Review – Condemned AD – Follow a Failing Leader

Hutch checks out the latest release from Swedish Thrashers Condemned A.D. here’s what he thinks…

Bold, brash, and unashamedly proud of their influences, Swedish thrashers Condemned A.D. rose from the ashes of their former past in 2015 when sole original member Micke (guitar and vocals) alongside drummer Juan and Alex (guitars, bass RIP 2022) resurrected the band. Three EPs followed before their full-length Follow a Failing Leader appeared. 

Now, when I say the band are unashamedly proud of their influences, I mean the buggers wear them on their sleeves. You can play pick the individual inspirations on each track, almost a game of metal bingo, for there is everything from Megadeth, Entombed, Tankard, Venom and Slayer oozing out here.

What makes Condemned A.D. a bit different though is that they throw caution to the wind and simply thrash from the opener Will You Feel My Hate through to the rampage of closing track Nothing is Nothing. It’s not original in the slightest and Mike’s similarities to Schmier and Tom Angelripper in the vocal department cannot be underestimated. It’s a gravel coated growl that switches to a gargling roar and back again with ease. 

The band’s style leaves little to the imagination. Tracks like Killing Floor and No Gods No Masters draw deep on thrash metal’s cliches, throw them into the mixer and then bring the hammer down in one intense fuelled delivery. The tracks are variable in quality. Killing Floor contains a heady mix of Primordial, Anthrax and what appears to be a bit of In Flames. It’s explosive, aggressive, and at times a little ropey; but to be fair, that’s probably part of the attraction. 

The Slayer dominated Save Me from Myself (Bloodline anyone?) highlights some of the weaknesses in the song writing and the vocals, which really struggle. It’s where the band try and go a bit more off piste that they run aground, to mix a metaphor or two. It’s where they go full bore that they impress more, such as the ludicrously titled Suicide by Murder. 

How do you conclude a review of an album that is crammed full of songs that are a Frankenstein’s monster of thrash metal. Probably by inviting you to give it a listen and see what you make of it. There are certainly some flashes of quality, but overall, it isn’t going to set the world of thrash alight anymore than a fire in a bin.

“Follow a Failing Leader” will be released on September 23rd, 2022 via Wormholedeath worldwide.

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