Forget Guns N’ Roses and Tool, Acid Reign fans have been waiting 29 years for ‘The Age Of Entitlement’, only their 3rd full-length album in their career. Of course we’re lucky to even have this album at all considering the hurdles that a DIY band faces nowadays, and also because the band put off the idea of recording a new album for so long since their ‘reboot’ in 2015 (not a reunion per se as singer Howard ‘H’ Smith is the only remaining member of the band that gave us Brit thrash classics such as ‘The Fear and ‘Obnoxious’).
It’s following this reboot however that it’s become clearly evident over the last few years that there is still a lot of love for the UK’s (arguably) best thrash band. This record has been a long time in the making but is very much worth the wait. Obviously having a whole new band carving out these thrashtastic slabs of noise means that Acid Reign 2019 is a different beast to the Acid Reign that incited moshpits in sweaty dives 30 years ago but that’s not to say the legacy has been tarnished in any way. Nope, this is a whole new beast but the (apple)core elements are still present and correct – stomping mosh riffs, anthemic choruses and breakneck rhythms.
After the instrumental opener of ‘T.A.O.E.’ the proceedings really kick into gear with the excellent ‘The New Low’, ‘H’ employing levels of melody in the vocals previously unheard of in the history of Acid Reign. A future live classic, for sure. The tracks then come at you at a fair rate of knots – this is thrash metal, after all – and the brakes are rarely applied during songs like ‘NewAgeNarcissist’ and ‘Ripped Apart’. Also present is a surprise cover of Suzanne Vega’s ‘Blood Makes Noise’, with an almost punk feel to it. That loose, punky thrashy feel is also evident in other parts of the album and some tracks even have a whiff of hardcore about them, whilst maintaining that essential Acid Reign feel.
One great thing about the five-piece is that each album has its own identity and feel, and ‘The Age Of Entitlement’ is no exception. 1989’s ‘The Fear’ was a humongous album that contained at least 3,894 riffs – the dynamics are kept a lot simpler here meaning the songs are more instant. As the album closes with ‘United Hates’ it becomes apparent that this incarnation of the band are just as hungry and relevant as the original line-up and it shows in the sincerity on offer in the ten tracks here. Sadly the 2 previous taster singles ‘Plan Of The Damned’ and ‘The Man Who Became Himself’ aren’t included but what we’re presented with is yet another prime cut of superior thrash from one of the most revered bands in the genre. Hopefully, we’ve not seen the last of the boys yet and global domination will surely follow with stadium tours and Download headline appearances. No pressure, lads!