Birthed from a cult metal act and likely destined to remain cult in its new formation, ANGER AS ART lives thrash as its lineage and not just as a nostalgia trip.
Gen X speed freaks ABBATOIR have incrementally crawled back to life following the lead of founder Steve Gaines under the banner of ANGER AS ART. Gaines, who has trooped all over the metal underground beyond ABBATOIR in BLOODLUST, BITCH, DREAMS OF DAMNATION and TACTICS amongst others, first laid down an eight song album released under his own name. Gaines fielded all of the instruments against a drum machine and the project would later resurface as ANGER AS ART's first official release.
Two more of Gaines' ABBATOIR bandmates (guitarist Danny Oliverio and drummer Rob Alaniz) have since filled in the gaps over recent years to give ANGER AS ART a proper roster along with HIRAX and REVEREND bassist Angelo Espino. Thus the band's fourth album, "Hubris, Inc." is a wicked fast thrash machine in the classic Cali style. It's as legitimate as ABBATOIR and any of their speed demon brethren of the Eighties. This is vintage west coast thrash and there's a reason it's championed by a label called Old School Metal Records.
"This is Why I Hate", "Speed Kills", "Anger is the Reason", "Pearls Before the Swine", "Time Devours Life" and "Pieces of Red" are just handfuls of the careening chaos sweeping listeners into the gory channels of speed metal heyday. No matter how many bands on the scene today can whip up shred tsunamis, ANGER AS ART is unabashed, full-frontal fury with mere random interludes and breakdowns amidst the album's persistent force. The mid-tempo slither of "As the Exalted Seethe" is about as slow as it gets on "Hubris, Inc." and it hardly offers respite from the album's relentlessness.
The album's hellacool moment comes on the guest party of "Rage and Retribution" which includes Steve Gaines in a screaming duet with Betsy Bitch, plus DARK ANGEL guitarist Jim Durkin and STRYPER bassist Timothy Gaines. Yeah, you read that right, Timothy Gaines, and he keeps as blistering a pace as everyone else on the track. Also in the cameo department on "Hubris, Inc." is EVIL DEAD's Steve Nelson throwing out some backing vocals on "The Evil You Create", plus the album's finest hour, "Speed Kills", which hails former ABBATOIR lead guitarist Mark Caro. In effect, "Speed Kills" (originally conceived in 1984) represents a one-shot full ABBATOIR reunion and they make the most of the moment. For certain, Caro brings a distinct cadence to the note-happy top lines on the intro and the song rockets from there. His solo scorches too, for good measure.
However long this metal revival will go on in the American underground, it's at least a happy day to hear its originating constituents having such a blast and showing everyone else how this shit's done.