It’s certainly heavy, true to the band’s Metal/Thrash tag. Perhaps Thrash Metal is making a much-needed come back here in Africa. Which works well for me. As much as I can praise this album there are tiny cracks that will need fixing.
It’s All Gone is the début album of the band Aftermath Excursion. A truly lovely effort from the three-man band, With Phil on Vocals and Bass, Ian on guitar (who also works on the songwriting.) and Jared on Guitar. I know what you are thinking here… “Where’s the drummer?”
For me where the album shines is in staying true to their genre, Thrash Metal. For those who know the genre well, you can tell by the riffages or variation in them. Don’t be displeased if Thrash isn’t your thing the album caters to all. Which is saying a lot really. The lyrical theme of the album varies. Aftermath Excursion wasn’t going for a theme here it seems. Which is very ok for a début album. With lyrics for poaching in South Africa (Culling Time) and the feeling of being “left out” (The Odd One Out), you will get a decent degree of lyrical themes when listening to the album. Joy in variety, says I. The stand out songs in the album are few if I’m to be honest (yes, I have to be honest, surprised?) but they leave an impression on you. The song It’s all Gone is the real star of the album, it stood out well no matter how many times I listened to it. When that moment comes and you feel the need to introduce people to what Thrash Metal sounds like in Africa, this song will be gladly pulled out of the hat. The Song Chaos in Trenches sets you up for what Aftermath Excursion is all about, a decent introduction yes but it should have been a different song. Another stand out song here is Time. Thrash bands have a habit of introducing mellow songs in their albums. Right from the time of old. It brings a surprising twist to what Thrash Metal is all about. And the truth here is this, having a mellow song in a Thrash Album gives that very album a soul. It’s usually a sensible way to show the world that a Thrash Metal band isn’t all about the heavy chugging on the E string. Time seems to represent the deep sensitive side of Aftermath Excursion. It’s was a smart move and I applaud the band for that bit there.
However, there are some negatives that takes the shine off the album, for starters, Phil’s vocals don’t seem to be in sync with the first two songs. But right from It’s All Gone to the very last song his vocals takes a commanding hold on the album. Perhaps these first two song were recorded earlier but the flaws there are noticeable. Also, seeing as this is the band’s first album, the tone of the riffs sound the same on a couple of songs. The lyrical themes may be different but you also need some level of variation to the riffs. Effects here and there adds color to the tracks. Perhaps this won’t be a problem to some but it’s very noticeable. And lastly the lack of a standout solo. I admit this last criticism is a bit harsh but every Thrash album has at least one memorable guitar solo. The album does have solos but none are good enough to be called great.
For a début album, it’s hard not to like the effort After Excursion has made here. I feel though, and I’m sure as hell I’m right here, I feel the band decided to play it a little safe. I wish they didn’t. Perhaps this is an encouraging statement or a challenge, whichever works fine. It’s All Gone does what it promises, it delivers Thrash Metal but not without its shortcomings.