Algebra – Feed The Ego (Unspeakable Axe Records)

Wednesday, 2nd July 2014
Rating: 7.5/10

Algebra face an uphill battle that few bands will have to. Namely, when one hears the term Algebra, there is a tendency start thinking about mathematics and groan (there are few that truly enjoy math, and they are usually math teachers). However, don’t be put off by high school reminiscing and anger about staring at a bunch of numbers when you hear Algebra. In fact, you might just be impressed at how mathematically calculating their riffing can be.

Being around since 2008, Algebra are already quite comfortable working within the framework of ‘80s thrash. Sepultura and Testament quickly come to mind when hearing the onslaught of frenetic yet melodic riffing. Yet the band is able to put their own spin on things and dial up the heaviness from time to time with some near death metal moments that come up during the album. The opening track, “Survival Nowadays,” features a few seconds where a death metal riff jumps in and pushes the speed a bit further. These moments are a nice inclusion from time to time, doing well to remind the listener that they are not just listening to old school thrash worship. The vocals are the somewhat typical gruff delivery but suit the band well. There are even some times where some more clean-styled delivery comes in (“Necessary Evil”) and this too gives some needed diversity to keep the band’s motor running. They even pull off a ballad in the form of “My Shelf” that retains a solid metal vibe and doesn’t come across in that hokey sense that these type of songs have a tendency to do.

Feed the Ego is an enjoyable throwback to a time of anger-soaked thrash. Varied enough to avoid coming across as one-note, yet keeping the feeling of the old masters intact. With a production that nicely blurs the lines between today and yesterday, yet allows the surgically precise riffing to pop, Feed the Ego has all of the needed pieces in place. This might be the first time that you’ll be exposed to Algebra and smile!

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