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

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

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

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

Why Does the Album "Obnoxious" Deserve Respect and Recognition?

Most of us might not associate thrash metal with the United Kingdom, but there is thrash metal in the UK. One of those bands is Acid Reign (notice the spelling of that second word). The band’s album 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.

Note: as of 2015, Acid Reign has reunited! Maybe they can reestablish themselves as one of the premier thrash metal bands to ever come out of the United Kingdom.

Songs List for "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"

Creative Restraint (Best Song on the Album)

Why Is the Song "Creative Restraint" Such a Great Way to Start Off the Album?

The opening song is really fast and sends a very important message. "Creative Restraint" 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 judgment. However, the political system of some nations is set up in such a way that politicians try to impose their ideas and beliefs onto the population. What also occurs is 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.


Why I Like the Song "Creative Restraint"

I like the song Creative Restraint 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 of an outstanding song, and the message in it is something that people in democratic countries should keep in mind as they go to the polls to vote for their leaders.

A Very Solid First Half Including the Songs "Joke Chain" & "Thoughtful Sleep"

"Joke Chain" is not as good as the first song, but the melody is decent. The bass guitar starts this song as the song speeds up. The song is about what can happen to planet Earth when humans misuse the environment. This concept was also addressed in Annihilator’s song called "Stonewall."

"Thoughtful Sleep" starts with a 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. At 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." This song is about the fact that we are told that 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, they may 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.

The Song Called "Phantasm"

Obnoxious: Second Half of the Album

The album’s second half is decent, but not as solid as the first four songs. However, this does not reduce the quality of the album that much in terms of the songs. "Phantasm" is the longest song on the album and it starts with a symphonic part. Those of us who are musically adept at figuring out which band was influenced by this kind of orchestration will know that it was the UK's Cradle of Filth.

The song "My Open Mind" 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.

"Thoughtful Sleep"

Final Thoughts

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 that really fits well with the songs. This album gets a score of 80 out of 100 points.

"Joke Chain"

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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