Last year, the Indiana black/thrashers Wraith dropped their debut album titled Heed The Warning, a quick and abrasive shockwave of blistering riffs. One year goes by and they’ve offered up a second helping of that similar formula titled Absolute Power, piling on ten more minutes of neck-punching rippers. For the most part, the structure and general idea is the same as what they’d done before, save for some slight alterations that did manage to gauge my attention.
Previously, it was all about the speed from start to finish. This time around there are actually a few tracks that take it back significantly. “Meaningless Planet” not only slows the tempo down, but delivers harder and more striking riffs. That gives it a meaner edge than the blitzing thrashers contain. To capitalize on that even more, the title track brings things down even lower which was pulled off pretty wonderfully. This plays well as the perfect closer at the end, save for a cover of The Misfits’ “Death Comes Ripping” tacked onto the end. I’ll give them this; Wraith dig a good job at darkening it enough to help it fit.
But save for those couple standouts, Absolute Power pretty much takes the safer route by sticking with what was coughed up previously. The opener “Devil’s Hour” does hint at a tamer sound by crafting it with a warmer tone, but that’s basically a teaser. The songwriting is also a bit tighter overall, with more licks pressed into the transitions. Besides this, there isn’t anything drastically different.
Don’t view this too negatively though; their formula is a good one to work off of. It may only invoke subtle changes, but the crushing speed metal spine is still present, and overall this made for a worthwhile listen. For the punk goers, there’s still plenty of that lingering within, and anyone into black/speed/thrash/punk is encouraged to seek this out!
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