A tight barrage of melodically-tinged thrash metal

Sometimes the things you least expect can turn out to be something fresh and exciting.

With the myriad of bands around, there is always something new out there. When I received Melbournian metallers 4ARM’s Submission for Liberty, I was not sure what I was about to hear. Going off the artwork, it looked pretty damn heavy and after hitting play, my ears were bombarded with a tight barrage of melodically-tinged thrash metal. Needless to say, I wasn’t about to hit stop.

Submission for Liberty pulls no punches. It comes out all guns blazing in a thrash-fuelled assault. With a backbone of grooving and pulsating double kick along side quite a hefty riff, “While I Lie Awake” sets the scene nicely and brings  to mind a sound reminiscent of Blackening-era Machine Head and later day Exodus.

The accelerator is pushed to the floor as tracks like “The Warning”, the windmill-inducing  “Raise a Fist”, the venomous “Taken Down” and the title track fly by while laying waste at a furious pace. There are also times where Submission for Liberty shifts down a gear to mid-paced groove territory in tracks such as the slinky and ominous “The Oppressed”, the anthemic, catchy “I Will Not Bow”, and “My Father’s Eyes”. The melodic “Blood of Martyrs” fluctuates but still knows how to throw a punch or two with its Pantera-esque groove at the tail end where drummer Mickey Juice channels Vinnie Paul’s thunderous attack.

From a production standpoint, the mix by Matt Hyde (Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, Machine Head) only enhances the brutality and Ted Jensen’s mastering ties everything up quite nicely.

One of the only gripes I have is that the material tends to sound a bit similar at times (quite a lot of thrash bands are guilty of this) and the tracks flow into each other if you are not paying attention. Nonetheless, it does not draw away from the album’s  impact.

Submission for Liberty
is quite a solid, straight to the point release with plenty of good ol’ thrash and melody thrown in. If you don’t know 4ARM, Submission for Liberty sure makes an for a hell of an introduction. If you are a thrash-a-holic or a modern metal fan, this album should be on your list to check out.

1. Sinn Macht Frei
2. While I Lie Awake
3. Raise a Fist
4. Submission for Liberty
5. The Oppressed
6. I Will Not Bow
7. Taken Down
8. My Father’s Eyes
9. The Warning
10. Blood of Martyrs