Band : At War
Release : Infidel
Year : 2009
Country : USA
Genre : Power Thrash Metal
Label : Heavy Artillery Records
Note : 15/20
03.Make Your Move
05.Want You Dead
Judging by its cover, At War will find it hard to win fans among the Middle East’s fledgling metal community. That’s a half naked GI Joe right there, complete with a bald eagle tattoo, flexing in front of Osama Bin Laden’s demonic hordes. Note the Arabic styled script used to spell the word “Infidel”. It’s corny all right, but it does speak volumes of the band’s not-giving-a-shit-for-political-correctness attitude, which this reviewer finds appealing.
For everyone’s information, this album is the band’s comeback after 20 years pursuing things other than metal. At War were around in the 80’s, even had a handful of releases under their belt then, but sank to obscurity once the 90’s rolled in. A shame, since their music belongs to that peculiar American breed that worships violence and dons the mantle of the right wing. Musically At War find common ground with early Slayer, Sodom, Forbidden, and some of those dirtier Thrash bands. Starting things off with a bang, the dangerous overtones of the opening track "Assassins" proves that this trio haven’t lost their touch just yet. As its grim tempo lurches toward an explosive finish, it’s like they never quit music in the first place.
To nobody’s surprise, At War don’t give two shits about whatever is trendy at the moment, thus consistency is guaranteed throughout "Infidel". They Do sound as if they were still playing in the golden age of Thrash, besides the politics they chew on for lyrics and the modern production. On "Deceit", "Want You Dead", "At War", and "Rapechase", the guys just heap on the jagged riffs and numbing drums. Musically, bassist Paul Arnold, guitarist Shawn Helsel, and drummer Dave Stone never sound out of practice. They play here like butter off a spoon. Smooth and ragged, dirtier than their old records that’ve been collecting dust and neglect in the attics of serious collectors who’ve consigned them to the trashbin.
This is an obnoxious, abrasive, and politically charged comeback that’s a sharp contrast from today’s brand of polished Thrash Metal. If this is what you dig, then by all means buy yourself a copy.