It’s no secret that I’ve been a devoted Lich King fan ever since I discovered the band on Myspace way back in 2008, which was not long after the release of the bands debut album, Necromantic Maelstrom. In the four years that have followed my discovery of the greatest thrash band of all time I’ve watched the band rise in popularity going from just a few fans to the world wide underground thrash metal sensation they are today. As any Lich King fan will tell you, the bands surge in popularity has not been unwarranted. Lich King has done nothing but improve from album to album while creating hit after fan adoring hit and managing to piss off a few (ignorant) people along the way. However it has been two years since the band has dropped their phenomenal 2010 album World Gond Dead and many fans (myself included) have been craving/starving/dying for a new Lich King album. Well, after what seems like countless months the long awaited fourth Lich King album – Born of the Bomb – has finally been released.
Admittedly my expectations for Born of the Bomb were high, and how could they not be? With the band showing such great improvement between albums in the past it’s only natural for one to assume that Lich King would continue this same pattern. However the band doesn’t meet expectations with Born of the Bomb. Instead Lich King take said expectations, multiplies them by ten and then surpasses them. To say Born of the Bomb is good would be an understatement, it’s evident from the second you hit play that this isn’t just Lich King’s finest hour but the finest thrash metal album of 2012 thus far.
The album starts off with the mandatory intro track entitled “All Hail” and almost immediately fans will notice the albums crystal clear production which was done by the bands very own drummer, Brian Westbrook. The real fun begins with the track “We Came To Conquer” as vocalist Tom Martin proclaims the return of the band with the albums opening lyrics “Hey guess what bitch we’re back lets get down to business” which is exactly what the band does by calling out elitist metal heads who seem to have forgotten that metal isn’t about looks but rather good riffs and good times. Although there are certain people out there who may be offended by such truths, Lich King prove their point with a track full of neck breaking riffs and a solo by axe man Rob Pellegri that will surely melt your face off. The fun doesn’t end there though, in fact the band is just getting warmed up. The tracks “In The End, Devastation” and “Combat Mosh” will surely go down as classic gems of the new wave of thrash as both songs will have you screaming the lyrics at the top of your lungs while the fierce riffs designed to wreck your neck will leave you crippled and starving for more.
Perhaps the greatest part of Born of the Bomb is the fact the album just keeps getting better and better as it progresses. Tracks like “Fan Massacre” and “Axe Cop” may very well raise the bar for thrash metal as a whole and cause many bands to turn green with envy and ask themselves “why didn’t I think of that?”
Although the album is packed with plenty of high octane neck snapping riffage one of the best moments of Born of the Bomb comes with the track Agnosticism, which sees the band heading into uncharted territory. The track features a slower speed as well as some really intimate guitar solos which creates a dark atmosphere and gives the listener a feeling of imminent doom. Although the track is immensely different than anything Lich King has done in the past band still provides everything you’d expect from a thrash metal band including gnarly vocals and a main riff that will simply wreck your neck.
One of the biggest questions I had prior to the release of Born of the Bomb was “what surprises does Lich King have in store for fans this time?” As fans know, two out of three of the previous Lich King albums have featured a great cover and a few special guest stars who would lay down some pretty bitchin’ solos. Once again Lich King does not disappoint as the band has tapped Sonic Pulse shredder Dave Carlino to lay down a solo for the bands fantastic cover of the Agent Steel classic “Agents of Steel.” However the surprises don’t end there as the last track on the album Lich King IV: Born of the Bomb features a tag team vocal attack from Tom Martin and Patrick Lind of Morbid Saint. As if the raw and in your face screams about the Lich King mascot weren’t enough Patrick Lind’s bandmate Jay Visser lays down a spectacular solo which is a fitting end to a spectacular album.
BOTTOM LINE: Anyone who says thrash metal is generic and dead has never heard Born of the Bomb. Lich King have created nothing short of a master piece with their fourth release. The album surpasses any and all expectations and will surely go down as one of the best metal albums of 2012 and will be talked about for years to come. In twenty years Born of the Bomb may very well be considered this generations Bonded by Blood.