Rhythm of Fear – Fatal Horizons (MNRK Heavy)

Wednesday, 12th October 2022
Rating: 9 / 10

Slowly climbing up the underground ranks, Florida crossover thrash unit Rhythm of Fear arrives at their sophomore album for Fatal Horizons – sights set on gathering more metalheads to the flock through a potent powerful sonic cocktail of tracks. Lifelong followers of all styles within metal, the quartet pulls from influences outside the scope of the genre as well, which makes many of these songs launch from the speakers with additional energy, verve, groove, gallops. Whatever it takes to drive home these massive hooks that lodge themselves deep into the brain, that’s what you’ll get from the first quick hitting bass lick until the final vocal roar.

The mid-tempo stomp soon gives chase to a triplet, crunchy thrash foundation during engaging opener “Obsolescence” – Jay Santiago’s rapid-fire verses plus commanding chorus parts hypnotic against the Sacred Reich meets Merauder in a Cyclone Temple alley proceedings. A soothing bass/drum groove lasts 13 seconds before the stop/start guitar passages of Cody James soon force “Parasomniac” into a swirling composition fueled by hardcore angst next to crunchy thrash, Jay executing specific melodies in a stunted Forced Entry-esque manner. When the band wishes to just be heads down in attack mode, they often temper things with a left field twist such as the funky transitions during “Self Destructive Brain” as the main power rhythms recall the glory days of early Forbidden. Blazing solos abound, while the drumming contains the best elements of main pocket parts, slamming groove sections, and the diversity to incorporate crossover hardcore/thrash elements that do not sacrifice anything for the sake (or needs) of the song in question. Three interesting short instrumentals spaced out across the record give listeners that minor breather before the next heavy composition – of which the doomier “Atrocities Beyond the Structures of the Mind” works best, while fans of punky blitzkrieg thrash will slam hard to the 1:50 “Oath Made In Hell” – the reverb delay plus mid-tempo Slayer-esque transition heightening the fiery musical components.

Everything from alien abduction, addiction, sleep disorders, and exploration of Mayan/ Aztec mythology showcases Rhythm of Fear also put a lot of time, effort, and energy into engaging lyrical content pulling from personal and literature, horror/movie influences. Fatal Horizons could be that gateway record to allow this band to elevate their following through a wide touring schedule – it’s that strong, that memorable, made by gentlemen well indoctrinated into the hidden crevices of a long running thrash/hardcore platform.

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