Aftermath - Don't Cheer Me Up (Moshroom) 1988
Of Horror" (6:03)
Wow! Now this is some obscure, underground metal. Aftermath are a speed metal/thrash band that hail from Arizona, USA similar in style to bands like Toxik, Realm or Agent Steel. After releasing a self released EP titled, "Straight from Hell" the band signed up with Dutch label Moshroom Records for this full length album. It's a shame that these guys weren't given a bit more promotion because I can only imagine that they would have done great in the metal underground. The music is dark and haunting at times, but for the most part is fast, full throttle 1980's, American speed metal. Songs like "Line of Horror", "Black and Yellow" and "Straight from Hell" are just straight forward speed and aggression. However, there are some more melodic parts such as the opening moments of "Aftermath" and parts of the epic length "Daemynspeke". Vocalist Richard Shaka uses a high, clean style for the most part, but is also very aggressive, shrieking out some crazy screams where needed. Unfortunately no lyrics were included, but from what I can tell, the lyrics are pretty typical for what was going on in the thrash scene at the time. Had not heard of this band until the CD showed up in my mailbox. I am certainly glad it did. (Thanks Olaf!)
Building Up to Meltdown (1990)
Back in the late 1990's a friend from Germany hooked me up with a CD of "Don't Cheer Me Up", an obscure thrash metal band from Tuscon, Arizona. I was instantly addicted to that CD. Aftermath play tight, aggressive American speed metal that is musically similar to bands like Toxik, Realm and fellow Arizona speedsters Flotsam & Jetsam. Aftermath were built around clean, powerhouse vocals, shredding guitar riffs, mostly fast-paced songs and a pounding rhythm section. Unfortunately "Don't Cheer Me Up" was their only official full length release, though the band did record an EP in 1985 and a nine song demo in 1990 titled "Building Up to Meltdown". They also recorded some songs that are called "The Derek Blood Sessions" in 1991. In 2009 Retrospect Records, under their sub-label Retrothrash released "Building Up to Meltdown", a compilation of the two aforementioned demos. Much like "Don't Cheer Me Up", the tracks here are prime American speed metal. Speedy licks, heavy riffs, pounding drums and shrieking vocals. The sound quality of these demos are equal to, or perhaps even better than their 1988 album on Moshroom Records. Thrash and speed metal fanatics would do themselves a favor by checking out Aftermath. Though they are not a well known band among metal fans, they certainly could have and should have been.