Review by Nathan McLeod: Having formed back in 1990, which was basically at the end of the third wave of thrash metal era(s), ‘Unprovoked’ only had one release under their belts with their ‘Population 0’ demo in 1992. Three years later Unprovoked disbanded. Fast-forward twenty years to 2015, & alas ladies & gentlemen, the wait is over! Literally speaking from ‘out of the ashes’ Sacramento, California (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California) thrashers Unprovoked back in May 2019 have released their debut CD entitled…….’Out Of The Ashes’!
Out Of The Ashes’ tempo & pace I thought started off a bit slow with the first two tracks of ‘My Heart, My Mind’ & ‘Apocalypse In My Head’ with a ‘Pantera/Machine Head/Prong-style’ approach. Unprovoked shift gears a bit with ‘Hate Blog’ thru ‘Serve And Protect’ offering up a style comparison to their ‘Bay Area’ counterparts that of ‘DRI’ & ‘Death Angel’. The band really kicks things into overdrive with ‘Faded Smile’ thru ‘Face The Fear’, whom are on fire hitting on all cylinders that reminisces the old-school ‘Dark Angel’ & ‘Exodus’! With the finale of ‘Out Of The Ashes/Unprovoked’ plateauing down. I very much like how the track order appears here reminding me of a temperature rising, that finally breaks 2/3rds the way into the set, ending with a melancholy feeling of paranoia……
Vocals of ‘Darren Chaney’ are a style of his own that somewhat emulate that of ‘Steve “Zetro” Souza”. Rhythm section of ‘Loren Scott’ on bass & ‘Justin Woods’ on drums are very tight & intricate which remind me much of ‘Dave Ellefson/Nick Menza’. Twin axeman of ‘Cless Limperio’ & ‘Devin Manzanares’ shred like that of the old-school ‘Rick Hunolt/Gary Holt’ whom totally kill it solo-wise like that of ‘Jeff Hanneman/Kerry King’ with a tad bluesy feeling of ‘Fast Eddie Clarke’. Not convinced? Listen to the likes of ‘Lost Inside’: https://youtu.be/3gevNqdHAZ8 and ‘Faded Smile’: https://youtu.be/CL8QXN8Hkew … Some strong authorative-style backing vocals from Devin & Cless are also present thru out Out Of The Ashes.
Out Of The Ashes is very well written & influentially ‘well-rounded’! Unprovoked did a terrific job with this release. All the hard work & patience put into releasing this shows & has definitely paid off! There’s truly a night & day difference from the state the material was in a few years ago when I heard it to what the finished product has to offer. Just no comparison. You guys straight killed it! Also, many props to the fact that what I hear in the studio you do outstanding live! Example that being of ‘Hate Blog (studio)’: https://youtu.be/thm7Y5T-h54 … and ‘Hate Blog (live)’: https://youtu.be/SOHmYA5WhPQ … Guys definitely got the chops!
End of the day when all is said & done, I can actually spin Out Of The Ashes over & over without getting tired of hearing it. I can’t do this with many releases. When I can with the likes of something as thrashy & catchy as this; it’s a huge & definite plus. As far as underground releases are concerned, I can put Unprovoked right up there with the likes of ‘Skitzo – Five Point Containment’ & ‘Anger As Art – Callous And Furor’. It’s that fucking good! As a whole, this CD simply put is almost perfect in my opinion. You have truly amazing state-of-the-art work done production-wise between ‘Tom Jimenez’ at ‘Audio Edge Recording’ & ‘Juan Urteaga’ at ‘Trident Studios’. I really dig the old-school thrash slightly polished approach here. You can listen to the whole Out Of The Ashes CD streaming on ‘YouTube’: https://youtu.be/JgVJ_L2Dw8I … Do recommend picking up a hard copy from the band: https://unprovokedthrash.com/ … Job well done Unprovoked!!!
Out Of The Ashes track info: I) My Heart, My Mind _ II) Apocalypse In My Head _ III) Hate Blog _ IV) Deathbed _ V) Once Thought Innocent _ VI) Serve And Protect _ VII) Faded Smile _ VIII) Lost Inside _ IX) Face The Fear X) Out Of The Ashes / Unprovoked – total run-time, 43:37.
Recorded, mixed, & engineered by Tom Jimenez at Audio Edge Recording – Sacramento, California: https://audioedgerecordings.com/ … Mastered by Juan Urteaga at Trident Studios – Martinez, California: https://www.facebook.com/Trident-Studio-1282676985178313/ …
Unprovoked: *Darren Chaney – Vocals *Devin Manzanares – Guitars, Vocals *Cless Limperio – Guitars, Vocals *Loren Scott – Bass *Justin Woods – Drums
*Website – https://unprovokedthrash.com/
*SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/unprovoked-sacto
*ReverbNation – https://www.reverbnation.com/unprovoked
*Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sactounprovoked
*Metal Archives – https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Unprovoked/51609
My rating: 95/100 (Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !)