Some months ago, I did an interview with an upcoming thrash band named 4ARM. At the time, I got to listen to one track off of their upcoming album, Submission For Liberty, and was blown away. Now months later, Submission For Liberty has been released and I still have that eye widening feeling.
So this album is basically filled with 9 tracks of thrashy goodness plus one of those epic build up intro tracks, “Sinn Macht Frei,” which, if my German classes served me well, means “Makes Sense Without.” So does that mean it makes sense to not submit for liberty? Well if my intuition is correct, then I approve of this message! Get ready, once this intro rolls into “While I Lay Awake,” you won’t be able to get off this ride.
Between “While I Lay Awake” and “Raise a Fist,” I think I did a number to my neck. I don’t know what it is about thrash metal that gets my head banging so damn hard, but 4ARM clearly knows how to do it well. Both of these tracks were in your face both musically and lyrically. Sure you get your basic thrash elements which include the fast paced drum beats and catchy as hell guitar riffs, but can we talk about the soloing on this album? Johnny Glovasa on just about every last track on this album, sets his fret board on fire with his lightening fast hands. Literally, I feel like every solo on this album is a giant grab bag of legendary thrash guitarists that had a child together and named it 4ARM. I always say stick to your guns, and these guys do just that.
The title track, “Submission For Liberty,” hits next with another neck-injuring track. What made this track memorable to me was not only the beyond exceptional lead work, but the “out of left field” breakdown that literally had my jaw hit the spacebar on my computer. One of the most important ingredients to a successful thrash band is the vocalist. With powerful lyrics, you need that powerful voice to send the message across with a bang! This is where Danny Tomb steps in. Not only does he play a mean guitar, but Danny sounds like he’s pretty pissed off in these songs. As bad as it sounds, an entire band can sound great instrumentally, but if they have a shitty vocalist, they probably won’t get too far. Obviously Danny is doing something right if he is now releasing his third studio album and has toured with acts such as Testament and Destruction. Now only four tracks into the album, I could tell that these Aussies new what is supposed to be done in the thrash world and I was loving every minute of it.
For some people, thrash isn’t very exciting because “every song sounds the same.” Well “The Oppressed,” is the track that kinda smacks you in the face for even thinking for a split second about cookie cutter type music. I wouldn’t quite call it a ballad by any means, but this sounded like “South of Heaven” instrumentally speaking. This only adds to what I said earlier about a giant grab back of thrash musicians. Clearly 4ARM has a ton of influences in both new and old thrash bands alike, and they aren’t afraid to show you that!
“I Will Not Bow,” is one of my favorites off the album, and no it is not a Breaking Benjamin cover. This track is completely filled with everything you look for in a solid thrash song. I loved the riff, the beat, the flow, the solo, and then another “where in the Hell did this breakdown come from?” And no these aren’t those annoying deathcore breakdowns that get old two albums before the song is even released. Oh and you know what was extra credit for me on this track to? Right before the build up to this breakdown, I most certainly caught a quick Dimebag Darrell-esque dive bomb on the guitar work. Any band that pays respects to my hero is solid in my book.
The last few tracks on the album remain original, changing, and most importantly, interesting. I can not stress how bad it is to come up with something original that is not interesting at all. Unfortunately, in today’s heavy metal world, too many bands are like this. Not 4ARM though. Danny, Johnny, Andy, and Michael have created a team that has put the thrash world on notice, 4ARM is here and ready to set the bar even higher for modern thrash acts today. I look forward to these guys getting over to the States so I can experience a live showcase of what I have heard on Submission For Liberty. This only being the band’s third release, they are only going to get better which speaks volumes in the world of heavy music. Get on this band wagon everybody!