Aftermath
There is Something Wrong

Chicago’s progressive-thrash metal/crossover band Aftermath return with the follow-up to their 1994 debut-Eyes of Tomorrow, with There is Something WrongAftermath reformed in 2014 and this album has Charlie Tsiolis on vox, Steve Sacco on guitar, Ray Schmidt on drums and George Lagis on bass.  So being away for so long and your second album now, well a lot has changed since 1994, however Aftermath offer some nice fresh new modern ideas.

“False Flag Flying” has a nice beginning with the shouted opening vocals over the double bass and then the song abruptly gets atmospheric and mellow.  This opening, after an intro, already in the shape of “Can You Feel It?”, takes the steam out of the opening track.  It’s not until the 1.41 section that the tune picks up with some awesome double bass and then the song eventually goes back into the atmospheric part and eventually ends.  “Diethanasia” from the jump is more together sounding and crushes with the opening thrash speed and a stupidly ridiculously catchy chorus of saying the song name.  It’s awesome.  The crunchy guitars over the fast thrashing drums is a thing of beauty.  Throw in a nice little ditty of a guitar solo at the 1.15 part and if your useless head has not fallen off your gross shoulders than you’re already dead.  The double bass continues to get faster over the thrashiness and at a brief 2.47 this tune delivers big time.

“Scientists and Priest” gets into a nice poly-rhythmic pattern at the 25 second part.  Right before it is the Holy Shit part when the beat smashes you over the head several times before the poly madness thrash part comes in and this section along with the previous song not only need to be in the live act but are some of the best songs Aftermath has ever written.  Cool guitar solo to boot than the off-kilter rhythms start up again and honestly I was swinging at this part and started some whack, whack, whack karate kid style kicks.  Cobra Kai would be proud of me.  The end of the song ends with some industrial commodore 64 robot noises.  But, man, what an ass-kicking song!  “Smash Reset Control” gets into a pretty fast beat, quicker than the majority of their songs and has a real nice crossover thrash guitar sound to it.  Super catchy guitar riff and Charlie spitting all over the place as he berates us with the catchy chorus.  “Gaslight” is another highlight with some great drumming and excellent guitar and bass sounds.  This is another song they must play live too.  Has a bit of a jumpiness to it and then it gets into a fast thrashy punk speed.  Super destructive song.  The rest of the album continues along this path, with “Pseudocide” having industrial vibes, as does the title track . The album ends with “Expulsion” which has some noises and crap going on and is more or less a real long outro.  So these last 3 tracks kind of are in the same vein of “False Flag Flying” and the intro, a bit disjointed, when I really just wanted to be punished by the music.

Regardless of some of the quips I mentioned, There is Something Wrong is strongly produced.  Crushing drum and guitar sounds.  Charlie’s vocals are mixed a tad too high.  He’s got a great set of pipes, however they overtake some songs, at certain parts.  The musicianship and overall songwriting of the majority of the album shine.  Super catchy vocal and riff patterns and many songs to have sing along live moments mixed in with circle slam pits where bodies are flying everywhere.  I challenge Aftermath to play “Diethansia” and “Scientists and Priest” back to back at a live gig and it’s doubtful anyone would be left standing afterwards.  This one, two, buckle my shoe, combo is terrifically lethal and mauling.  So damn outstanding.

The cd booklet layout with the striking album cover is well done and you will find lyrics and a band photo in the nicely layed out booklet.  You need to like Aftermath’s FB page, buy the cd and if they come to your area, get off the sofa, clean the chips off your stanky metal shirt and get in the pit and start swinging.  There is Something Wrong is a damn good album!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
August 23rd, 2019

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