Wrath
Thrash metal band from Chicago, IL.

Fit to Anger Wrath - Fit of Anger (InRock) 1986/2009

1.    In the Wake  (4:02)
2.    Children of the Wicked  (3:20)
3.    What's Your Game (4:08)
4.    Abuse It (Till It Bleeds)  (4:40)
5.    Bones [instrumental] (5:07)    
6.    Fanatics (3:47)
7.    Fallen Angel  (4:04)
8.    Machine  (4:55)
9.    Vigilante Killer  (4:19)
10.  Breakdown  (4:06)
11. Sudden Death [demo] (3:40)

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.

"Fit of Anger" was originally released on a small independent label and later reissued in 1988 by Medussa Records. According to what I have read of these pressings, the two pressings are nearly identical except for the fact that "In the Wake" and "Fanatics" were remixed for the Medussa Records version. The cassette and CD pressings on Medussa also featured a demo bonus track. My copy is a 2009 InRock pressing that also has the added bonus track.
(Thanks Brian)

Nothing to Fear
Wrath - Nothing to Fear (Medussa/LP) 1987/2009
Wrath - Nothing to Fear (InRock/CD) 1987

1.    R.I.P. (Ripped Into Pieces)    (3:48)
2.    Mutants    (6:08)
3.    Hell Is Full   (5:52)
4.    Painless   (5:54)
5.    Fear Itself  (4:39)
6.    Sudden Death  (3:25)
7.    Incineration / Caustic Sleep  (6:54)
8.    When Worlds Collide  (5:42)
9.    Victims in the Void   (3:35)

Originally released in 1987 on Engima side-label Medusa Records, Wrath’s  sophomore release is generally held to be the band’s best. From the debut to this follow-up, the band tightened things up, added a bit more technical precision and a bit more aggressive attitude. Gary Golwitzer’s unique vocal style will still be a make it or break it for many metal fans. As I said on their first album, I personally like vocals with character and distinction. His shrill howl works well with the fast, aggressive music. On "Nothing to Fea"r, I'll have to agree with the masses and say this is probably the band’s best album. Hard, heavy, fast, technical, aggressive, crunchy, raw, thrash metal!

I own the original vinyl pressing of this, as well as the 2009 InRock CD reissue. (Thanks Brian)

Insane Society Wrath - Insane Society (Medusa) 1990

1. "Killmania" (5:14)
2. "Panic Control" (3:34)
3. "Test Of Faith" (4:32)
4. "Swarm" (3:16)
5. "War Of Nerves" (2:32)
6. "Insane Society" (3:58)
7. "Law Of Lies" (4:26)
8. "11th Hour" (4:24)
9. "Closed Doors" (5:00)

"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!

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