I’m a little late covering this release, the third album from Finnish thrashers Lost Society, as it was released yesterday. What with them touring with Exodus in a couple of week, though, I wanted to give the album a listen in preparation.
Lost Society are a young band in all respects – three albums and an average age not much more than 16 or something equally annoying (when you get to my age, anyway). Their previous two albums were out and out thrash-fests – speed, slaughter, chainsaw-fast riffs and drumming that made your ears bleed from 20 paces.
Overall Braindead is much slower, though there are still forays into the faster material (“Mad Torture”, “Rage Me Up” and “Hangover Activator” are probably the closest to neck-breaking on here), but even they have their slower moments – a rarity on Terror Hungry or Fast Loud Death.
Indeed, when opener “I Am The Antidote” came on, I had to double check that I had the right band and album. Don’t get me wrong, bands change and intros can often be a bit cheeky and misleading but this song never steps up to the same gear we’re used to from Lost Society. It’s a very sudden sideways move for them, and particularly surprising as the first track. To have put it in a little later on with some more familiar sounds first may have made more sense. I mean, sure, Fast Loud Death opened fairly slowly with the beginning of “N.W.L.” but it sped up soon enough. “I Am The Antidote” doesn’t.
I’m not against thrash bands trying something a little slower. Testament’s Souls of Black is one of their best albums in my opinion, and Megadeth really produced something special with “A Tout Le Monde”, but both were somewhat more established by that point.
I have given Braindead a fair few listens and it is growing on me a bit, but I did have to get over that initial “what?” moment. Having said that, I find myself picking and choosing the tracks I want to listen to rather than running the album through from start to finish. And, yes, I’m picking the faster tracks as that’s what Lost Society do best. The other songs aren’t bad – “Only (My) Death Is Certain” has a great Testament-esque intro, for example, before remembering about halfway through that it’s being played by thrash band for about fifteen seconds – they’re just… a little out of place. Some of the vocal segments, because of the slower music, come across a bit “screamo” as well. With a full on thrash backing they’d be fine, but they don’t suit this change in musical direction.
It’s hard to gauge the album as a whole. I’m all for bands trying something new and sometimes it works out well, even though the album is slated (Machine Head’s Supercharger still stands out to me, as an example) but Lost Society just don’t seem to have nailed the newer sound as yet. This is one that you need to listen to first, I think. I’ve seen a couple of reviews with straight out write the album off due to it’s change in tempo. Don’t do that. Give it a chance. But if you’re a hardcore fan of the first two albums, be prepared.
Regardless, I’m looking forward to the live show. Chances are we’ll be talking to them as well, so I may ask what triggered the change in direction…