25 Jul 2024
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Just One Fix - EP Review: Submit or Death

30 Apr 2024 // A review by Kris Raven

Auckland's premier thrash lords Just One Fix make a triumphant return with new EP Submit or Death. Having warmed their fanbases palate with two singles, the true to form and heavy hitting Your Own God Now and Gods and Devils. A staple in the Aotearoa metal scene with three albums under their spiked leather belts and an EP in 2017, this is their first new music post plague and their first to feature powerhouse drummer Ross Curtain.

The production of this album is massive, solid, well mixed and every instrument precisely captured. While there are layers, it’s not taking away from the core four musicians, with bassist Ant Wards bass lines popping through the mix and in some instances, similar to Pantera releases where there is not always an extra guitar underneath the guitar solos, there is a natural vibrancy with the bass carries the riff.

The musicianship and composition across these 6 tracks is peak musical fitness. Unrelenting double kicks that lock into lead and rhythm guitarist Sharne Scarborough's frantic and precise guitar riffs. The fundamental guitar, drums and bass are so locked into sync, allowing lead vocalist Riccardo Ball to deliver his deathly sermon in his demanding and dominating presence.

Opening track Submission and Transition is a beautifully chilling and dark classical guitar piece, showcasing the diversity and talent of guitarist Scarborough's songwriting and abilities. I always enjoy when bands slowly lull you into a false sense of security with chill opening tracks and then suddenly you are smashed into submission, but don’t act surprised, this is metal music. Gods and Devils is the first single spawned from this EP and is like a machine gun, featuring unrelenting double kicks, with a couple of blast beats for good measure and a huge groove metal chorus. The bridge then revs up to break neck speed before a half time crush and a shredding guitar solo ensues. This song stands alone as well introducing us to the lightening we are about to ride.

Warzone. “Tsunami of death. Madness is mine” This one features multiple guitar solos with the whammy bar getting a work out. Balls vocals summoning the devil (with poetically effective lyrical display) alongside passages of intensity, aggressive and powerful riffage. Thorns begins with a buzzy progressive vibe with the bass accentuating the guitar line, perhaps some chorus pedal action. There is an ambient and dark tone to it, creating this eerie feeling of what is to come. While vocalist Ball generally sticks to his core mid to low range roar and shout throughout the songs, he side steps into death metal spoken word, doomy notes and anthemic chants. I love the funky bass line in the bridge with the guitar solo, it’s very organic, where both guitarists flow seamlessly around the fretboard like a well-rehearsed jam session.

Your Own God has an early Metallica feel riff influence, classic ride and master feels as well as infusing with a lamb of god rhythmic groove. This one includes the half time breakdown with China count in, one that will surely destroy the audience live. With Curtain's drums on full display again, between flawless rolls, blasts and intricate stick work. Closer Hades Rising, steps out of the box the most, featuring British accents and plenty of gang vocals. Beginning with a clean and brooding guitar intro before moving into discordant savagery. It’s all madness, it’s all death! This song has a more of a traditional British heavy metal feel and a bit of a party vibe, you can see the audience slamming down on this one live.

Thrash in 2024 has made a comeback, over the late 10s and into the 20s we have seen thrash new and old really push through again, the new age of thrash. The roots and the core ideas are still there but there is just a bit extra. Just One Fix deliver the promised goods.

 

About Just One Fix

Megadeth, Sepultura, Death Angel, Corrosion of Conformity, Chimaira, Hellyeah, Biohazard, Korn, Fear Factory, Serj Tankian, Bullet For My Valentine, Toxic Holocaust, Lich King ... Just One Fix have played with them all and a few more besides.

Primarily a thrash based metal band, Just One Fix have also woven elements of Doom, Death and Groove metal into their three albums so far and there’s new music on the way. You can checkout Death In The Family, their latest recording, on Bandcamp or Reverbnation.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Just One Fix

Releases

Blood Horizon
Year: 2010
Type: Album
The Price Of Sellvation
Year: 2007
Type: Album

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