ARTIST: Electric Vengeance + ALBUM: Homicidal Relapse + LABEL: Independent Release + RELEASED: OCT 27, 2017
Last October, Grand Prairie, Texas’ Electric Vengeance released their second full-length album, Homicidal Relapse. Following up 2015’s Manic Possession, the bands growth as songwriters and musicians is evident, yet they remain a raw and unapologetic unit whose hands are dirty from digging through the punk roots of thrash metal. Indeed, D.R.I., Suicidal Tendencies, and early Anthrax come to mind when listening to the album. More than that, there’s a particular underground quality to the album that lends itself to recalling memories of band advertisements in Thrasher Magazine or classic fanzines like Maximum Rock n’ Roll.
Across nine songs, Homicidal Relapse never lets its foot off the gas. There’s no ballad here for the ladies. This is hardcore. The opening track, “Street Metal Attack,” sets the tone for the eight tracks that follow. High-speed riffing, a mid-song breakdown, and a searing guitar solo are all perfectly woven into four-minutes of madness. A catchy chorus and vocal melody helps elevate the track above the typical unintelligible metal vocals that plague so many contemporary releases. The title track is an immediate stand-out. Characterized by rapid-fire tempo changes, relentless drumming, and a blistering guitars, the song overflows with energy and audacity.
While most of the tracks clock in between two and four minutes long, “Ouija at the Witching Hour” is more than seven minutes of the band showing their dynamic side. In fact, this song puts each member of the band’s strengths at the forefront. Be it the maniacal drums that hold it together, the bass that throbs relentlessly, or the guitar that soars during the midway point of the song before circling back to the neck crawling main riff, “Ouija” sounds like the the epitome of the bands capabilities.
Overall, the band excels in writing solid hooks and catchy choruses. Songs like “Bad Boys in Body Bags” and “Gunfight!” are likely to be live favorites for their sing-along quality. And where I’ve previously pointed to the thrash influence, many of the guitar solos – like on “Street Metal Attack” and “Brackish” – sound like they were pulled from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal playbook. Melodic and fluid, the solos and leads often work as a counterpoint to the ragged and feral nature of the songs. But, whether you’re here for the spit-fire vocals of “Beaten to Death for Exercise” or the unyielding speed metal of “Keep it Electric,” this album will surely satisfy your craving for merciless and unrepentant metal.
While this album does have an old-school thrash sound, it shouldn’t suggest that this is merely a throwback to a bygone era. The band brings so much energy to these songs, you can’t help but live in the present – and maybe be inspired to ditch class and spray paint their logo on a highway overpass in broad daylight.
– J. Kevin Lynch
You can get the album directly from the band ($10) by messaging them through their Facebook page.
Homicidal Relapse track list:
- Street Metal Attack
- Homicidal Relapse
- Street Urchin
- Bad Boys in Body Bags
- Ouija at the Witching Hour
- Beaten to Death for Exercise
- Keep it Electric