Wrathchild America - Climbin' the Walls (Atlantic) 1989
1. "Climbin' the Walls"
Wrathchild America's debut is crunchy, heavy, thrash metal with a bit more diversity than what one normally thinks of when they hear thrash metal. The entire album is actually pretty diverse and progressive, which is quite impressive for a debut. Despite being on a major label, Wrathchild America's debut didn't stand out in a market that was saturated with thrash bands in the late 80's. Had they been marketed differently I would imagine that this disc would have sold much better as "Climbing the Walls" is a competent, well written, and enjoyable disc. Tracks like "Silent Darkness" and "London After Midnight" are outstanding and have some stellar guitar solos, as well as excellent vocal melodies. The entire album actually offers up a wall of speedy riffs, tight tempo changes, and some decent musical and lyrical hooks. Unfortunately, a few songs like "Hell's Gates" are buried in cheesy, 'evil' lyrics. Thankfully other songs are less cliché and offer a bit more thought provoking lyrics. One other pleasant surprise was the band's heavy cover of Pink Floyd's "Time". Cool choice for a cover. Overall, a good debut by a band that would only get better over time, but would never gain the acceptance they deserve. This disc is now out of print, but can be found fairly inexpensively on eBay.
Wrathchild America - 3-D (Atlantic) 1991
1. "3-D man"
Most people classify this album as thrash metal, and while there is plenty of thrash metal on this disc, it is not exclusively thrash. There are plenty of other influences on this disc to keep it interesting and certainly above par. While there are several full throttle thrash numbers ("Gentleman Death," "Surrounded by Idiots" and "Another Nameless Face"), songs like "Spy" and the humorous album closer "I Ain't Drunk" keep things interesting and prove the band had much more to give the world than just the typical thrash metal polka. Unfortunately for the band, despite being on a major label, the band never took off. Even the knob-turning skills of Alex Perialas, who was known for his work with Testament, didn't seem to help the band gain any exposure. Regardless, this is one of the most underrated metal albums to come out of the early 90's thrash movement. Rob "Wacko" Hunter of Raven fame is listed as assistant engineer on 3-D. He is also credited with "additional noises".