"Red, White & Blood"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Don't lump Generation Kill in with the retro-thrash crowd. While there's no doubt "Red, White & Blood" will appeal to those fans, there's something less narrow and more expansive going on with this record.

The band is something of a supergroup, with Exodus' lead screamer Rob Dukes handling vocal chores, ex-Pro-Pain man Rob Moschetti on bass and drummer Sam Inzerra of Mortician manning the skins. The two guitarists Lou Lehman and Jason Trenczer are unknown to me, but distinguish themselves very well with this concept album. The first three tracks here won't do anything to discourage thoughts of rabid thrashing, as they all blast out of the gate with powerful velocity. "Hate" and the title track are catchy and furious, but it's third track "Feast for The Wolves" where things really start to get interesting for Generation Kill. The song is fast and brutal but features a complex song structure and even some low-key atmospheric bits. Testament comes to mind and that's a name that will arise often during the course of "Red, White & Blood".

The album has quite a bit of range. "Self-Medicated" is a powerful semi-ballad that brings out a side of Dukes' vocals Exodus fans probably didn't even suspect he had. It's an interesting cut in the vein of early Metallica ballads and again Testament. "Depraved Indifference" brings the brutality back, but "Slow Burn" surprises by being a very Black Sabbath-inspired cut full of stonerish groove. From there, we get a very odd instrumental ("Section 8"),  another thrasher ("Walking Dead"), a total ballad sounding almost like Pantera's treatment of "Planet Caravan" ("Dark Days") and finally the epic crusher "Let Me Die". The bonus track is a very cool metalized version of "Wish" by Nine Inch Nails, completing a diverse but aggressive album based on the concept of a murderous veteran who's so used to killing, he can't stop when he gets home.

Generation Kill has more thought put into it than just a throwaway "special project" and I'd urge fans of Exodus, Testament, Metallica and Pantera to investigate.