By Dr. Abner Mality

I have a blasphemous confession to make: I don't think you really need to be falling down drunk to enjoy thrash metal. Somehow, the art of moshing has become inextricably linked to booze the point where it is almost impossible to conceive of one without the other. Now furthering the stereotype, we have Alcoholator staggering in from the Great White North of Canada.

I suspect "Coma" will be more enjoyable if you've got a good buzz going. The band is yet another in the long line of retro-thrashers seeking to cash in on the good old days, so you pretty much know the drill: lots of early Metallica and Anthrax riffs, mixed wth influences from others such as Annihilator, D.R.I. and Death Angel. Now any thrash band is only as good as their riffing...and we have some quality riffs here for sure. "Wasted All The Time" is pretty much balls out all the way (and already you can see the band's lyrical focus) and shows Alcoholator at their best. I also liked the two instrumentals, "Intoxication 101" and "Coma", as well as the track "Alcoholator" itself. What lies in between these cuts is of variable quality. The energy level is high and the production is slick, but "Abduction" and "Drink Beer Or Die Trying" strike me as pretty by the numbers. A cover of Exciter's "Pounding Metal" is workmanlike but unspectacular.

There are a lot of aspects about Alcoholator and "Coma" I enjoy...the Ed Repka style cover is great...but I've been hearing too much stuff like this lately to really be blown away. It's a fun thrasher that pays respect to the glory days...and that's about all.