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Eugenic Death – Under The Knife

Out of Greensboro, North Carolina, Eugenic Death is currently a three-piece thrash outfit that just put out their sophomore release Under the Knife last month. Some thrash releases in modern day tend to fall within the category of what is deemed as “Pizza Thrash.” This is where it’s all about partying, thrashing, moshing, drinking beer, smoking weed, and whatever partying habit you can think of while playing super-fast tremolo picked riffs for the sake of speed. However, Eugenic Death is one of the exceptions where the topics are dealing with war and poverty, and take more of a political stance without being overbearingly cringing despite the lyrical content being somewhat cliche for the genre.

With the music itself immediately, “Indoctrinate” reminds me of early Megadeth. The structure and feel are eerily similar to “Set The World Afire” off of the So far, So Good… So What! album.

In a world of bands ripping off Slayer and Metallica left and right, it’s refreshing to hear a band take inspiration from another band in the Big 4. “The Devils Tower” probably displays this influence far more obviously, with various Mustaine-isms within the riffs. Particularly the “Bad Omen”-esque intro, the “In My Darkest Hour” style groove around the 1: 39-minute mark, and with the single note tremolo picked riffs that are reminiscent of songs like “Take No Prisoners” off of Rust In Peace.

These particular elements can be heard throughout quite a bit of the album. All clearly sleeve-worn influences aside, there are plenty of stellar and creative sounding riffs, well-executed lead playing, and stellar drumming throughout the record that displays the talent that this group has.

The album delves into rather interesting territory with “Hara Shiva” which has a strong Latin flavor and some female vocal layering. After four purely heavy thrash songs, this really shows Eugenic Death is not afraid to share an almost completely polar opposite side to the band’s sound. Judging by the first few tracks and the album cover, this is not a song that I would expect to be on this album. That being said, I can definitely admire the band’s ability to be bold and throw the listener a curve ball. Moreover, I do feel this track could be slightly shorter and used as an intro to a heavier number, instead of a standalone track in order to show more consistency, but I can appreciate what the band was trying to go for on this track.

The band is early enough in their career to where there’s plenty of time for them to find their own way and unique voice. While the music is not entirely unique on its own, it did manage to keep me engaged throughout and had plenty of twists and turns within the riffing style and transitions. The vocals tend to be a bit one dimensional and could stand to have some variety given that the music is a bit long on certain songs and fairly dynamic in certain areas. I feel like the vocals would work better in a more swift, heavy, and to the point style of thrash riffing in the vein of Sepultura, Demolition Hammer, Gammacide, Sodom, or Destruction. However, they get the job done and the music, execution, performances, and production all have redeeming qualities that make you overlook the clash of styles. I’m curious to hear what the band’s next outing will sound like and where they go from here because they certainly have quite a bit of potential.
Highlights:

“The Citizen Patrol”
“The Witching Ground”
“Aghori Sadhus”
“Under The Knife”

Editor Grade

B

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