sirens of this track are a little cliché, but at least they give an indication as to the direction in which the band are heading. The songs themselves are well-written, guitarists Lai and Maby should be commended for their good sense of flair and rhythm; from the dirtier Metallica-esque “Judgement”, through the Motörhead-cum-Megadeth “Hours Of Darkness” to the Slayer-loving “Defy”. Bass-wise the only moment that really shines through is during the finale “Hanged, Drawn And Quartered”, where it plays a melodic role; there are also odd occasions during solos where it is audible, but mostly it hides the background. The drums are unfortunately relegated somewhat, and with a bit more creativity and a touch of production they could really hold their own. At least structure-wise there is a fair bit of variety from the verse-chorus-verse structure, with solo sections dotted throughout the songs, and the EP is engaging for the listener.
Center-stage of hero worship, Mu-K is a complete dead ringer for Sepultura's Max Cavalera, and even if the lyrics are hardly works of art, he delivers them in a convincing harsh bark. “Rules made their way/A propaganda to kill you/By swords, a child’s play game/Freedom hammered down” is a particularly cool section and one of the better moments, taken from “Illumi Nation”. But on the whole they are generally the usual political fanfare, and unfortunately not particular novel in this respect. Interestingly, there are some distorted low growls in that track that may or may not be from the vocalist, but they certainly add variety. That said, the music more than makes up for this, and the vocals are interwoven well into the songs.
So, is it worth it? For thrash addicts and those that want a thrash metal 101, definitely check these guys out. I have my own personal tweaks for the EP, and it may not be overly original, but it does its job very well: mixing a tight rhythm section with tasteful solos making for a short and sweet headbanging experience. Homework well done.
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Angel's rating: 3/5