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Fearless Iranians From Hell - Foolish Americans / Holy War / Die For Allah
Review: Most people have forgotten now what thrash was. After hardcore died, but before death metal took off, a hybrid of speed metal and extreme hardcore was formed, and distinguished itself with thirty-second songs, metallic riffs, an utter loathing and confusion with society, and (differentiating it from punk) a metalhead's assertive, warlike view of changing the world in contrast to the nagging depressive emotion of punk hardcore. That was thrash, and most people now like to misuse the word because they do not understand why this genre was important.
This band will remind you that thrash addressed real-world issues without lapsing into idiot politics, or getting emotional. It was the music of the dispossessed suburban child trying to make sense of the adult world as concept, and remains some of the most vital and insightful protest music ever created. Where metal tried to find a theory, and punk tried to find a political lifestyle, thrash was like Nietzsche's philosophical hammer, testing every concept found in the news and high schools and spitting out a binary verdict: sane or insane. This CD groups two full-length albums and a demo, putting together all of this band's work in a single package. Like most thrash bands, it has punk song structures with metal riffs; unlike the rest, this is bouncy and closer to punk rock than punk hardcore, and is also surprisingly musically advanced. Dissonant chords, offbeat rhythmic structures, and an almost prog rock version of the breakneck tempo changes common to the genre distinguish this CD.
The shouted, half-sung vocals carry songs well, even if twisting into a near-whine with sarcasm at times, and percussion is adept in the style one might expect from an indie rock band, hinting further at the mixed heritage of this band, who did emerge after other thrash acts yet before grunge, however shared much of its spirit with each. As with most rhythm-hook music, this CD requires endurance for sustained listening, and as occurred with its closest thrash relative, Suicidal Tendencies, it can often be too clever or funny for its own good. However, riffcraft is quite advanced - think somewhere between the Meat Puppets, Voivod and Cryptic Slaughter - and the album will maintain musical interest as well as, of course, reminding us of a political situation that continues even today.