Chris Cleo checks out the new album by Indian Thrashers Amorphia, here’s his take…
If you’re not someone that moans about how re-thrash is on life support, you’re probably someone cycling moderate doses of select bands or someone who is pinning every other day with whatever you can find. Amorphia is one of those bands that will please both. There’s a formula for riffs and song structures that we all know will react to make some kind of explosion that is an album that worships thrash from 1986 – and they do it well. Lethal Dose has both the consistency that demonstrates the self-respect that a band should have when it comes to making an album that is presentable and the savagery that a thrash band needs to be taken at least somewhat seriously.
The latter you’ll find as soon as you hit the play button. Eerie keyboard drones lay softly under sounds of peeling flesh, which works so well with the cover art by the wizard that is Mario Lopez. It’s nice to hear thrash bands toying with more gory intros (the air raid siren has been run so far into the ground and no one has ever taken Satan seriously) and this really helps encapsulate the direction Amorphia have taken with their third full length album. If you’ve heard Amorphia before – you’re probably wondering how this stacks up against the previous full-length effort that was Merciless Strike (2020), whereby despite being an undoubtably solid effort, Merciless Strike might not have been as focused on raw aggression as one would have liked. While the ideas were solid and the album as a whole was very presentable, Lethal Dose very clearly has so much more energy and a slightly darker tone, and I’m very happy that this is the direction Amorphia have taken.
There’s less emphasis on pizza thrashy d-beat rhythms bar on ‘Death Machines’ (awesome intro by the way), the bridge section in ‘Iron Lungs’ and the final track ‘Psychotic Torment’, but there is less variation in song structure and riff construction – which to me is a worthwhile trade-off. Opener ‘Cerebral Slit’ is very trademark Amorphia sounding, with a Violator/Bonded By Blood style post 2010 style thrash sound, but with a fast double bass run that instantly sets this a cut above anything on the previous LP. ‘Electrocution’ and ‘Mind Cell’ have that rabid Sadus sound and the title track comes in with a much needed change of pace (although not for very long) before it comes crashing in with more super-fast thrash riffage.
Lethal Dose is the best parts of old school thrash with hints of the more cult-classic death-thrash acts, wrapped up neatly in a nice little package. Any of these songs would make it onto a thrash playlist and none would fail to get anyone moving in the pit – and that’s it. If you’re someone that likes their metal with a few more bells and whistles, definitely take this in small doses because Amorphia have traded off some of their variation in riffs and drum patterns for all out aggression. There’s a consistency in all of these songs that might leave something to be desired creatively (if you’re that kinda person), but that could all go pear-shaped and end up sounding like a mish-mash of musical crap. In short: this won’t be the dose that kills you, but it’ll leave you perfectly satisfied for as long as you’re under the influence (or until Amorphia come and hit a stage near you).
Amorphia – Lethal Dose is out now on BANDCAMP