Review: "Obnoxious" by British Thrash Metal Band Acid Reign

A photo of the album covers and CD Obnoxious (released in 1990)

Why does the album Obnoxious deserve respect and recognition?

When it comes to the United Kingdom, most of us probably would not think of thrash metal. Well, there is thrash metal in the UK and one of those bands is Acid Reign (notice the difference in the spelling of that second word). The band’s album called Obnoxious deserves a review and commentary, not just because it is a thrash metal album but it is a thrash metal album that is high energy and humorous. The album was released in 1990, one year before the group would disband. But prior to their disbandment, these guys made quite a statement with their second album.

Track Listing for the album Obnoxious

  1. Creative Restraint
  2. Joke Chain
  3. Thoughtful Sleep
  4. You Are Your Enemy
  5. Phantasm
  6. My Open Mind
  7. Codes of Conformity
  8. This is Serious

Why is the song Creative Restraint such a great way to start off the album?

The opening song that is really fast and sends a very important message is the one called Creative Restraint. The song is about trying to express yourself in such a way that when you discuss things with the masses of people, you express thoughts that are good, healthy and free of excess judgement. However, the political system of several nations is set up in such a way that politicians tend to try and enforce their ideas and beliefs onto the population. Often times what also occurs throughout history is the leaders’ tendency to take advantage of their country’s constitution and use it to suit their own needs. When this happens, dangerous precedents can be set. I like the song because it is fast and exciting and it is a great way to start the album. The way that this album begins is one of the best ways to start off a heavy metal album. The band did this by including a song that has all the elements that make an outstanding song and the message in it is something that people in democratic countries can keep in mind as they go to the polls to vote for their leaders.

Creative Restraint (best song in the album)

Songs 2-4 end a very solid first half of the album

Joke Chain is not as good as the first song but the melody is decent. The song is about what can happen to Planet Earth when humans misuse the environment. This concept was addressed in Annihilator’s song called Stonewall. Thoughtful Sleep starts with beautiful acoustic guitar that is quite pleasing to the ear and melodic as well. It is surprising that this album did so poorly in terms of sales because it is quite good in the early parts of it. In the end of the song we are exposed to some more acoustic guitar work before it goes into the song called You Are Your Enemy. The song is about the fact that we are told that in life we get only one chance to do what we want to do. But at times in life, when people become angry and they are exposed to other negative emotions, these emotions can take advantage of their minds, bodies, and spirits this leaving them confused, angry, in pain, lacking energy and in some cases they begin to wonder whether life is worth living or not. Life may not be fair but it is still good. We have to try our best to do what we can to keep our head above the turbulent waters of life even when it seems that there is nothing good in this life on Earth. Sometimes, life can be what we make of it. Sometimes we may be contributing to our not so good feelings.

How is the rest of the album? The answer: still good

The album’s second half is decent but not as solid as the first four songs. However, this does not take down the quality of the album that much in terms of the songs. The song is about someone who is controlled and manipulated by others who force him to think a certain way or to adopt certain beliefs and opinions that are accepted by society. He is constantly trying to tell them to respect his decisions and actions and that he just wants to keep an open mind to make the choices that he wants to make. The last song called This is Serious is just a song that is built entirely on humor as the band members are laughing and just having fun as they chant. Overall, the album Obnoxious is an enjoyable listen by one of the earliest thrash metal bands in the UK. Vocalist Howard “H” Smith has a punk style kind of voice which really fits well with the songs. This album gets a score of 80 out of 100 points.

The song called Thoughtful Sleep

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