Article by: Brian Halsey ‡ Edited by: Leanne Ridgeway
Happy Shredvember! It’s leather jacket o’clock motherfucker! WRAITH is serving a potent brew of old-school thrash metal and blackened punk on their third full-length album, ‘Absolute Power‘.
Blast the shit out of this album, then sit back, relax, and pray that an influx of unruly dudes doesn’t show up to your garage, slamming down six-packs of Old Style. The sanctity of your neighbor’s mailbox depends on it.
WRAITH is a heavy-hitting trio of Indianaians (is that a word?), who are all most likely descended from the seed of local Hoosier, Larry Bird [*]. With Matt Sokol handling vocals and guitars, Mike Szymendera on drums, and Chris Petkus on bass, these three are just plowing out album after album since their inception. From the 2017 debut ‘Wraith‘, then 2018’s sophomore album ‘Heed The Warning‘, we now have late summer 2019’s release of ‘Absolute Power‘, out via Redefining Darkness Records.
This 10-song son of a bitch just fires off the riffs at breakneck speed, starting with the rager “Devil’s Hour”, a track that boasts plenty of evil braggadocios and a shout-along chorus. The second song “Acid Mass” demonstrates there is plenty of (The) Misfits style punk rock to go around.
“Meaningless Planet” rumbles in with a load of bass from Petkus, and “Eyes of the Sacred Ram” stands out as a personal favorite in the latter half, but overall this whole thing is a stallion bred to go the distance. WRAITH tweaks the formula just enough to show you a few different shades of speed metal, but ultimately ‘Absolute Power‘ achieves exactly what the title infers.
The sound of crushed cans, the smell of sweaty worn-down denim, and the sight of dudes who are giving some serious thought to finally growing a goddamn mullet and/or mustache. If they remake Hesher in 20 years, that asshole kid is gonna be wearing a sleeveless WRAITH shirt, while he fumbles over ‘Kill ‘Em All’ era Metallica in Rainn Wilson’s fucking garage. Mark my words.
01. Devil’s Hour
02. Acid Mass
03. Meaningless Planet
04. The Curse
05. War of Aggression
06. At the Stake
07. The Hunt
08. Eyes of the Sacred Ram
09. Absolute Power
10. Death Comes Ripping (The Misfits)
‘Absolute Power‘ was recorded, mixed, and mastered by CJ Rayson. All music performed and written by WRAITH, except “Death Comes Ripping” written by The Misfits. Guitar solos on “Meaningless Planet“, “The Curse“, and “War of Aggression” performed by Jason Schultz. The album artwork was done by Klutzfiction, with layout design by Chris Petkus [**].
Their merch is cheap and their music is tough. Get into WRAITH, this is a hard 10/10. Order the album on CD/Digital download from the band’s Bandcamp or pre-order the vinyl record from Redefining Darkness Records.
*Additional fact about Indiana that I wasn’t clever enough to work in: The movie Blue Chips was filmed there, it features a young Shaq, and Nick Nolte punting a basketball into the upper deck of an arena. It is now the second thrashiest thing to come out of the state.
**Additional suggestion to the band: You have some of the sickest cover art in the game. Slap that beast on a t-shirt, boys.
Matt Sokol – Vocals, Guitars
Mike Szymendera – Drums
Chris Petkus – Bass
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– Upcoming Live Dates 2020 –
Mar. 21 – Chicago, IL @ Reggies Rock Club (w/ Vio-Lence, Dysphoria, Enemy Of Creation)
Apr. 10-12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Blades Of Steel MetalFest (w/ Three Tremors, Toxik, NunSlaughter, Savage Master, Pale Divine, Bible of the Devil, & more)