Held on to this review for many reasons. One major reasons is I kept asking this: “what makes an album Thrash Metal?” What indeed. I listened to this Repulsive Judgement a lot of times and I was undecided on the review. So, I took it upon myself to listen to the band’s previous releases, the EP, The Butcher’s Delight (I recommend you get this pronto.) Upon my first listen I decided to focus on the initial question because the album didn’t warrant the Thrash Metal tag. And frankly, that annoyed me. Felt led on. Only after listening to The Butcher’s Delight was I able to look beyond the question and focus on what was truly important, the darn music!
Let me get this out the way quickly, in the area of recording or mixing or mastering the album falls short. I’ll let you be the judge on that still. Any surprises? No, it is notoriously difficult to record Thrash Metal so fingers won’t be pointed here. That out of the way, Repulsive Judgement is a darn riot of an album. I hate to single out band members individually but Lucinda Villain is THE monster they warn you about when they say Metal drummers are a fierce kind. It’s just a joy to hear her hit those drums. Tracks where she truly stands out are Damned in the Deep South and Trafficked & Torture (blistering solo on the latter.) The riffs were certainly heavy, can’t dodge that obviously, but there seems to be a slight shift here to this album from what we are used to from the ladies from the south, yes, the vocals. Elephant in the room moment? New vocals means new directions, well mostly. With the arrival of Jo-mariè Smit, I was forced to ask the initial question, about what truly Thrash Metal is. The change in vocal style is hard to ignore so the pending question:
Is this new direction best for the band? Vocal wise? My answer… who cares! Metal’s true strength has alway been in the instruments (debatable.) A merger of these instruments and the vocals creates that perfect art we call Thrash Metal. So I say, don’t focus on Jo-mariè Smit, embrace the band’s new direction. I imagine die hard JL fans won’t have any of that. If you don’t like the change in direction focus on the music! The album does have another problem though, ‘lack of variety.’ It did feel like I was listening to the same song sometimes. Had to check to make sure. I can’t tell the people reading how best to listen to an album but I’m sure people listen to Metal albums very differently.
The album loses points for a lack of variety sure and the recording. But if variety isn’t your thing and you don’t care about the intricacy of recording a metal album then you’re in for a long riot fest. Moshing to this album is a given. A rite of passage if you will. I can see it now, it’s glorious. Don’t be like me when I first heard the album, don’t question what the album actually is. Focus on the actual music not the tag. Honorable mention goes to the album art though. I mean, look at it again… M’yes, art!
That’s it from me here, remember folks, support your local bands /,,/