Acid Drinkers

Verses Of Steel

Written by: TL on 28/04/2009 00:16:09

Okay so this is going to be embarassing I think. I signed up to review Acid Drinker's new album "Verses Of Steel" for two reasons mainly. First off, noone else seemed to even remotely care about it and I thought I could take one for the team. Secondly, a quick listen on myspace gave me the impression that this could be yet another of those trendy thrash-core fusion bands that I've been shooting down one after another lately, and that doing another of those kinds of reviews couldn't be that hard...

Well guess what, as fans of Acid Drinkers will know, this is in fact the fourteenth studio album of their career which started all the way back in '86, and there's nothing remotely trendy or core about their music. According to their wikipedia entry, they are considerd to be one of the best thrash metal bands in Poland, however, Poland's thrash must be somewhat less exported than its other metal sub genres, for while even I have heard the names of bands like Behemoth and Vader before, Acid Drinkers was obviously a new acquaintance for me.

So in my ignorance, I had to ally with EW for some direction as to which bands I should compare Acid Drinkers to. He quickly mentioned names like Soulfly, Zakk Wylde and Machine Head, making me feel even more stupid because those are names that even I know, and should have probably recognized as ones that sound at least slightly similar to what's going on on "Verses Of Steel".

However, I think what has also made it hard for me is the fact that while I've been spinning this record more than a dozen times trying to expose myself to any virtuous qualities it might contain, I have yet to be rewarded for my efforts. The album simply feels like a very modernly produced pick and mix concoction of traditional metal elements that have all helped or hindered other bands' sound.

Instrumentally Acid Drinkers are obviously mostly treading on familiar thrash territory, although surprisingly often in the slower end of it, even if faster stuff is indeed also in there, as quickly shown by for instance the opening track "Fuel Of My Soul". Another thing that is also quickly shown by this track is the one trait of Acid Drinker's that I have the biggest problem with, namely the main vocal body. It's not singing, it's not screaming and it's not growling, so I have hard time figuring what to call it, all I know is that it sounds predominantly beholden to the stupider branch of thrash and effectively also pretty lame. I'm not sure if the band wants to be taking seriously, but I think you'd have to be wearing your denim vest and your long curls unusually proudly to take them so with this kind of vocal delivery.

Anyway, in order for me to not wade around in unenlightened attempts at decoding the nature of this record for too long, let me simply paint the image that it has impressed upon a music fan such as I. It's a solid effort with some cool riffage and catchy parts here and there, but overall I have a hard time imagining what kind of people would take this music seriously on any level, let alone find the sound of it cool. Even if aligned with the band's mentioned before, I just don't think Acid Drinkers have the same thick macho charisma that makes the others what they are, and without that, I fail to see what's carried them this far in their career, even if there's nothing technically wrong with their musical proficiency.

6

Download: Blues Beatdown, In A Black Sail Wrapped
For The Fans Of: Soulfly, Black Label Society, Machine Head
Listen: myspace.com/aciddrinkers (player is broken however)

Release Date: 17.04.2009
Regain Records

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