Review Summary: "Killing's my business, and business is fine..."
Emerging from the developing New York Hardcore scene, Agnostic Front releases their sophomore album, 'Cause For Alarm.' Heavy in its presence and mosh-inducing, this album constantly pounds your eardrums with double-bass beats and angry vocals. Combining the aggression of the Ramones with the speed of Bad Brains creates a seminal record of the now-coming-forth crossover thrash.
Formed by guitarist Vinnie Stigma, Agnostic Front slowly built up to the spillage of this LP by first putting out the 'United Blood' EP, and then 'Victim in Pain', which were essentially hardcore. However, by bringing metallic elements such as the double-bass drumming of Lou Beatto and heavier guitars, 'Cause For Alarm' quickly grabs the listener's attention. Roger Miret's punk vocals (reminiscent of that of Exodus) aggressive and strong, cause the auditor to want to chant along and become part of the politically-involved monster that is Agnostic Front.
The opening track, "The Eliminator" immediately calls you to action; this is a good opener because it showcases the ability of Agnostic Front completely -- the ultimate speed, violent lyrics and occasional vocal melodies let you know what's up. This sails smoothly into "The Existence of Hate", reminiscent of their influences, making it sound like another hardcore song, a slight change of pace from the beginner. The quality of this album quickly decreases with "Your Mistake", a song that I quickly lose interest in -- however short, it ends too late.
"Out For Blood" is the best and thrashiest song on this album, whose influence on the developing thrash scene and metallic-hardcore was clearly audible. The best thing about this album is its ability to squeeze such a large quantity of energy and ruthlessness into a 30 minute slot with no filler whatsoever. This album does not cease to obliterate your sense of hearing -- rather, it destroys you in the mosh pit. But 'Cause For Alarm', however energetic, is not a perfect album. The production is pretty bad; one can tell how rushed this album was to be released.
Other than that, this LP is definitely one of my favorite thrash -- or punk? -- albums of the 80's, up there with the big four's seminal albums and the other metallic-hardcore bands. 'Cause for Alarm', slightly underdeveloped but destruction-dosed, will bring you to the pit. 4/5