Rating:
7.1
Tonic Breed - Outsold
28 April 2014


01. Strife
02. Fifth Estate
03. Bad Company
04. Blackened Mind
05. Outsold
06. Rebellious Tendencies
07. Borregaard
08. There's Just One Escape


Dear Tonic Breed, I have been challenged to review something not labeled "post" and I am excited to say you have been chosen to be the guinea pig for my little independent excursion. Luckily for me, you play some decent old-school thrash metal that reminds me of the "bang-my-head" days back in the late 1980's. It will be a privilege to write about your latest album, Outsold. Even though it's not the most original thrash metal I've heard, in essence, it's pretty predictable, but I do enjoy your tenaciousness and dedication for creating music that any ancient follower of the classic thrash metal scene will enjoy.

The song compositions and symmetry on Outsold are really similar to most bay-area thrash metal albums made in those late 80's and early 90's glory days. High speed and complex guitar riffs are inherently the best qualities heard on Outsold. They create a tight and more precise sound foundation which allow for some progressive and technical elements in the aspects of the music. The speed, pacing and time-changes found here also define that certain style of tech-thrash metal over the years and thankfully there is just the right amount of shredding, show-off, guitar solo's on Outsold - I am not a fan of over-the-top guitar wankery. The drumming is sufficient, giving off an accelerating feel which is due in large part to thrash metal's aggressive drumming style. In fact, the drums create a relentless, driving backbone that steer all the songs straight forward, never swerving out of line.

The only album review I have read about Tonic Breed clearly stated that one of the bruises on their previous record were the vocals. I haven't listened to that album but I can confidently say the vocals on Outsold have improved tremendously. I mean the guy sounds exactly like Slayer's Tom Araya. It'll surely knock the "originality" points down a few, but it works really well here and safely operates within the overall confines on the record. The production is done well; brisk and fluid, no other instrument out-does the other and they all maintain good spacing in and around each other. The tremolo-picked guitars and bass guitar sequences sound great together, especially in the all-instrumental track, "Boregaard".

I'd like to reiterate: Outsold will not get anyone's creative juices flowing. It's a throwback album, a nice gesture to the past. But here's the thing, the music is done really well, their aren't many weaknesses and I do find myself enjoying the retro and redolent feelings I get when blasting this music through my 25 year old, 200-watt Pioneer speakers. I think I am going to go find that old "Metal Masters" VHS tape and reminisce...*sheds a tear*.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Production: 8


 



Written on 20.08.2014 by
tea[m]ster
Be gentle, I never said I was any good at this!
More reviews by tea[m]ster ››



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wrathchild - 20.08.2014 at 23:46  
I've just listened to a couple of songs found on Youtube and yeah once again you nailed it perfectly. Good old heavy/thrash that brings sweet memories

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