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Atrophy

Socialized Hate / Violent By Nature

Review by Gary Hill

This new double CD collection features the first two albums from Arizona based thrash band Atrophy. Each album gets one disc of the set (disc one is from 1988 and disc two was originally released two years later), and there is a cool booklet included with the digipack. These guys seem to be among the better of the lesser known thrash bands to me. I love that the vocals have a bit of an air of acts like King Diamond and Cradle of Filth, that sort of goth, horror edge to them. Add in classic thrash sound, and this is a set well worth having.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
                 
Chemical Dependency

There is an atmospheric keyboard based introduction to this. The band fires out from there into screaming hot thrash. This is fierce and so mean. I really dig the galloping stuff later.

Killing Machine
This launches right in with fast-paced riffing. As the introduction continues, it turns a little proggy in a heavy way. From there, though, this goes into unforgiving intense thrash metal. The song is on fire. The chorus is catchy in a thrash way.
Matter of Attitude
There is no respite to be found here, as this screaming hot thrasher continues things in the same direction. I think the guitar solo section on this is particularly strong. The tune really rocks like crazy.
Preacher, Preacher
This song is one of my favorites here. It isn't a huge change in a lot of ways. Yet there is this particular powerful musical passage as the thrashing rules it. Then it drops to a bass driven movement before an almost prog metal jam ensues.
Beer Bong
Here we get more fierce thrash metal. This doesn't break any molds, but it's fun.
Socialized Hate
Coming in mellower, the opening portions of the title track are melodic and so intricate. Yet, the thrash edge remains. This is so strong as it runs through that part. Then it shifts to a full driving thrash stomping mode.
Best Defense
Furious and angry, this song leans toward hardcore. Then again, the line between thrash and hardcore is often pretty blurry.
Product of the Past
Perhaps a bit less thrashy and more straight metal, this is no less effective. It's another powerhouse tune.
Rest in Pieces
Here we get another tasty slab of the kind of raw thrash we've come to expect by this point. The song is solid and has some scorching hot guitar soloing.
Urban Decay
This isn't any kind of big change, but rather another powerhouse thrash stomper.
Disc 2
                    
Puppies and Friends

Ferocious from the start, I love the gang vocal parts on this. The whole tune is furious and mean, though. The expressive guitar soloing is very cool.

Violent By Nature
The vocal hooks on this are king in a lot of ways. There is some particularly strong thrash riffing here, too.
In Their Eyes
This really makes me think of Metallica in a lot of ways, at least musically. The first guitar solo leans toward neo-classical at times. This thing is fierce and driving, though.
Too Late to Change
Starting mellow and almost proggy, this gradually works outward, remaining more on the melodic and intricate side of the equation. Metallic guitar does solo overhead, though. It has a metal energy, but lands more in the zone of melodic thrasher. I love the vocal hooks on the chorus here, and the whole tune is very strong and lends some variety to the set. It does turn toward fierce thrash later and really screams out. There is some scorching hot guitar soloing on that section.
Slipped Through the Cracks
Driving in with a more mainstream metal sound, this shifts to killer thrash after a short time moving in that direction. I really love the guitar soloing on the instrumental break. That whole section, though, takes it into some rather technical metal zones and really elevates the piece.
Forgotten But Not Gone
I love the fierce metal grind of this song. It's not any kind of paradigm shift, but it's just very effective. I'm reminded of Megadeth to a large degree. The vocals are meatier and meaner, though.
Process of Elimination
There are some killer changes on this stomper as it twists this way and that. It's another that's quite dynamic. It also has some of the fiercest and most pounding thrash metal of the set.
Right to Die

We get another screaming hot thrash metal screamer. This thing is positively incendiary. It's not a big change, but it's very effective.

Things Change
Pounding, driving, ferocious thrash brings this in. This is another dynamic song, working through a number of changes and varied sections. It never loses its intensity, though.
 
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