Wednesday, September 7, 2016

50SHR #48: Wrathchild America (West Virginia)


Band: Wrathchild America
Release: Climbin' the Walls
Year: 1990
Line-up: Brad Divens (vocals, bass), Jay Abbene (guitars), Terry Carter (guitars), Shannon Larkin (drums).

Track Listing:
1.     "Climbin' the Walls"       4:28
2.     "Hell's Gate"       4:06
3.     "No Deposit, No Return"       3:21
4.     "Hernia"       3:20
5.     "London After Midnight"       5:55
6.     "Candy from a Madman"       5:44
7.     "Silent Darkness (Smothered Life)"       4:29
8.     "Time" (Pink Floyd cover)     5:39
9.     "Day of the Thunder"       6:37

Fletchanator's comment: Wrathchild America are often listed as a Maryland band, but they got their start in Martinsburg, West Virginia in the late 1970s. First known as Atlantis, then Tyrant, they settled on the name Wrathchild and became a fixture in East Coast clubs and bars throughout the 80s. In 1988 they were signed by Atlantic Records, but a lawsuit by UK glam rockers Wrathchild delayed the release of this, their debut album, for a couple of years. As a result they attached the word America to the back of their name.
After releasing another album in 1991, Wrathchild America were dropped by Atlantic and subsequently changed their name to Souls at Zero, adopting a heavier and more modern sound for two albums, before folding. After that drummer Shannon Larkin tasted mainstream success with Ugly Kid Joe and Godsmack. Singer Brad Divens (who played guitar on Kix's 1983 album Cool Kids) is now a sound engineer.
Wrathchild America are widely considered a thrash metal band, but on this album they skirt a number of different genres, from hard rock to melodic heavy metal to thrash. Singer Brad Divens has a voice that one moment sounds like Sammy Hagar, the next like James Hetfield and the next like Dee Snider. There's enough variety here to make it enjoyable for fans of hard rock who don't necessarily listen to thrash metal, but if your tastes are varied you'll definitely enjoy it more.

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