Join or Die
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., May 7, 2010
Southern FrontJoin or Die
Southern Front discharges a deceptively streamlined metal groundswell rife with deep veins of rhythmic yield. The local quintet's debut thrashing integrates a compositional complexity perfectly imbedded in its no-frills gutting. Kickoff whiplash pit "Opposition" ("patience of a glacier, the comfort of a shriek") crosses mid-1980s dual axing via guitarists Jon Butler and Jason Bingham, while drummer Payton Holekamp's heavy recoil on "Worm" powers the guitarists' gunning accompaniment. "Demonseed" births a ratcheting stomp ahead of the straightforward Eddie Van Halen shred of "System Erased." Zak Ward barks ably confrontational throughout, but the slamming, harmonized guitar surge through instrumental cavalcade "Structural Chaos" induces another LP highlight, followed by the power solo and epic scales of "Amnesia," which segues directly into the closing title track. Join or Die, less a command than Southern hospitality.