The Truth (2CD)
Authorized reissue of the first album from this Finnish progressive thrash band. Originally released in 1992, and long considered a cult classic, it arrives as a 2CD set with demos from 1990 to 1992.
"Most thrash bands arriving in the year of 1992 were doomed from the start, as the genre had taken a spin towards the more meat headed 'modernization' of bands like Pantera and Machine Head, and many fair weather metal fans packed their bags and headed out to pasture with the grunge and alternative music that was becoming all the rage. Yet still, there was a residual string of signings and output from thrash and speed metal bands, many trying to adapt to the times with funk, hardcore, death metal, or whatever else would keep them afloat and earn a few packs of cigarettes. Finland's Antidote, who had formed 6 years earlier, finally got their debut album, The Truth, out at this time through Shark records, and at least for this offering, they were pretty much pure thrash, with a sound somewhere between earlier Artillery and countrymen Stone.
The big, forceful guitar tone on this record sounded to me like the mark of a band ready to roll up to a gig in their 18 wheeler, unpack their equipment from heavy steel containers and then grind up a crowd. Really, of their three albums, this one remains the best sounding today, holding up a little better than fellow Finn 'A' thrashers A.R.G. or Airdash. Nino Laurenne's vocals on the album were at their most wild and infectious. He's hunting high and low, with a higher rasp not unlike Flemming Ronsdorf, or Chuck Billy when he used to scream more; and a lower growl that, at one point, flies off the hinges into death metal territory. The nine tracks of The Truth are dynamic and strong, and any thrasher looking for a genuine bite of late 80s dementia outside the Bay Area or German styles could enjoy this.
"Symphony of Death" features a few seconds of swelling orchestration with samples of wind and evil grumbling, before the loud and present bass begins popping into the guitar rhythm. A breakdown groove later, the band erupts into a slow rhythm (very similar to Pestilence's "Chemo Therapy") and then Laurenne's stressful tone pours over the mix like wet concrete. The leads here are wild and fun, and the rhythm behind rocks pretty hard. "Within His Power" starts with rolling mutes below a twangy, chorused clean guitar, then charges into a nice rhythm reminiscent of Destruction's more surgical work. The lead-in to "Act of Violence" has some really cool, if depressive, acoustics, working into a brief march and then some of the most energetic riffing on the album. Nino's on fire, with a great lower range over the verse and then letting the throat rip open for the bridge. But the opening volley of "Melancholia" is probably the musical peak for the entire effort, with a pair of kick ass, flowing speed rhythms that break for an excellent, restrained thrashing in the verse.
Aside from the catchy lead breaks late in the track, "3rd Time in Greenland" was not one of my favorites on the album, but "Rosemachine" more than makes up for it with a bluesy, grooving rhythm that picks up steam and shatters into another half dozen great riffs. The "Grandiloguent Passaway" saunters forth with a fist shaking, the vocals dark and morose, with a cool chorus very reminiscent of the earlier Testament. "Subordinated People" clenches some great mute picked melodies, and Antidote save one of the better songs for last, "Spaced Out", with its loud thrumming bass and pounding rodeo thrash, and more of Laurenne's Chuck-Billy howls, and an evil Slayer-like climax riff.
Four or five years earlier, these Finns would have been off to a great start and this record might have had a larger impact internationally. There were probably enough thrashers still kicking about (in Europe, at least) to shower it with some affectations, but obviously it was not successful enough for Antidote to stick strictly to this formula. I would certainly recommend The Truth to a fan of old school Testament (The Legacy, The New Order), Artillery (Terror Squad, Fear of Tomorrow) and also Lääz Rockit, Stone, Metal Church, and Reverend. It shoots from the hip, it still sounds good today, and probably deserves a minor cult status, which I am now giving it!" - Metal-Archives