Birth A.D.

Stillbirth of a Nation

Written by: MK on 24/08/2010 05:43:01

Hailing from the sweaty state of Texas, Birth AD continue the work started by crossover thrash greats DRI, SOD, and COC. Crossover thrash — the marriage of metal riffs and hardcore punk song structures — has been pretty much idle since the late 80's. Despite a recent and mostly lackluster revival by retro-thrash bands like Municipal Waste and Evile, originality and honest smash-your-teeth-in attitude has been at a premium within the genre. Birth AD seems hellbent on kicking some real life back into this classic sound.

Unlike the retro-thrashers that do little more than emulate their idols, Birth AD play crossover that is fresh and inventive — which isn't to say that "Stillbirth of a Nation" is some experimental wank. This is simple, catchy, aggressive, high energy music that should appeal to fans of metal and punk. All ten songs clock in at just over twenty minutes, and at no point does it seem like a song is dragging on or that a riff is out of place. Spitfire verses alternate with riot chanted choruses and raucous breakdowns. While the punk and thrash influence is clear, one can also hear a surprising amount of nascent death metal in the guitar work—check the main riffs that bulldoze through “Kill Everybody” and “Parasites Die.” Each song is a compact and complete blast of passionate aggression, and it's near impossible to sit still while listening to this stuff. The riffs are of the sort that people will involuntarily headbang and thrash around while listening.

Crossover wouldn't be crossover without the angry, sarcastic lyrics attacking everything from authority figures to religious zealotry. Birth AD's intelligent and hilarious lyrics continue this tradition. The sardonic hyperbole of “Cause Problems” and “Kill Everybody” are highlights, but the absurd “No Jobs (Don't Work)” consistently makes me laugh. This wouldn't be much of a selling point if the vocals were unintelligible, but primary yeller and bassist Jeff's clean and AK-47-quick delivery stands out as one of "Stillbirth of a Nations's" real strengths. Except for the last track — which, to be fair, is a Fearless Iranians from Hell cover (and an awesome one too) — there is no escapism in these ten songs. The distanced obsession with fantasy and morbidity that defines most metal is absent from "Stillbirth of a Nation". Instead there is a vicious and articulate attack on current social issues that transcends the common punk ideology. Songs about killing the whole of the human race and reinstating the draft to cleanse an entire American generation probably wouldn't fit comfortably on a Bad Religion or an Anti-Flag record. Despite the anger and sarcasm of each song, ultimately the lyrics are meant to be tongue-in-cheek and fun, and Birth AD definitely succeed here.

If you're looking for a quick, catchy, and pissed-off burst of thrash, look no further than Birth AD's debut release "Stillbirth of a Nation". This album is an instant classic and worthy of any metal or punk collection.


Download: “Kill Everybody,” “No, Man,” “Blow Up the Embassy”
For Fans of: Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, Stormtroopers of Death, Municipal Waste
Listen: Myspace

Release date ??.06.2009

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