|Review: Enemy Unknown - Alert Status: Red|
|Alert Status: Red|
Label: Casket Music
Year released: 2005
Review online: September 11, 2006
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Alert Status: Red
The arrival of a new thrash album is always greeted with both anticipation and apprehension here. I'm a big thrash fan but there are many bands nowadays claiming to be thrash but really aren't (especially the "Modern Thrash" variant...) Enemy Unknown's Alert Status:Red leaves me in between. There certainly are thrash elements but at the same time they are a bit too "clean sounding" and that makes the overall album sound a bit bland. Despite some highlights such as a couple of Maiden-ish solos and some mid-80s Metallica moments which all somehow manage to elevate themselves above the sterility of the album, when the album is over you don't necessarily feel an urge to play it again. It's one of those albums that fly below the radar, not leaving much of a mark. That's too bad because there's some good ideas on here (and also several noticeable nods at their influences) but it feels like they stopped short of fully exploiting them. The vocals aren't convincing either. The vocalist occasionally delivers on the necessary aggressivity but unfortunately often sounds like he's bored reading off a piece of paper in class - not much emotion and rather monotone. All this along with the sub-par sound result in a very average release. That said, I hear some potential and can only hope that a future release from these guys will address those shortcomings so we can get some kick ass thrash release. Either that or they'll fade into oblivion. There are just too many bands out there to fail on key elements. Still listenable - only the singer can get very boring here and there - but definitely not essential.
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