Watch Them Die - _Watch Them Die_
(Century Media, 2004)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
It is interesting to note upon closer analysis of the current thrash boom, that the majority of bands leading the charge of the next generation have -- on a musical level at least -- followed the schematics etched out on early Slayer records virtually to the very last note. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you, as bands like The Haunted and Carnal Forge have proven, almost as a testament to Slayer's enduring legacy, that the formula can still produce songs of amazing impact given a slap of contemporary veneer. It is nevertheless refreshing to hear a new band explore roads less travelled -- in Watch Them Die's case, the venomous riffing of classics like _Bonded by Blood_ and _Among the Living_. In addition, this Bay Area outfit have also added a generous dose of progressive hardcore to the mix, referencing bands like Mastodon and Uphill Battle on more than on occasion. It's an approach that hits hard and aggressively, particularly on tracks like "To See You Bleed" and the haunting "Resurrection". Given that the somewhat flat production does let the potential effectiveness of the songs down from time to time, this is a remarkably mature debut effort -- one which may not quite be _Reign in Blood_, but that's definitely one of the best examples of the new generation of thrash you'd find right now. The soundtrack of violence indeed...


(article published 31/5/2004)

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