It’s a great feeling when someone turns you onto a piece of music or band you had no idea about. Such is the case with BRAIN DEAD, band of thrashers hailing from Los Angeles. And thanks to my friend Eddie at the House of Metal I now have their record Indoctrinator in my collection and have been jamming the shit out of it several times a week. You guys know how much I love my Thrash Metal, and this band doesn’t disappoint in that regard. For a band of youngsters it’s clear what kind of music they were reared on, so kudos to whoever set them on the right path.
Produced by Bill Metoyer (W.A.S.P., FATES WARNING) Indoctrinator is seven tracks of pummeling metal that will have many of us thinking it’s 1987 again due to the band’s vintage sound and also the overall warm tone that albums gave off back then. Songs like “The Last Act of Betrayal” and “Heretic” instantly let you know what side their bread is buttered on, and the acoustic intro of “Dread of Shame” accomplishes two things: first, it makes you wonder where we’re going. Secondly, when it does kick in, it starts off mid-tempo then goes full bore, making it arguably the best track found here. Metoyer is a master at what he does, and he really coaxes the best out of these boys.
“High Value Target” was another one I found myself gravitating back to, those buzzing riffs pulling me in further each time. The quartet has really studied the masters to understand what it is that makes this music so primal and vital, and that is simply good and memorable songwriting. Guitarist Adam Axe, bassist Rez Peterson, drummer Josh Angel, and vocalist Joey Dalo are more than capable of this as closer “Sent to the Fire” will clearly demonstrate. The disc also opens in high-flying fashion with “Corporatocracy”, which I also loved right out of the gate. Dalo has a little bit of a FLOTSAM AND JETSAM thing going on here. Other songs too, but this one you can really hear it, and I think that’s awesome.
On “Social Pariah” Angel leads the charge with his snare drum hits sounding like shots fired and the band deep in the foxhole with him for all 3:22. If I have any complaint about this record it’s that some of the songs are a wee bit too short. I understand the need to get in, get out, and leave the fans wanting more, but I would be very interested to see what these guys could do over the course of a seven or eight minute epic, letting the song come to them. It doesn’t always have to be a blitz attack. But really other than that consider BRAIN DEAD a thrash band to keep an eye out for if you’re not already listening to them.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “High Value Target”, “Dread of Shame”, “Heretic”, “Corporatocracy”