Fresh from the heated plains of Houston, Texas comes a thrash metal band known as The Scourge. Having released nothing since the debut EP titled First Comes Destruction in 2014, they’re back with their debut full-length Warrant For Execution. On the surface, this hones in on songs written with a speed metal backbone. But once you brush away the first layer, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to it than that.
The Scourge don’t make it difficult to tell that their music is politically charged, with lyrics using that as much of the basis. They even include a voice-recording in the long opening track. Technicality is something that comes easily, as the guitars are all over the place, thus creating an effort that isn’t so riff-oriented. The same can be said about the vocals. Sometimes they’re clean and powerful, caking on the same feeling one might get from Iced Earth. Other times, you’ll have your gang chants that are popular within the thrash genre, and now and then they belt out throaty screams often used in melodic death metal. As you can imagine, this all makes for a longer release that amazingly stays consistent.
But what Warrant For Execution lacks is a basis for songwriting. Yes, they display a lot of abilities in their playing; however the album itself is void of anything hooky or interesting save for a few songs. I really did enjoy “Hellbound And Down” because of the slow fret-sweeps making up the rhythm section and the concerned tint in the melodies. The title track is a fair effort since it’s a quick thrash-blast that’s saturated in bass. But other than that, this comes off as an overly long and overcooked disc that is only saved from being generic by the technicality. Nothing about it is moving or invokes any kind of real thoughts.
Really, the album may have been a notch better if they didn’t add the ten minute “The Cross On The Wall” at the end. Some of its ideas could have done well in other spots of the album, but it ruined the perfect ending of the album that was given in “Mayhem Tonight,” the penultimate track. I’m not saying to avoid this, and I’m not saying there’s no potential. But this will leave thrashers who crave memorable songs, licks and riffs starving.
Warrant For Execution will be released on October 25th, 2019 through Seeing Red Records. Hear it digitally or pre-order the CD right here.