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Review: Steve Gaines - Anger as Art
Steve Gaines
Anger as Art

Label: Independent
Year released: 2004
Duration: 31:35
Tracks: 8
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: September 23, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Anger as Art

Rated 3.29/5 (65.71%) (7 Votes)

Steve Gaines (Formerly of 80's stalwarts Abattoir and Bloodlust, lately of Pagan War Machine and Dreams Of Damnation) must have some kind of disorder that keeps him thrashing so damned hard 24/7 that one band isn't enough for him, Hell, two bands doesn't seem to be enough. This is his solo release – and I mean solo. He has put this disc together as a one-man thrash machine, playing Bass, Guitars, Drums, and even providing the whacked-out vocals. I don't know when he sleeps.

Truth be told, I don't know why he needs multiple bands, as they are all pretty much in the same vein. This CD is no exception, being a slice of aggressive thrash with a dose of that 90's 'modern metal' sound a la Pantera or Machine Head, much like PWM. The first 30 seconds of this disc will likely make you want to turn it off, as he opens with this string of profanity-laden high-pitched yattering which made me think this was going to hurt me to listen to. I have to say I just don't care for Steve's vocals, and that may just be me. He gets the job done, and he's not wussy or anything, but I guess he just reminds me a bit too much of Phil Anselmo for my comfort.

That should not stop you from enjoying the raw fury of the rest of this disc though. As with Pagan War Machine, a slight and unfortunate Pantera resemblance cannot stop the killer riffs this guy can crank out. After the very short and kind-of-annoying "Attitude Adjustment" the blistering guitarwork of "I Create Your God" will dispel all doubts. This thing just smokes along at 150mph like pure 200-proof thrashing steel. There is scarcely a letup for the entire length of the disc, as riff after riff spills out and crashes into your cranium like a hammer. The production is very, very good for a self-release (much better than on Pagan War Machine's demo) and despite being a one-man band, the whole sounds very together and tight. You would think that there would be something weak, like the drums would suck or something, but the guy can seriously play all the fucking instruments, and this sounds like a real band. I would name standout tracks, but aside from the opener, which I don't really like much, the whole rest of the CD is killer, with no skippers.

Despite some vocal issues (which as I said, may be a more personal thing) I have to say this is a more than worthy album, and in fact I think it's better than anything Pagan War Machine or Dreams of Damnation have put out so far. Steve Gaines seems determined to start a one-man Thrash renaissance, and with stuff this good, he could do it too. Fans of heads-down, brutal thrash would do well to look this one up. Killer.

Other related information on the site
Interview with Steve Gaines on October 3, 2004 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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