The Remission of Sin
Absolution, "The Remission of Sin"
Absolution are an unsigned throwback thrash band hailing from Los Angeles, CA. This is their self-produced release that came out way back in 2005 (I shamefully admit to having had it sitting on my desk for awhile – but not that long!). There are six tracks of solid old school metal on here, chocked full of head-bangin' riffs the like we've all heard before – but since so many of us can't get enough of this sort of thing, bands continue to crank it out. The group sites their influences as Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Skid Row and Children Of Bodom but they remind me more of Dark Angel and Anthrax. Whatever – basically splitting hairs to some degree on that end (and there are plenty of guitar runs that absolutely remind me Metallica's first record – though I'm utterly baffled by the Skid Row reference).
Speed is king here but the tracks feature nice tempo shifts, ranging from the aforementioned speed-picking to two-string trade-off licks to an occasional plodding power chord march. Vocalist Dave Deroscher is from the '80s underground school of vocalists, having a mostly clean, snarly, punky approach that he peppers with blackened death roars for devilish effect. Dude sounds pitchy at times (for most of "Human" actually) – which will either add to the underground spirit or drive you batty. The rhythm section is locked in and bouncy while the guitars keep themselves busy wandering around the frets or hammering away on single notes. Solos are adequate and decidedly old fashioned with their melody choices, so Alexi Laiho isn't going to lose any sleep wondering if he should be woodshedding after hearing this release.
The production is thin and the mix is low and uneven (vox too hot, guitars too weak) – but that's pretty much what I expect to hear on DIY releases. There's good separation though, so you can focus in on any element that intrigues you most. There are plenty of warts, but it sounds authentic as Hell, and I dig that.
So if you're into discovering "new" bands and you've got a taste for '80s thrash, these cats are definitely worth checking out (and you can do so for free via www.myspace.com/absolution - don't bother with their web site as it doesn't look like it's been updated since this demo came out). You can order the CD for five bucks postage paid. It worries me that they've only managed one 6-track release over the past two years, but I understand it's damned tough to be writing and releasing albums when you've got no financial support. All in all, "The Remission of Sin" is a fun listen and worth the measly ante for those so enclined to support the unsigned (the true underground).