I suppose it was inevitable and we all should have seen it coming. In thrash’s latent, momentous revival, we’ve come up with new names to buffer the genre and kept the lion’s share of the classics alive as well. As the wave of metal resurrection continues however, studious fans will note that every facet of old thrash has been revitalized save one: we’ve been asking the question “who will be the new S.O.D?” Carrying on the legacy of the Stormtroopers of Death is a deceptively weighty task. It’s not easy to be the intentionally offensive artist who is humorous and somehow, no matter how improbably, beloved.
Raising up to assume the mantle is Lost Society, a brash band of teenage Finnish upstarts, yes mere teenagers, who with their debut “Fast Loud Death” think they have the mettle to be the new S.O.D.
They’re actually off to a good start. Climbing the “Speak English or Die” mountain is a daunting task, but titling two of your pieces “Bitch, Out’ My Way” and “Piss Out my Ass,” is a clear statement of intent. Parenthetically, I continue to be mystified how foreign teenagers have such a comprehensive command of American slang and vulgarity. I blame the schools.
Regardless, “Fast Loud Death” stands up pretty well musically, as the album’s opening stuttering cadence from “N.W.L” leaves no ambiguity as to the fare ahead. The guitar tone is the star of the show, thick and grinding from first shred to last. It’s the thrash equivalent of the sound produced when trying to cut steel girders with a table saw, and it leaves all the other tones in the background.
Not to be left out in the midst of the other guitar statements, there are a few compulsory red-hot solos. For such a group of young musicians, it is beyond encouraging to hear even limited virtuosity that plays well in the pocket of the musicians surrounding. It’s a skill that many more veteran bands still have yet to learn and the fact that Lost Society grasps that concept early speaks volumes for them.
The album has that throwback “Among the Living”/”March of the S.O.D” charm and is overloaded with the kind of youthful exuberance and spite that initially propelled thrash to the fore. Even so, the record is more consistently battering than the early Anthrax effort, trading in rhythmic versatility for four-on-the-floor horsepower. “Thrash All Over You,” “Lead Through the Head” and “Braindead Metalhead” are all essentially permutations of the same basic theme. This repetition shows the album’s limitations, but with songs usually around the 2 or 3 minute mark, the pace of the record mitigates the shortcoming.
Lost Society has room to grow, but time is on their side, and “Fast Loud Death” is a promising beginning to what will likely be an acerbic, biting career. As with all works of this nature, it’s a little cumbersome to decipher just how seriously we’re all supposed to take it, but the record is well worth your time, especially if you’re not afraid to be a little offended in good fun. Spin it and enjoy it, this is a good record. At the very least, there’s a chance that these teenagers can have the kind of career we all anticipated for Black Tide, even if the music is a different style.