Formicide - _Formicide_
(Due Process, 2006)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (6.5 out of 10)
According to the information that came with the CD, Formicide were a thrash band from Boston that existed between 1987 and 1989. The contents of _Formicide_ include all the tracks that were recorded in that period, released now after years of tracking down and gathering the material for this collection. Late Eighties thrash is exactly what you should expect from this release, content and sound wise.

The intricate guitar solo in "Perfect Race", the pounding thrash riffs of "Awaiting the Awakening" and "Frozen Death", the bass introduction in "Them" and the overall sound of the band -- it all harkens back to that era when thrash was strong. Hints of early Metallica as well as a number of other American (mostly) thrash bands are evident, yet Formicide do not sound like a simple copycat. All instruments are competently handled and the musicianship displayed is good enough to carry the songs and let the listener focus on the rhythms and the aggressiveness. Although I am probably not quite on the spot, the vocals at points remind me of Manilla Road (especially in 1985's _Open the Gates_ album) but without Mark Shelton's warmth. Others who are more familiar with the genre will probably find more influences and similarities.

Unfortunately the album suffers from bad production and sound quality, especially so on "Prey to Pieces" and the rest of the tracks until the album's conclusion. That was not uncommon in those years, more so with a collection of demo material like the last few tracks. It is a pity, though, because _Formicide_ starts rather strong, but loses momentum towards the end due to the aforementioned problems with the sound.

The enjoyment you will get out of _Formicide_ is probably directly proportional to your age. Not a bad trip down thrash memory lane; it is just a pity the songs were not reworked in order to improve the production and sound quality. Nevertheless, it will certainly be an enjoyable ride for those nostalgic of the era.


(article published 18/1/2007)

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