Review Summary: Lots of rage and fun, here’s your typical retro crossover thrash act. Only difference is that they’re taco-lovers, instead of hamburger eaters.
Modern thrash metal acts are clearly divided into two camps; those who try to, if not innovate, then at least give a breath of fresh air to their music incorporating progressive and melodic flavors, and those who are content themselves replicating the stereotypical, rebel thrash style perpetuated by the likes of Violator or Municipal Waste. A look at the band's name and cover art of Beware of Metal
is enough to realize that Mexican thrashers Intoxxxicated belong to the latter. Even though they didn’t reinvent the wheel, this group has gained national recognition over the years through paying tribute to the usual alcoholic, funny and street thrash sound with the occasional crossover and punk influences. Current Mexican thrash bands have the same bits of aggressiveness and humor that can make them just as attractive for the nostalgic and drunk crossover thrasher as the American replicators, and Intoxxxicated have been the main heroes in this scene.
Instrumentally they are nothing from another world. As stated before, they completely dabble on the unstoppable, galloping and frenetic thrash style reminiscent of Municipal Waste, Lich King, early Nuclear Assault or a less dark and apocalyptic version of Toxic Holocaust’s Hell on Earth
, leaving the listener no moment to take a breath during half an hour; they even play a solid, respectable cover of Tankard’s classic ''Zombie Attack''. Punk and garage influences can be breathed here as well thanks to the band’s instrumental approach and attitude; there aren’t many guitar solos throughout this disc, as usual in this type of bands, and ''Evil in Your Veins'' shows the simplicity and old school punk-rock rage with a lot of rawness. The production works decently in give the album the street and chaotic vibe that transmits its cover art, and although the lack of originality and variation in their primitive thrash rockers are notable, the music has a consistent tone and songs like the punching opening ''Slaves for Conviction'' or ''No Mercy (For Blade)'' offer enough heaviness, attitude and addictive riffage to keep your attention on the record.
The bass, although it has a couple of short stand-alone moments, it mostly twangs alongside the guitar riffs, while drummer Enrique Parker bashes and crashes upon everything within sight. The Municipal Waste worship is very obvious too; songs like ''Tonight'' and ''*** Yourself'' are your typical short, raging and in-your-face thrash rockers, there’s an occasional use of cartoonish samples and the gang choruses are present as well on both ''Porno Thrasher'' and ''Cheetos en la Torta'' (yes, those are song titles). The vocals are nothing to write home about, as sometimes Julian Murillo's vocal contributions are buried with everything else (guitars, drums and bass); however a noticeable thing is that, for a record with too much Waste worship, he doesn’t totally come off as another Tony Foresta rip-off. His vocals are more nasal, and normally he sings in a mid-range with a mocking, badass tone. Sometimes he throws some high, thrash shouts in a couple of tracks with power and adrenaline.
Beware of Metal’s
main drawback for some, though, may be its lyrical content. Retro thrash world isn’t full of poets and choir boys, of course, and actually credit has to be given to the band for writing and singing in English instead of Spanish. Sometimes, however, they delve into clichés. ''I Want You Dead'' could appeal to the nonconformist, rebel teenage with lines like 'I am the one who wants you dead / I want your contaminated blood on the floor / And kick your empty skull / DIE FAST!',
but it sounds painfully cliché and funny for the rest. Occasionally they try to make fun of the thrash lyrical stereotypes a la Lich King, but sinking even more into comic-bookish moments with titles such as ''Cheetos en la Torta'', the umpteenth thrash anthem about killing posers (''Tonight'', with such inspiring lines as 'We are here not to talk about love / We are here just to thrash from below / To kill the ***in’ posers / And rape their ***in’ mothers'
and even featuring a Pinky and the Brain
sample on its intro) or the raunchy, filthy lyrics of ''Porno Thrasher'' (pointing out a specific line is difficult, the title says it all).
Clearly the Intoxxxicated guys don’t come with the intentions of being the nicest and cleanest metal guys you’ll ever meet, and if you invite them to your house they’re more likely to make a thrash feast and a complete mess. These guys don’t take themselves seriously, and neither should you. Lyrical content aside, Intoxxxicated makes a decent, solid and comic exercise in generating a partying and rebel vibe amongst angry, head-banging thrashers. The dilemma with this band is the following; if you’re eager to collect every retro-thrash act in the Earth and are able to ignore unserious, absurd lyrics, then you’ll have no problem with Beware of Metal
. For those who're looking for something innovative, serious and groundbreaking, though, you can feel free to discard this.