Acid Reign - The Age of Entitlement

Acid Reign The Age of Entitlement cover
Acid Reign
The Age of Entitlement
Dissonance Productions
God knows what made UK thrash-punk band Acid Reign (basically their vocalist “H” – real name Howard Smith – with a new band behind him) to come back nearly thirty years after calling it a day, early in the 90s, following a short career of half a dozen years that was however decently productive, with an EP and a couple of albums on the influential under one flag label.
Reunited after a compilation release and some festival appearance, with pretty much a new band around the lone original member, the new Acid Reign musically shares some common ground with the band from the last century, although it sounds a little less punk and chaotic.
Of course things are not a million miles away, due to “H”’s idiosyncratic vocals, which seem to hold up rather well despite him pushing 50, so and the mid-era Anthrax vibe they gave off then is still pretty much the order of the day, despite the vocal being a little more controlled and smooth than back in the day.
The album opens with a short instrumental “T.A.O.E” that’s followed, by “The New Low”, an energetic mid-tempo that refuses to let you sit idle.
“#newagenarcissist” seems to want to ridicule the hyper narcissistic way people try to project themselves these days through social media etc., and has a nice enough rhythm and engorging rhythms, with a chorus that’s simple but effective.
“My Peace of Hell” feels like a leftover, from the “Euphoria” era, Anthrax track and it’s slamming bridge/chorus is damn catchy, as is the weird choice of a cover “Blood Makes Noise” by Suzanne Vega, a nice pop ditto with a very catchy hook/rhythm that could have come from an arcade game.
“Sense of Independence” is a little different, bringing a bit of Araya-n manic focus into the delivery of the lyrics... the riff of “Hardship” also has this creepy quality of some Kerry King ideas, maybe don’t think traditional Slayer… think “Undisputed Attitude” with a lead that wouldn’t have felt out of place in Metallica’s “And Justice”…
“Within the Woods” doesn’t break the mould, but has some nice reoccurring ideas, which helps it stand out a little and not sound entirely same as all the other songs. It also lasts some eight minutes, which is not exactly typical for a “thrash” song.
“Ripped Apart” then, at a little over two minutes, manages to compress a shitload of stuff in there, with almost “Show no Mercy” speed and intensity.
Lastly, “United Hates” is more in tune with what the band is known about, with a more melodic than usual chorus, being surrounded by some pretty weirdly melodic but rather dissonant ideas.
The album is a little asymmetric, with the stronger material coming early on, but the “b side” is not necessarily filler ridden, just a bit different and you might like that or be slightly turned off by it. But at the end of the day, if you liked the band back in the day, you’re likely to like them now. A little more melodic than they used to be, but thoroughly enjoyable.