Coordinates of Confusion

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In the metal world, '80s worship often comes in the form of power metal revival and progressive metal bands. But metal has plenty of young thrash revival bands as well, and Negligence's second album, Coordinates of Confusion, is a perfect example of a 2010 release that faithfully emulates the thrash metal of the '80s. It isn't hard to understand why this Slovenian band fancies old-school thrash metal from the Reagan/Bush years; thrash marked the first time that metal incorporated punk in a big way (while thrash was metal's acknowledgment of punk, hardcore was punk's acknowledgment of metal), and thrash's metal/punk alliance had a positive effect on everything from grunge to death metal and black metal to alternative metal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being retro or derivative, but if young metalheads are going to worship the past, they need strong material in order to do it convincingly, and the thing that Coordinates of Confusion lacks is strong material. Negligence have no problem getting an '80s-like sound going; nor do they have any problem playing their instruments. Everyone in this band has chops. But unfortunately, the songs on this 45-minute CD simply aren't very memorable. Looking back on thrash's heyday, it is obvious that many of the classics from that era had great hooks. Testament's "Trial by Fire" from 1988, Slayer's "Dead Skin Mask" from 1990, and Anthrax's "Caught in a Mosh" from 1987 are three examples of thrash classics that not only had metallic aggression, they also had killer hooks, and that type of hookiness is something that Negligence should aspire to if they want to stand out in the crowded retro-thrash field. Coordinates of Confusion is competent, and Negligence clearly have potential. But there is still much room for improvement in the writing department.

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