Though I consider myself to be a fairly avid Thrasher, this was my first foray into the aural realm of Freddy Krueger’s Ünderwear (F.K.Ü. for short). I had done a little preliminary research and gleaned a few details before firing up the audio, but I really had no idea what awaited me.
What I discovered is that 4: Rise of the Mosh Mongers is one of the best modern Thrash albums I’ve ever heard. Period. It’s an album that sounds like it was written and recorded in the 80s, but mixed and mastered right here in 2013: An ode to the genres golden age that doesn’t sound like it was released back then.
The first thing that grabbed me was the voice: Lawrence “Larry Lethal” Mackrory has somehow combined the best aspects of Paul Baloff and Bobby Blitz. His voice is punky and aggressive, with just enough Traditional Metal theatricality and drama to push it over the edge. He delivers the hilariously ridiculous, obligatory slasher film lyrics with such a razor sharp edge that anyone with a pulse would sit up and take notice. The backing vocals on the album, provided by the other three members of the band, are also spot-on. I found myself having troubling containing the urge to shout the choruses back during my second spin of the album. Every vocal line commands the listeners attention.
One small flaw of this album is the lack of solos ((I remember exactly one guitar solo. That is all.)). This flaw is easily overlooked however, because the riffs contained in each song are spectacular. Each one was crafted to purvey lethal precision to the listener. Never is a note out of place: everything fits perfectly into the thrashing onslaught that is nearly every track. A particular kudos needs to be given to drummer Teddy “Dr. Ted Killer Miller” Möller. His drumming not only keeps time perfectly, but shows creativity and fluidity at key moments of several compositions. This is one tight band, let there be no doubt.
The album, as I said previously, is perfectly produced. It holds the textural qualities of some of the most classic 80s albums (Anthrax’s Spreading the Disease and Exodus’ Bonded by Blood in particular) but it’s given a punishing, bass-driven attack that could only be possible in the 21st century. I can’t stress how important the production is to the overall feel of this album. Without it, Larry’s fantastic rasp wouldn’t pop above the mayhem, and the guitars wouldn’t have nearly the same precise, blunt attack that they do. Without its stellar mix, Rise… wouldn’t be the astounding album it is.
This isn’t an album that re-invents the wheels. At the end of the day, there’s nothing new here. This is merely an album that worships and cherishes the wheel. F.K. Ü. is obviously a band that loves what they do. They have taken the time and the care to create a towering tribute to punishing, over-the-top Thrash Metal of the highest caliber. So how can you repay them? Buy the album, catch them live, and most importantly, Thrash ‘Til Death!