Fueled by Fire

Trapped in Perdition

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Like 2010's Plunging Into Darkness, Trapped in Perdition, the third long-player from Los Angeles-based, old-school thrash revivalists Fueled by Fire, is built on a foundation of nasty, atonal riffage, relentless rhythmic shifts, themes of pestilence, pain, and prophecy, and generic, demonic cover art. It's hardly an original premise, but the band's unwavering enthusiasm for all things Slayer, Dark Angel, Death, Kreator, and Testament, not to mention their considerable chops, helps to keep the proceedings from coming off as mere regurgitations of tastier meals. It's fun to hear the crisp, clean, classic production of the '80s paired with headphone-shattering 21st century compression, especially on legitimate scene stealers like "Defaced Mortality," "Depiction of Demise," "Catastrophe," and "Suffering Entities," the latter two of which provide a deafening one-two punch that sets the pace for what’s to come. Peppered with richly detailed guitar leads that avoid showboating yet routinely veer off in surprising directions, and preferring precision and malevolence over pure, Gatlin-gun speed, Fueled by Fire have crafted a surprisingly affecting (you know, in a supremely evil kind of way) love letter to the heydays of thrash, and while it may not reach the dizzying, head-snapping heights of genre classics like Reign in Blood, Among the Living, and Kill 'Em All, it certainly stands out amidst the endless array of rote metalcore acts who prefer breakdowns over breaking necks.

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