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 WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO

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S.D.
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PostSubject: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Sat May 08, 2010 10:41 pm

Growing up in the tri-state area (va, wv, md), I had the pleasure to see Wrathchild countless times starting in around 1985 when they were basically still a party rock band. I was also at one of the first shows where they started introducing the thrashier songs into their set. Eventually, the only songs from the original incarnation that survived was "No Deposit, No Return".

I also unfortunately was there to witness the entire mess with the name. I heard Climbin' The Walls for the first time in 1987, on a promo-LP with the exact same artwork as the official release...except it said WRATHCHILD on the cover. Then there it sat, in legal limbo for an entire 2 years.

As soon as the legal battle began, the group immediately wanted to change the name of the band to Souls At Zero, but Atlantic refused and thus they missed their window. They also begged to re-record Climbin' because their sound had matured a great deal in the 2 years since it was recorded. Again, the answer was no and Atlantic released the debut album by WRATHCHILD AMERICA in 1989. I know this album is somewhat popular, but it is a piss poor representation of what this group REALLY sounded like in 1989.

Thankfully 3-D was released in 1991 and for once, they managed to capture the overall vibe of the band. This album was written & rehearsed during the day in Slammers nightclub in Martinsburg, WV (credited as "Kenny's Garage" in the liner notes). My best friend lived behind the club in a trailer and we had the opportunity to sit in on a couple rehearsals. One of the days I was there they were practicing the instrumental "Prego".

Once they fell victim to the Atlantic PURGE of 1992, they signed with tiny Energy Records and soldiered on with a classic "debut" album in Souls At Zero (1993). Despite heavy rotation on Headbangers Ball and constant touring, the album was under-promoted and never caught fire. By the time A Taste For The Perverse was released, the scene for heavy music was basically dead.

The last time I saw them was in Seattle, they were opening for Skid Row. They put on an incredible show as always, should have been the headliners...and they knew their days were numbered.

I can still put on 3-D to this day and it blows me away, takes me back to that time, standing in that empty club, pot smoke clouding the air...hearing Brad, Terry, Jay & Shannon absolutely DESTROY their instruments, these guys played with such passion. They also had the best sense of humor of any metal band on the planet. It was not uncommon for them to pull out a Bad Brains cover tune or throw in a Marley jam in the middle of a their set, they had so much fun that the crowd always responded. I think that's the main thing that strikes me, they were a metal band that actually sounded like they were enjoying themselves...
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MetalGuy71
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Tue May 11, 2010 11:51 am

I recently went back and revisited 3-D and while it's not a bad listen, I think it's too technical for my tastes. While I can appreciate the musicianship and I dig the thrashy-ness, it's a little too "all over the place" for me to really enjoy. Just when they start to settle into a groove, they change things up. A few times per song is fine, but when they do it 17 times, it's gets a little much. I realize that's part of the charm for most fans of the band, but it's too much for me I think.

Didin't mean to poop in your bag of sunshine there, Detuned, but it just so happened that I just listened to these guys 2 weeks ago, so the memories are fresh in my mind.

I have a Souls at Zero disc that I need to re-visit as well.
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Wed May 12, 2010 11:03 am

All that shit I just talked about Wrathchild America? Ignore it. I realized this morning that it was Watchtower that I was listening to, not Wrathchild America. All of those comments I made (too technical, no groove, etc.) should be directed to Watchtower's Control & Resistance.

I'm an ass.
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Wed May 12, 2010 11:28 am

LOL

lol!
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:21 pm

I listened to A Taste For The Perverse a few days ago and noticed for the first time how much it sounds like Tool's Undertow album, at least as far as the production and stripped-down arrangements go.

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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:10 pm

I've only heard SAZ's debut, which is very solid, IMO. The others I've never delved into.
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:19 pm

the EP is quite fun (Six-T-Six), also contains a great cover of Bad Brains "I Against I".
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:45 pm

I really love 3-D but for some odd reason I've never listened to anything past that. I just finished jamming 3-D and remembered this post, thanks SD for the history of the band and some personal experiences you had. I think I'll look into the rest of their catalog.
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:55 pm

The first Souls At Zero album (self-titled) is the closest to the style on 3-D.
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:16 am

How's Climbin' The Walls, SD?
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PostSubject: Re: WRATHCHILD (America) / SOULS AT ZERO   Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:43 am

Akeldama wrote:
How's Climbin' The Walls, SD?

Most people like it, I think it's "okay". It's amateurish and the lyrics are ridiculously bad. The album sat on a shelf for almost 2 years while they fought over the name in court, they had moved on to a different sound by that point so Climbin' The Walls felt dated when it was released. At least that's my perspective since I saw the band play live all the time.

A few songs that would later end up on 3-D (Gentleman Death was one of them) were already being played live on the Climbin' The Walls tour.

There are some good moments on the record and it definitely jams, but the songwriting is all over the map in search of a "sound". The title track is like AC/DC, Hells Gates is thrashy, No Deposit is very party-metal sounding, etc.

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