Album: Feed the Ego
Swiss thrashers, Algebra, return with yet another mathematically extreme ripping release. When I reviewed their debut album, “Polymorph,”and I was impressed by their mix of technicality and pure raw aggression. Right away one can make the comparison to Slayer, Testament, Overkill, Megadeth and the other iconic thrash groups. However, Algebra does stray away from the path from time to time when pertaining to their songwriting and instrumental compositions. Overall though they are straight up thrash.
With their sophomore release, “Feed the Ego,” Algebra puts more emphasis on songwriting by penning together lyrical that relate to relevant world wide topics. I still hear some of the blazing technicality that I heard on the first album, but definitely not on the same level with the first release. Algebra takes a more progressive approach musically with “Feed the Ego,” and I think that can appeal to a wider audience. There are tons of tempo changes, unique timings and the intense thrash riff dominating style is not set on repeat. Also, I think Algebra shows a slightly more mature side compared to most of your other young thrash groups by not singing about Satan all the time.
The album begins with the song, “Survival Nowadays,” and maintains that raw aggressive nature that I heard on “Polymorph.” However, the lyrics really capture my attention and standout just as much as the fluid technical leads. Their drummer can still decimate his kit with thunderous blast beats and he gives the song a massive sounding rhythmic backbone. The lyrics strung together convey plenty of raw emotion and the singer’s voice is more commanding than before. They want people to hear these lyrics and maybe start to think on a deeper level mentally. I especially felt that way during the song, “Prisoner Outdoors.” The compositions are precise and the song’s attitude is very unapologetic.
I really like how Algebra incorporated more intricate guitar parts, and it showed the band’s diverse songwriting mentality. The commonly heard intense thrash riffs tend to be used more for the verses, but can change on a dime to make way for some harmonic leads or slow crushing breaks. “Necessary Evil” and “Profound Guilt” are two songs I would say morph constantly and push the music in multiple directions. One song that really takes a sharp turn musically, is “My Shelf.” The opening guitar chords sound very hollow as each note is picked and create this cosmic gloomy atmosphere. Algebra still shows their technical side by throwing in melodic leads that bleed out emotion. Their singer also sounds less abrasive compared to the following tracks, and presents a powerfully haunting vocal tone.
For the most part, Algebra continues to push themselves away from the typical revival thrash bands by diversifying their sound. I do not have too many complaints with this release, but I noticed Algebra played it safe on a couple songs and used a very simple Slayer like style of songwriting. Overtime I think Algebra will morph into their own distinct sounding entity, but that takes time. Right now they are heading in the right direction, and their consistency will allow them to grow even faster as musicians.
The overall songwriting on, “Feed the Ego,” is different from the stand point that Algebra can write thought provoking lyrics, and still sound aggressive when playing their instruments. Algebra continues to grow both musically and lyrically, while maintaining that no nonsense thrash sound. If you like thrash, I recommend putting down the calculus book and getting this album...(Couldn't help myself)