Originally written by Patrick Dawson
I am a sucker for an album that goes for the throat right out of the gate. Before I get into the rigor of hyperbole and speechification let me inform you that this thing’s talons are positively sodden with gore and trailing the remains of an esophagus. Hailed by some as the third generation of thrash worth mentioning to come out of the Bay Area, Watch Them Die certainly packs a punch strong enough to do their geographic roots proud. Having seen them live I know that even if they sucked, this band with a pedigree bearing the mark of Buzzov*en are one of the most intense stage presences I have ever witnessed.
The riffs are robust and wicked but the thickness of the guitar tone and percussive punch given to Bastard Son’s low end really fleshes out an album that would not be so enjoyable if not for the flailing pair of iron testicles its production alludes to. I found the self titled album to be a bit busy, that sort of thing is to be expected of a first outing, but the band has really hit its stride with this release. Anything superfluous about the last effort has been stripped away leaving nothing but quality in its wake. Those that cry trend follower or Lamb of God clone are hereby stripped of their reviewing credentials and returned to the remedial writing classes from whence they came. Pat Vigil may have a throaty growl to rival that of Mr. Blithe but he and his troupe of musicians walk their own path.
This band has done something very special in the midst of metalcore inundation. They have penned an album full of fresh and frankly riff-tastic thrash masterpieces. Reinhardt and Valencia are a guitar duo that may as well have been ripped from thrash’s womb of hardcore punk in the early 80’s. Closing with what is now perhaps my favorite cover song of all time, Watch Them Die perform the most fitting tribute to the works of Quorthon I’ve ever heard. If for no other reason than to hear the magnificent cover of Bathory’s “Armageddon” you must own this disc. Bullet belts and superbly executed thrash are still alive and well in Oakland, CA.