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Birth AD: I Blame You
Crossover Thrash Metal
Unspeakable Axe Records
April 8th, 2012
Release length: 36:54
With the recent revival of the early Thrash Metal sound, more and more Crossover groups have been popping up on the past few years as well. This, of course, is a very, very good thing, especially when you have bands like Birth A.D. throwing their opinions around. Founded in 2008, this Austin, Texas native group stormed onto the scene with their debut EP, Stillbirth of a Nation, and was met with plenty of praise. Three years later, the group has signed with Unspeakable Axe Records, a sub-division under the infamous Dark Descent Records, to issue their debut full-length album, I Blame You, nearly thirty seven minutes of pissed off Crossover that’s as fed up with the p.c. police as you and I are. But, does this anger translate well on this album, or does I Blame You come off more like a mild irritation?

First of all, the audio to this works out well. While it isn’t raw, it does capture that eighties to early nineties rebellious sound and aggression perfectly. The guitars have more of a mid-range buzzing to them that can sometimes be a little lower, and the bass guitar is pretty deep, really adding a blunt edge to the music as it hammers away at your skull, enticing you to throw common courtesy away and acknowledge all the people around you that just suck. The vocals are definitely a throwback to the days of bands like Suicidal Tendencies, having a cleaner shouting approach that may take some time to get accustomed to, but ultimately works wonders to capture the era the band is clearly working from. The drums find crisp cymbals and a strong click of the bass kicks, as well as tighter snaps from the rest of the kit, though some parts do give off a low boom that works well in the more chaotic tracks.

I Blame You spans eighteen tracks in total, and there’s a great deal of variety throughout them. But, one theme that always exists is generally being pissed off at the world. “Equal Opportunity” has a much heavier approach than some of the later tracks. This one takes a stab at the Equal Opportunity Employment Act, or what it seems to be about given the all-too-familiar business-style ringing telephone effect that kicks it off, and brings it to a close. The amount of anger in the song is met with a truly catchy performance at a faster pace that is simply addicting. “Burn L.A.” is a more volatile track directed towards the city, calling for the town to basically be burnt down to the ground from a voice that is clearly fed up. Of course, this is done in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner that causes everything to have a fun atmosphere, and even be a bit comical the first time through. “Kill Everybody” throws a heavy, pissed off, even Slayer-esque track your way. Given the title, it’s obvious what this song is about, and the faster start kicks up the dirt well to fuel your hatred of society today. Towards the end, it slows down for a bit to a catchy, “Raining Blood” meets “War Ensemble” attitude Thrash fans will simply eat up before returning to the Crossover Thrash rebellion that started it all.

“Bring Back the Draft” is more of a mid-tempo track, finding simplicity all around until the very end. There’s additional gunfire and explosion effects at work, and lyrics that seem to demand the draft return to send the people we don’t need off to war, all in an upbeat and fun manner to make the one minute, forty-seven seconds long track seem like it barely breaks a minute. “Wrong Again” is another fun cut that anyone in the middle of a rough patch in their relationship can relate to, complaining about that significant other that keeps putting you down. There’s even a phone argument that may have been staged, but sounds too natural to have been, which just makes this burst of anger all the sweeter to let your frustrations out to. Then there’s “Your Scene Sucks,” which will hit home for many people who live in a crummy local music community. This track speaks volumes in such a short amount of time on the subject, and it can be transposed onto even the Metal bands in your area that simply aren’t good.

If you’re tired of wearing that polite and politically correct mask in order to survive in this overly sensitive and corrupt society, then Birth A.D. is definitely a pissed off enough voice to save you from breaking down and culling the herd. Throwing back to the days when bands like D.R.I. and S.O.D. were the voice of the common, fed up metalhead, I Blame You captures a similar spirit without acting out in video game and cartoon references like many bands that play the field in this style, or even the revivalist Thrash realm itself, all seem to dabble in. If you’re tired of hearing about ninja turtles or Pokemon, then this is a very real place to start to venting your frustrations. I Blame You is a superb debut that will put Birth A.D. right in the crosshairs of metalheads starving for a group that simply doesn’t care who they piss off with the opinions they bring into the music.

01. Mission Statement – 1:37
02. Equal Opportunity – 1:32
03. Burn L.A. – 4:01
04. Failed State – 1:18
05. Bring Back the Draft – 1:47
06. This Scene Sucks – 2:43
07. Violent Retribution – 0:38
08. No, Man – 1:11
09. I Blame You – 2:01
10. Short Bus Society – 2:03
11. Wrong Again – 2:48
12. Fill in the Blank – 0:54
13. Kill Everybody – 3:37
14. No Jobs (Don’t Work) – 1:46
15. Cause Problems – 2:26
16. Parasites Die – 2:04
17. Popular War – 2:30
18. Blow Up the Embassy – 1:58
Initial Pressing Score: 9.5/10

Birth A.D. (band)
Birth A.D.

Digital review copy of this release provided by Unspeakable Axe Records via Clawhammer PR.
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