Sonic Shape Records – 2008 – Philippines
Further proof that the South East Asian metal scene has more life to it than the world may suspect, Intolerant’s indie debut “Reasons For Unrest” is this rare breed of thrash metal album people haven’t heard in a long while. It’s basically a mix of the band’s 90’s influences—Pantera, Machinehead, latter day Sepultura—with the good stuff from past decades—say Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath—that rolls in the same soulful mud as Black Label Society and Crowbar.
That may have been a long list of “sounds likes” and references, but it’s all heard on the ten songs inside this crisply produced first album from four guys who’ve been around long enough to know what makes a good record. And what makes a good record for any genre is a strong opener; in this case it’s the bruising, testosterone driven “Clenched Fist” that crashes and rumbles along to a brooding melody. The guitars are thick and groove-some, matched by the equally abrasive drumming of Pepo Gohu, who works his double pedal bass drum magic on occasion. Yet it’s the way singer Russel Dela Cruz hurts his throat with endless vocal fusillades of righteous fury that the band live up to their name; Russel is the man setting the album’s tone. He’s frothing at the mouth on eight of the ten songs in “Reasons for Unrest,” but gives himself a break for an odd instrumental titled “Santiago” and a breezy closing track.
The songs “Blunt Force Trauma,” “Reasons For Unrest,” “My Demise” and “Last Standing” drive home just how hard-hitting Intolerant are, being tunes that were written with sweating, bloody moshpits in mind. Yet the band still leave space for contemplative guitar solos, oodles of melody, and a pseudo-ballad that finishes an album that wants so badly to kick the listener in the pants. Arriving at track 10, “Abandoned” sounds like its being played in a smoky dive at 4am when the only people left watching are the customers passed out on the floor.
As a surprise for their unsuspecting fans, letting the CD spin past its official running time reveals the radio friendly “Shift” which has no place anywhere on the album, so Intolerant made it a bonus track instead. A thrashing steamroller that wouldn’t be out of place anywhere in the world, “Reasons For Unrest” is a good reason for humanity to discover the Asian metal scene.