death metal underground
The Ultimate Death Metal Resource
Death Metal Search Engine
Birth A.D. - Stillbirth of a Nation
Review: Coming from the genre that combined hardcore punk songs with metal riffs, Birth A.D. (the name is a tribute to The Misfits) merges a solid basis in Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (DRI)- and SOD-inspired thrash with riff technique from a wider variety of hardcore bands and death metal. The result compacts a punch into simple, energetic songs that deliver a sardonic payload of lyrics which satirize modern society not from a political point of view but from a quality of experience angle.
Pointing out in so many words the failings of modernity, Birth A.D. underscore their humorous and surly lyrics with churning punk riffs that adopt more of the muscular tremolo of later death metal. Songs tend to use verse and chorus riffs, often united with an intermezzo of sampled sound or riot vocals, and frequently uniting themselves toward their conclusion with variants of one of these riffs or a metal-style concluding or processional riff.
Riffs are stripped down and exuberant in their fulfillment of rhythm, but avoid the tendency of lesser bands to have every songwriting device repeat a chorus rhythm. Many, like those of SOD, use straightforward chord progressions strummed at a middling pace; others, echoing Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (DRI) from the Four of a Kind era much like "Equal Opportunity," whip through fast progressions and offset them with thrashing -- fast alternation between chords -- and rippling tremolo. Most riffs catch the DRI sense of fulminating power injected into energetic punk riffs.
Clean vocals, stridently shouted with the antagonism of a teenager excoriating authority figures, chase the rhythm of each riff and selectively emphasize portions of chorus rhythms, adding texture to what otherwise would scream repetition. Drums follow the punk/hardcore style of breaking long passages of consistency with internal conflict. While the thrash genre died out in the late 1980s and has only recently been resurrected, no band has done so in the original spirit, even if they have emulated the outward aspects of the genre.
Birth A.D. understand the attitude that both gives the lyrics context and frames riffs as simple without being random or repetitive; it is the craft of metal and punk in miniature, like a projectile using the smallest surface area to give its momentum the greatest penetrating force. With that device, this band bypasses retro for a living tribute and continuation of one of the most powerful metal-influenced genres to grace this confused planet.