2013 : Unspeakable Axe Records
Format : CD
After what seemed like an eternity of waiting, Birth A.D. are finally back. Now saying something like “it was worth the wait” is cheesy and lame, but guess what? It was worth the wait. Really, really worth it. I’m talking “damn, this is the best cheeseburger I’ve ever tasted, even though it took two years to make, I just came on myself a little” worth it.
Taking the recording, production and mixing reins this time around is…are you sitting down? Alex Perialas!! Now, if that name isn’t familiar to you, you’re probably a) aren’t a fan of Thrash or b) never read liner notes. So for the record, Alex is behind some of the greatest records of this genre of all time: Anthrax, S.O.D., M.O.D., Nuclear Assault, Testament, Overkill, Carnivore….pick up your favorite Thrash album and chances are Alex had his hand in it. As much as I can appreciate the DIY ethic, sometimes having someone like this at the boards can make a huge difference, and here’s proof. I was a huge fan of the EP, and you can read my review of that release right here so I won’t bore you with a reiteration, but what I’d never thought possible would have been for someone to make those tracks sound angrier or meaner. Well here it is, all 10 tracks were rerecorded for this full-length.
In addition, we’re blasted with eight brand new tracks of ballistic social commentary delivered at light speed with all the finesse and grace of a Mad Max chase scene. I’ve scratched my head before over Birth’s lyrics. Are they right wing? Are they left? Every lyrical line is a bull in the china shop of your sacred cows no matter what side of the road you’re standing on. So I’ve decided they’re flying the wings of Death, and not in some esoteric sense of evil, but as dedicated harbingers of the Apocalypse. Societies collapse is eminent, and Birth A.D. are the house band of this sinking ship. Rather than whine about it, they say “fuck it, let’s just admit that we’re are all screwed and have some fun with it”, and to the fastest, tightest soundtrack you can imagine. Their philosophy is pretty much summed up within the first minute on the opener “Mission Statement” when Jeff yells:
“We’ll never tell you to get in the pit.
Just do what you you like we don’t give a shit”
In an era devoid of anything resembling quality control, there’s always a few good bands and a few good releases. It’s the law of averages, with this much product coming down the pipe, there’s bound to be some decent stuff. It’s the “throw it against the wall” mentality that’s basically existed since the internet went full swing. So what sets this apart? There’s tons of good to great musicians out there as well. I’ll tell you, determination and drive. From picking a producer to the cover artists (which, by the way this one is none other than Cliff Robinson of Judge Dread fame). It’s the dedication to the craft, to bringing us, the listeners, a valid and worthwhile piece of art.
And then giving us the finger and walking away.