EP REVIEW: Dead Heat – Endless Torment


 

“Drinking beer, smoking marijuana, listening to Judas Priest…” stems from a shoddy news report detailing the Judas Priest lawsuit trial from 1990. But for those in the know, the sample from the said report was the awesome opening touch that Nails went with on the Among the Arches of Intolerance/In Pain single from 2015. If you don’t own the Decibel Magazine flexi, do yourself a favor and give it a listen on your preferred streaming platform. The same beer-swilling, reefer madness slogan would make perfect sense paired with another Oxnard, California standout in Dead Heat.

 

Dead Heat (not to be confused with the Treat Williams (RIP) and Joe Piscopo starring vehicle from 1988), like Nails, are in the business of mixing brutal thrash grooves and hardcore ferocity. Unlike Nails though they veer away from Crust and more into the Crossover sweet spot that is more in common with Leeway or Suicidal Tendencies.

 

Yes, dust off your favorite flip-up hat and battle jacket as Endless Torment (Tankcrimes/Triple B Records) is the modern B-side to Join the Army you never knew you needed. After a bit of an ominous introduction, the self-titled track kicks in with some Obituary style roars that quickly open up the dance floor with chugging but totally catchy guitars. The only minor complaint I can muster is that as good and crunchy as those riffs are we get no dessert in the form of some lead fireworks.

 

That misstep is quickly corrected on ‘Smite Thee’ which within the opening minute has Slayer-like lead work locked and ready to fire. And just in case you missed there is a backup solo rattled off near the minute and thirty mark.

 

 

Closer ‘Hard Reset’ goes acoustic from a bit thinking that the boys would go quietly into the night only to pull a Metallica and unleash an almost progressive thrash rabbit out of the hat late. Complete with a rib-cracking breakdown and everything.

 

Don’t know about you, but I’m going to have a beer and a smoke.

 

Buy the EP here:

https://www.tankcrimes.com/

 

8 / 10

HANS LOPEZ