AT WAR – Infidel

AT WAR - Infidel
  • 8/10
    AT WAR - Infidel - 8/10


Heavy Artillery Records
Release date: August 18, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Judging by Infidel, it seems that At War, the veteran comeback Speed / Thrash Metal band, are still in the 80s and it seems like nothing has really changed since their previous album, Retaliatory Strike, twenty one years ago. For all you, new Thrashers, who don’t know the name, At War are from Virginia, this band is a must to have / hear / strap to your ears etc.

Formed in 1983, in the days when Metal started devouring the USA, this mad trio created the phrase, and sub-genre in Metal and in Speed / Thrash, “War Metal” and no, Slayer did not create “War Metal”. It is very easy to comprehend the nature of this sub-genre – mostly war stuff made of soldiers, military campaigns and tons of bloodshed violence.

Up until 1988, when At War stopped releasing Thrashy bombardments, two albums, the classic Ordered To Kill and Retaliatory Strike, and a single EP with the same name that was released just before the second album. After that year, everything turned black and the trio, Paul, Shawn and Dave went into a two decade “vacation” without calling it a breakup. This retreat ended in 2006. The trio went back indoors to work on new material and as they worked, they started to show themselves again at concerts throughout the US and other venues in Europe and Mexico, showing the power and strength of Old School Speed / Thrash Metal. The band’s new comeback model, Infidel, shows that not only did At War keep the heritage of Speed and Thrash Metal, they also didn’t back down before the ongoing trends that touched and influenced the majority of the comeback Thrash bands of the 80s. Unlike Exodus, Testament, Defiance and other great names in US Thrash, At War forcefully maintained their sound production status, although in better quality than back in the old days yet in the spirit and prowess of the mid to late 80s. All those efforts, aside from the band itself, by the man that produced their second outcome at their legendary home studio Pyramid Sound, Alex Perialas. Letting Perialas do the production work once again turned out to be a major factor on the quality and feel within Infidel.

After all the time that passed since At War molested the Metal World with war’s horrific tales and news flashes, they came back to administer the news in your face. Most of Infidel discusses, with uncompromising Speed Metal attacks, the fundamental Islam and its war against the west, especially on the USA. After what happened on 9.11, Iraq and the ongoing battles in Afghanistan, this topic is hot and At War knew that and used it to recreate events of those wars and conflicts through several points of view, mostly through the American soldier’s eyes and inner thoughts. In general, one may think that these guys are politically motivated because as Americans they have faith and assurance in their army, on the other hand, one may understand why there is a need to open the eyes of the people who don’t know or don’t understand nor care about the world which they are living in and that you have to fight for the right to “..Speak your mind.” Everyone has his own strategy on how to express his thoughts on different situations in life, At War, as they always have in the past, they keep the same pace.

On its own, Infidel, is a great comeback album and a good reminder for those who thought that Speed Metal had ended long ago. Decisive warmongers such as “Assassins”, “Make Your Move”, “Want You Dead”, suicidal bomber of “Semper Fi” and “Vengeful Eyes” are amazing showcases on how At War sustained their early days with great prospects for a continuing menace in the future to come. At War today sounds very similar to the glory days of Slayer in the 80s and is something that various people long for some time. In addition, At War treats you well with a re-recording of the band’s mega hit “Rapechase”, a track that was included, back in the day, on the “Speed Metal Hell” compilation of 1985.

Nevertheless, however At War kept their Old School chains intact and however good Infidel, as a standalone album it is, it’s pretty much a continuance situation and it can’t be ranked higher than the rating offered here. Even so, Infidel is an awesome ride for young Thrashers who really like to enjoy a classic in the making, tags or no tags, Infidel is an album that will get its rightful recognition – so prepare your bullet rounds and mosh to its sound.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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