A rare one-man thrash metal piece
It isn't very often that when one thinks of a one-man band, thrash metal comes to mind. Usually the black metal bands are the ones that are so popular with trying to do everything themselves, so Common Dead (also known as Andrew Laurenson), should be a welcome variation from that. While this is only an EP, and a brief one at that, Laurenson shows that he is still full of ideas for his band. Tracks like "Animalism" are more straightforward thrash with a gritty garage tone, but not so gritty it becomes impossible to hear. "Defy the Sun" is a bit more rock oriented and slightly experimental, especially when Laurenson tries to layer his rough grunts with cleaner singing in the background, but it doesn't exactly always work due to a strong contrast between the two (usually the clean vocals sound best when they sing alone, and even those are faded out, but to a chanting effect it works), but there are tons of great melodic guitar moments throughout the track amongst all the chugging riffs. However, the most 'melodic thrash' track would have to be the opening "The Epiphany." It's a great mix of thrash metal, hardcore styled vocals, and even keyboards thrown in the background for ambiance. Starting off heavy and ending up soft, it is a very memorable.
Overall, this EP is only a slight look at what Laurenson can do with Common Dead. Since both this and his full length were self released it will probably be difficult to locate a widespread copy, but the more people give him a listen the next step he is to finding a label that can fully distribute the music. Thrash or hardcore fans will probably find this pretty enjoyable; if not the music, then the sheer skill of what Laurenson can do on the guitar, bass, and drums. Usually during live shows he has help, but in the studio, everything is his own playground. It not be the cleanest sound, these home grown sessions have more personal touch compared to the slicked up production of many other thrash bands.