Its wacky-silly cover artwork (featuring some kind in a skull-mask) doesn't help matters, but Arizona thrashers Atrophy actually took a tentative step forward with their second album, 1990s Violent by Nature, which showed greater diversity and a more refined sense of musicianship, while sacrificing just a tad of their debut's raucous aggression. Unfortunately, these improvements were not nearly enough to help the quintet distinguish themselves from the hundreds of thrash metal outfits bubbling just under the surface of what had become a fatally crowded pond. Especially given Atrophy's demanding brand of technical thrash, which tended to suffocate listeners with its airtight arrangements and tuneless walls of riffs (think Bay Area bruisers like Vio-Lence and Forbidden, or even Anthrax's incomparably overwrought Persistence of Time album) -- not to mention often humorless, socio-political diatribes which ensured that even amusingly named opener "Puppies and Friends" would discuss the horrors of lab-animal testing. Also, like many other failed thrash bands of the late '80s, Atrophy rarely met a catchy chorus they could relate to (the title track being one moderate exception), and seemed to harbor an almost pathological aversion to melodies. Not surprisingly, though, it was usually when they took the plunge with the melodic intros and solos in "Too Late to Change," "Process of Elimination" and "Things Change," that their songs made the most lasting impression. Hardly enough of an impression to salvage their non-career, however, and this proceeded to fizzle for good immediately following this album's release.
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AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia