Year of Desolation
Year of Desolation

I have to admit, when Prosthetic signed this Indiana band I was a little confused seeing as their debut, Your Blood, My Vendetta was a pretty mediocre metalcore effort that did little to warrant further interest, yet alone a record deal with the Prosthetic, arguably one of US metal’s better labels.However, somewhere between the debut and this self titled effort, their first for Prosthetic, Year of Desolation grew a huge set of hairy musical nads, made a huge improvement and have delivered a blistering neo thrash album that shows American Metal need not rely on clean vocals, ballads and catchy verses to be impressive.

Though some very slight metalcore-isms by way of Euro-inspired solos and melodies litter the album (for example “Erasing Your Existence,” “Forged In the Flames of Malcontent”), Year of Desolation is essentially a tight, high octane thrash album with more in common with old Sepultura, Demiricous, Darkest Hour, All That Remains and even European acts like Purified In Blood (RIP), Carnal Forge and Dew-Scented. The energy that permeates this tightly delivered record is palpable and can be felt at every razor sharp riff and note. Tracks like attention grabbing opener “Elitist Death Squad,” thrashtastic “Running the Gauntlet,” standout “The Economy of Excess,” the menacing “539,” “Gorge” and deathly “Suffer Thy Nemesis” rip and roar with a supine mix of seething riffage and just enough melody and solos to stick with you and render some air guitar madness.

Chad Zimmerman has a standard scream and occasional lower octave growl, but never takes chance or goes out side the box into deathcore grunts or burps or clean vocals and the production is stout but takes a backseat to the music. However, on the minor negative side, the final track, “All In Vain” clocks in at 33 minutes with the old hidden track thing, and when the hidden moments do play, its hardly worth it (a “rainy” Metallica-ish instrumental). Still, it doesn’t detract from a nifty little album certainly worth your time and showing American Metal does indeed have some balls after all.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 23rd, 2007

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