Once you get past the novelty of Holycide’s mascot punching out that one guy, and the poignant lyrics of the title track, there’s a lot of controlled chaos on Fist To Face. To start with, Fist To Face as a whole is very high energy and, as such, is insanely fast, an impressive feat considering the album’s eleven tracks. Adding to this are death metal range vocals, manic guitar solos, and liberal gang vocals.
“Empty Cyber Life” and “Vultures” are the tracks where listeners can get better acquainted with the concealing of these combined traits, and “Nuclear Fallout” is where Fist To Face really kicks into overdrive. Sure, you’ve heard THE thrash riff a billion times, but more often than not, as long as it’s played well, thrashers will love to hear it. In this case, there’s a brilliant tradeoff between THE thrash riff and the aforementioned solos, both of which are buttressed by a consistent and hard-hitting bottom end in the bass and drums and the death metal range vocals go into death metal territory during the song’s middle passage.
Getting deeper into the album, “Mentality Packs,” shows shades of ambition during its opening and has the best solo of the album. “Napalm Sweet Napalm” makes a good side B counterpart to “Nuclear Fallout,” both great headbanging songs. As far as closing tracks go, “Fake Libertarian” doesn’t end so much as it fades out, but considering the speed that closes out Fist To Face, Holycide aren’t going quietly into that gentle night.
While things do get juvenile at times, such as the lyrics for “Trapped By the Crappy Trap,” Fist To Face really stands out as a thrash release. Yes, the actual music is a bit simple at times, but there’s just that right amount of skill and improvisation that attracts thrashers while keeping them on their toes. To close things out, Fist To Face is a solid album that will get the thrashers raging through the rest of winter and may even get attention from the shredders.
Fist To Face will be released on February 14th and can be pre-ordered through Holycide’s Bandcamp page.