Cohesion, concurrency, call it what you will. Its manifestation on an album takes untold hours of forethought and planning. Concepts, musical, lyrical, even philosophical, depending on the album's breadth and depth, must be woven together. Arguments, fistfights, and pissing contests between band mates must be waged in pursuit of that intangible and just out of reach notion known as the vision. But when it all comes together, and if all the various components fall into place, then it was all worth it, and just such a rare occurrence is what Adelaide modern thrash act Truth Corroded has on its calloused and battle forged hands with its fourth full length album, Worship the Bled.
From the far eastern, or possibly aboriginal, throat singing intro of Knives of the Betrayed, you can sense the staggering production, flair for the dramatic, and epic feel of this album, and that Truth Corroded are out for that huge thrash feel, looking to join the big production metal bands of the day—Arch Enemy, Devildriver, Lamb of God, what have you. But it's not all above ground, with some Euro death thrash in line with the likes of such acts as Carnal Forge thrown into the mix as well, with hints of that Boss pedal jagged death metal sound and searing harmonized solos that lean on the wah with screaming tone and virtuosity.
Hunt All Heroes then enters the picture with some blasting extremity, with touches of accessibility as well. The sound is very clean and processed, with choruses made to get people shouting along. This one blasts along and doesn't let up, maintaining a ferocious pace with an excellent sense of structure and timing. It definitely fits the somewhat predictable modern metal formula, but is not at all dull, taking pieces of the contemporary era and putting them together in a way that adds up to a unique Truth Corroded framework.
By just the third track of the disc, Pride of Demise, it's clear Truth Corroded has a knack for the drama building intro. This is that Big Arena Metal sound that sets circle pit records and breaks necks during the breakdowns. A tribal intro and bridge riff is mixed with a somewhat Mesopotamian sounding vibe, with equal thought given to heaviness and being catchy. Next in line is Leave Nothing Alive, the shortest song on the record, which also blasts along with some groove metal verses, further driving home the fact that this is a band that brings together many different variations on the extreme theme—some brutal, some melodic, but all memorable, with choruses made to stick. A mind was definitely given to the live setting, the reaction of the crowd, and inciting pure mosh pit madness.
The Great Waste of Flesh again has that same Middle Eastern feel in the intro. Many of the songs have that elongated introduction, slowly drawing out the emotion and essence of the song, revealing it but heightening the sense of anticipation. You know what's coming next, but that only serves to enhance the visceral climax when it does arrive. “All hail the great waste of flesh.”
Scavengers has the fastest blast yet on Worship the Bled, and mixes modern groove and chug with some blasting brutality. The consistent vocal delivery stays within the same discernible mid range as it does throughout the record, occasionally stepping into the highs for a moment or two. The densely layered production, with guitars piled on top of each other for a stacked, rich, full sound, is worth another mention. Then the big intro makes yet another appearance on Remnants. You just come to expect it by now, with its driving double bass and tom rolls, guitars chugging away on the fat strings with underlying arpeggios—a militaristic riff and beat fit for a death march. This slowing down of the pace again points to the level of thought that went into the pacing and track order of the album, and that, along with the world class production and Truth Corroded's ability to make the extreme accessible, could go a long way toward taking this band to the upper echelons above the underground struggle.
A huge emotional payoff comes along in Dragged Beneath in the form of the mournful strains of a violin passage, accompanied by anguished screams and lyrical potency with thought behind every syllable. Big league breakdowns and solos then abound on Tear Out the Eyes of Your God as the end draws nigh.
Worship the Bled closes with an epic piece, the most dramatic of the bunch, Summon Abyss, which draws out the intro yet again, pummeling on the toms. This might not be a concept album, but it has that same rare, cohesive feel. It's an uncommon accomplishment when everything splices together so seamlessly, and the different elements come together to make something that is no less than complete. This is a slow, plodding number, ending on a progressive note, with an outro that brings back the Asian and/or aboriginal and Middle Eastern flavors that were dropped at different points in the album, wrapping things up coherently, cohesively, and completely.