Wrath - Fit of Anger (InRock) 1986/2009
By the mid 1980’s there were thrash bands coming out of the wood work. Some of them were better than others. Some bands that scored big label contracts weren’t necessarily better than some of the underground bands. I’ve always felt that Wrath were one of those bands that deserved more recognition than they received. They play a classic "Bay-Area" Thrash Metal style, though they are actually from Chicago, IL. They were somewhat technical, which became the standard for thrash metal and the new death metal scene by the early 1990’s. The overall album is fast and energetic without completely forsaking hooks and musicianship, with the exception of "Bones" which is a slower, heavy instrumental number. Wrath's vocalist Gary Golwitzer has a gnarly, shrill, raw style that reminds me slightly of Cirith Ungol. He has one of those "love ‘em or hate ‘em" voices. Personally I like his vocals and think they fit the band well. The band also incorporates some classic Maiden-inspired dual guitar parts, such as the solo in "What’s Your Name". Actually, the opening riff of this song is also very NWOBHM inspired.
Wrath - Insane Society (Medusa) 1990
"Insane Society" is Wrath's third release, although it was the first with new singer Kurt Grayson. Searching around the net after purchasing this CD, I didn't read one good review of "Insane Society". I don't know what CD these reviewers were listening to because "Insane Society" is a solid slab of thrash metal. I just can't imagine any fan of thrash metal not enjoying the infectious groove of the title track, the energy of "Panic Control" or the speed and aggression of "Law of Lies". Perhaps people were just too familiar with the band's former singer Gary Golwitzer and couldn't deal with a new vocalist. I don't know what they were thinking. Grayson's vocals are gritty, but clear not unlike Chuck Billy (Testament) or Ron Rinehart (Dark Angel). He belts out some occassional high pitches screams as well, that work quite well and help to keep the music interesting. The music here reminds me a bit of early Testament, with losts of fast to mid-paced riffs, some insane guitar leads, a solid rhythm section and Kurt's testosterone injected, aggressive vocals. What else can I say? This is thrash metal and I like it!