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Hatross Overlord

Joined: 30 Jan 2003
Posts: 2465

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: AT WAR – INFIDEL Reply with quote


(Heavy Artillery Records)

True story; way back in 1987/88, when I was a long-haired thrasher I made a compilation tape for an Irish/American friend of mine who upped and joined the US Marines. I sent him the tape to his base camp in Iraq (when Bush Sr. was batting for the team). Telling me later that Ozzy and Metallica were the heaviest bands he and his unit had heard it came quite a shock when Slayer, Possessed and Sodom blasted forth from their ghetto-blaster. Also on the tape were Virginia’s At War; the intro F.Y.I. (Fuck You Iraq) and stunning Creed of the Sniper, taken from At War’s second album, Retaliatory Strike the first two tracks on side B, I believe.

Unbeknown to him or his squad, as they were listening to this there was an impromptu inspection from a Big Cheese General, who managed to enter the Marine’s quarters unannounced. Suddenly the words ‘ATTENTION!’ were shouted out, causing panic amongst the troops, with someone scrambling to turn the player off. Loud, crunching thrash metal and the words ‘One shot, one kill, one way’, the chorus of Creed of the Sniper blasting forth apparently impressed the General so much that he told them to leave it on, for what an inspiration – kick ass!

With the Washington seal of approval his squad adopted Creed ... as ‘their’ song, playing the tape when out on patrol, going as far as using ‘One shot …’ as their official unit’s mascot, even emblazing it on their flag.

Back in the late 1980’s I thought this was cool; fuck, I was 18 or 19, what did I know about American politics or US foreign relations, and what did I care?

So At War, like many thrash metal bands of their day split soon afterwards and my friend came safely home, telling me this story. I had forgotten all about it until I bumped into him recently, he then recounting this tale and reminiscing of days gone past over a few beers. He was most interested when I told him that At War had re-grouped and recently recorded a new album.

Infidel literally takes up where Retaliatory Strike leaves off. Once again conscripting producer Alex Perialas and using the same facility, Pyramid Studio as Ground Zero (am I over-doing the military thing?) so it’s no surprise that Infidel sounds like their previous record. At War is the bastard child of Venom and Motorhead, rollicking spurts of crushing thrash metal that won’t shock nor surprise or break new ground. Assassins, Semper Fi, Want You Dead … in these post-Bush times some may well be put off by At War’s blatant and unapologetic American flag-waving, and fair enough. ‘Cos Rapechase, a song originally on their debut album, 1986's Ordered to Kill, won’t win them many female fans, either …

The thrash revival exhumes another long-lost outfit. All said, I enjoyed this album, but whether you were a fan first time round or not will determine whether if Infidel holds any interest for you.

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