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Envenomed - The Walking Shred Award winner

The Walking Shred
by Max Elias at 19 August 2019, 10:08 PM

ENVENOMED are an Australian Melodic Thrash Metal (as they describe it) band, and this is their second full-length. THE WALKING SHRED is an album full of tasty riffs, shreddy solos, and addictive headbanging moments. It starts with a brief buildup in the form of track 1, “The Walking Shred”, before kicking things up with “Abandon Hope”, which bristles with modern thrash’s fusion of aggression and a higher bar for technicality. The drumming is pretty typical thrash drumming, but fused with the galloping tremolo riffing, forms a maelstrom of energy. The vocals are cleaner than most thrash, which plays a part in why ENVENOMED are described as Melodic Thrash, but not so clean as to be robbed of their weight and edge.

The vocals start immediately on “The Dead” and have a little more harshness to them than they did on “Abandon Hope”. The body of the song is chugging breakdown-sounding riffs, staccato and neck-wrenching. “Aware” is built on the same kinds of riffs, which are good for building tension in certain spots, but sound repetitive and uninteresting if they go on for too long. The vocals are still a high point; clear, powerful, not too shrill or nasal. The riff before the solo is probably the most interesting one in the song. Two short solos separated by a verse close out the song, although the second is less a solo and more a repeated lick.

The first ballad of the album is “Fate Closes The Door”, and it shows the band’s knack for songwriting. The clean arpeggios in the intro are beautiful, and the light/heavy dynamic of verse and chorus, though pretty standard for every metal ballad, is done very well. The choruses sound a little like something written by HEATHEN, which if we’re talking about melodic thrash, is high praise. A highlight of metal ballads is often the solo, and this one does not disappoint. A backdrop of long minor lines flows into some tasteful shredding before the chorus comes back in.

“Rebellion” is the thrashiest the band have sounded since “Abandon Hope”, and is well-placed in terms of ramping up the energy after “Fate Closes the Door” calmed things down. The riffs are a little more in-your-face, and the anthemic shouts of ‘re-bel-lion!’ in the chorus are sure to get a head or two banging. “Through the Cold” is also pretty thrashy, roaring in at a faster pace than “Rebellion”, with more going on in the rhythm section. There is more of a modern thrash pedal-tone motif (that bands like EXUMER and SUICIDAL ANGELS are fond of), especially in the break before the solo. “The Haunting” is not too different, but does have a pretty cool evil-sounding intro riff, that ends the song on a chilling note.

The album doesn’t lose steam at all, but also doesn’t change much past this point (which isn’t bad). Soaring vocals, hammering drums, fast but not incendiary riffing, and an emphasis on tasteful as well as head-turning lead work abound. There is an odd choice the band made, which is covering “Are You Gonna Go My Way”, but that’s only odd in that it is off-brand, not in that it is poorly done. It sounds fine, and the album closes with the galvanizing assault of “Metal United”, so all can be forgiven.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. The Walking Shred
2. Abandon Hope
3. The Dead
4. Aware
5. Fate Closes the Door
6. Rebellion
7. Through the Cold
8. The Haunting
9. All That Remains
10. Sacrifice
11. Are You Gonna Go My Way
12. Metal United
Anthony Mavrikis - Vocals/guitars
Brendan Farrugia - Guitars
John Price - Drums
Tom Nugara - Bass
Record Label: El Puerto Records


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