Italian thrash metallers Methedras’ new album System Subversion is their fourth release, but the first one by them I’ve heard. With the thrash metal sound of later Testament, the groove of Pantera and a smattering of the incisive death metal of Entombed their range of influences is great. Add a heavy dose of aggression and you have a really convincing groove heavy thrash album that spits venom and busts heads.
From the moment the synth fades out of the intro to opener Subversion Methedras’ fearsome riffage begins. From that first barrage of aggressive stomping chugs it becomes a great guitar performance all around, the riffs interchanging between the aforementioned chugs, technical freneticism and heavy grooves, all with a thick vicious guitar tone. Their solos are great too, somewhat furious but mostly brimming with technicality and great writing. Claudio’s hardcore styled roar is really aggressive, if a little one dimensional at points, but those vicious ten second roars are awesome. They even manage to sneak in some synths in the background at points just to add that little extra melody. The technical riff wizardry continues through You Got It, and the utilisation of some low growled singing is an interesting, if somewhat underwhelming bit of variation. Used better in Deathocracy, a particularly furious one with that fantastic drumming, the catchy growled chorus is a great addition to the sound.
Dead Memories is the best of the bunch with that infectiously groovy opening riff still packing that technical punch, and containing a great catchy chorus. Another sweeping solo and more brutal stomping drumming really rounds it off as a great piece of aggressive groove heavy thrash. Thrown Away with it’s more melodic picked guitar is one of the better tracks too with more fantastic riffs and tapped leads. With high pitched screams alongside the roars and a great bluesy solo, it’s one of the more varied tracks on the release. Shit Happens is a more benign track overall, but it still has some killer riffs, and the best solo on the release, even if it’s a bit inconsistent at parts. System Subversion finishes off with Distorted Emotion, a track that combines the technicality of Human era-Death with a great Pantera-esque stomp, finishing things on a high.
A few drawbacks come in that the tracks are a little similar, the repetitive vocal style gets old after a while, and some of that low singing is unconvincing. That said, there’s a lot of great groovy thrash to be had here, and Subversion, Dead Memories and Thrown Away are fantastic.