Lost Society

Braindead

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The third studio long player from the Finnish thrashers, the Nuclear Blast-issued Braindead finds Lost Society both tightening up and branching out. 2014's Terror Hungry was a full-on, classic Bay Area thrash symposium that was as rowdy and half-cocked as it was technically superb. Braindead definitely holds to the latter temperament, but some of the roguishness that made the prior outing such dumb fun has been diluted, and a curious newfound penchant for '90s metal posturing injects some questionable commercial sheen into the proceedings. Opener "I Am the Antidote" skillfully resets the stage with a meaty, midtempo gait and a dark, melodic lead that owes more to Ghost B.C. than it does Testament or early Megadeth, but feisty follow-up "Riot" stumbles out of the gate in a flurry of rap/nu-metal cliches that would make even Korn wince, and the epic "Only (My) Death Is Certain" can't seem to rise above the miasma of forgettable, atonal riffage that propels it. The blistering "Mad Torture" and aptly named "Hangover Activator" go a long way in showing that the band hasn't misplaced its speed metal center, and the nearly six-and-a-half-minute "Hollow Eyes" effectively dials into the tech/prog-heavy fury of ...And Justice for All-era Metallica. For much of Braindead, though, Lost Society sound like a band adrift in an ocean of disparate influences looking for a familiar port. That said, closing the LP with an inspired "California Easy Listening Version" of the title track from their sophomore LP shows that the self-serious tone of the album is hardly impermeable.

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