Review Summary: A powerful thrash album with progressive undertones, in spite of its flaws.
For Whose Advantage? is a neat album. Released by Xentrix
in 1990, this was a thrash album which fused elements of progressive metal as well. While this approach of blending genres is not entirely unheard of, they do it in a way that is more effective than most, leading to a satisfying end result.
Many bands make attempts to fuse 'x genre' with 'y genre', leading to elements appearing from 'y genre', but feeling tacked on and contrived. Fortunately, the songwriting present here is much more solid, feeling as though it was planned from the beginning to be a progressive thrash album, and effectively reaching this goal.
Unfortunately, there is also a contrast present. The more melodic components of the album do feel tacked on, and don't flow naturally with the album. Due to the band being at their peak during moments of aggression, the slower passages found in songs such as The Bitter End
simply distract from the more interesting parts of the album. This is not helped by the admittedly poor voice of the vocalist, which remains as aggressive shouting even during the more subdued passages. This creates a startling contrast between the melodic instrumental section and the abrasive vocal performance, but not in a good way.
This album is very much a guitar-driven album. Playing is quite technical and fast, with riffs galore that are memorable and simply fun. This comes with the unfortunate side effect of the other facets of the band feeling like an afterthought. As mentioned before, the vocal performance is simply shouting, which is very generic. While this may not be too bad for fans of thrash metal, those who listen to the album for the progressive edge may be put off. In addition, the drums have little variety, leading to songs being somewhat difficult to distinguish from one another. Fortunately, the work done by the guitar is strong enough to support the rest of the band.
Though it is flawed, For Whose Advantage? is still an enjoyable album. Some weaker tracks appear here and there, but the standout tracks are strong enough to support the album and create a pleasurable experience.