Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Addictive-Kick 'Em Hard (Rebooted Edition)

Tribunal Records/Divebomb Records

Due for release on the eleventh of next month, "Kick 'Em Hard (Rebooted Edition)" is a 2CD set that compiles EVERYTHING that eighties thrash metal band Addictive released in their career. Featuring members of Mortal Sin (among others) this Australia-based metal band first hit the scene with the 1988 demo, "Ward 74". Before long they were back in the studio for 1989's "Pity Of Man", a somewhat rough affair that comes across as a three-way fight between Germany's "Big Three" (Destruction, Sodom and Kreator), Bay Area thrash (Metallica and Megadeth primarily with some Testament, Death Angel and Exodus kicked in for good measure!) and (early) Slayer, and then, in a moment that must have seemed to be divine intervention, the band were somehow able to enlist the one and only Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow and countless others!) to produce their sophomore output, "Kick Em' Hard"! It's actually "Kick Em' Hard" that opens up this 2CD set and with someone like bassist Bob Daisley twisting the knobs the results were (needless to say) phenomenon! Originally released in 1993, "Kick Em' Hard" is a fantastic example of (prime-time) thrash wrapped up neatly in cult packaging! With bass guitarist Greg Smith's somewhat raw (James Hetfield-like) voice up front leading the charge and kick ass guitar solos from the pair of Joe Buttigieg (ex-Mortal Sin, ex-My Therapy) and Mick Sultana (ex-Mortal Sin) the band (which, at the time of said album, also featured well-traveled drummer Steven "Stevo" Moore) treats the listener to superb thrash that is explosive and filled to overflowing with energy and sincerity! that's not to say that the rest of the material which makes up this expanded edition isn't stellar. From the group's original material to their unique take on "Crazy Train" (Ozzy Osbourne) there's very little not to appreciate about this unheralded thrash act. With a re-mastered sound courtesy of Jamie King this whole collection showcases a band that, had the scene not changed so dramatically thanks to the arrival of grunge, could have made a real splash in the thrash metal/speed metal scene. Whether they would have been as big as some of the other big names of the era (or even as well-known/appreciated as their brethren Mortal Sin) is probably open to debate, but one can't help but think that a band like Addictive could have at least given the scene a much-needed shot in the arm! With what promises to be a smashing 20 page booklet (pics, interview, etc.) this one should easily appeal to thrash metal fans of old (Megadeth, Metallica, Sodom, Testament, Mortal Sin, Slayer) while it could also serve as a fine point of reference for young, up-and-coming bands looking for fresh inspiration!


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