Wraith - Official Website

Fueled By Fear

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Asylum
2. Fueled By Fear
3. Horses And Hounds
4. Shame In Suffering
5. Code Red
6. Ice Cold Bitch
7. Warlord
8. Merchant Of Death
9. Heathen’s Touch
10. Hell’s Canyon
11. Vulture
12. Shattered Sorrow
13. Truth Decay
14. The Breaking Wheel

Review by Vladimir on July 9, 2024.

June was one hell of a month with all the numerous releases coming out from all parts of the world, some of which could be easily missed in this metal storm that brings this enormous wave of albums. Although a couple of weeks have passed, there is still a lot of feedback and hype surrounding a lot of those albums which came out in that period, and such is the case with the blackened thrash/speed metal band Wraith with their fourth album Fueled By Fear, released on June 28th, 2024 via Prosthetic Records. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at this one mean motherfucker.

After entering the 'Asylum', you quickly become 'Fueled By Fear' as Wraith comes striking with missiles, carrying very lethal blackened thrash/speed metal full of tight riffs, maniacal guitar solos, harsh shouting vocals, thunderous drumming, with an added punk overdrive that gives an extra edge to this merciless onslaught. Along the way, you will come across a lot of fast and aggressive bangers, very remarkable and wicked ones such as 'Merchant Of Death' and 'Heathen’s Torch', but you will also hear some cool killer slow tracks as well, or some nice hybrid examples like 'Warlord' which nicely transitions from mid-tempo on the first half to the punky d-beat on the second half. The further it progresses, the more you become Fueled By Fear with every next track that comes to play, as the album becomes even heavier and more intense with each wild riff that punches you right in the face like a real bastard. Overall, this album guarantees plenty of good time to be had throughout its entirety, delivering on all aspects of musical heaviness from start to finish, never slowing down or dropping the ball by one bit. It’s got an everlasting strength and quality to it which was carries over from one song to another, partly due to the general stylistic consistency of Fueled By Fear which never breaks away from its established style and formula, always keeping everything on same level while still leaving plenty of space to throw in some more thrash metal extravaganza just for good measure.

The songwriting here is met with a lot of musical simplicity and straightforward approach in the traditional speed/thrash metal fashion, but the album also has plenty of dynamics, with there being frequent tempo changes and various riff ideas that successfully manage to entertain and engage the listener. Wraith does a pretty good job on this album by maintaining an even level of heaviness while still keeping it clean and interesting for the most part, never missing an opportunity to bring down the wall and throw in a lot of headbanging action. While listening to Fueled By Fear, it’s very noticeable that the band’s output is for the most part familiar to anyone who digs similar bands such as Midnight, Toxic Holocaust, Hellripper, Night Slasher and All Hell just to name a few, with this blackened thrash/speed metal jacked up by the raw energy of hardcore/crust punk/d-beat that gives an extra fuel to the fire. This is by no means a weakness or a flaw, but rather a symbol that shows how something so simple and frequent can still be as effective and catchy as before, and it never feels empty or spineless. What stands out about the album is that it has a strong punch to it, carrying out with each track that does the album such justice and payoff, all thanks to the band’s furious performance and inspired songwriting that gets the job done. On the final note, the production of the album was nicely handled by the mixing and mastering of CJ Rayson, with a top-notch sound that has a bit of rawness and dirtiness to it as well, providing a nice example of contemporary blackened thrash/speed metal with punk laden elements.

Fueled By Fire is a very fun and enjoyable album all the way through, constantly delivering headbanging tunes and still staying rotten to the core with its power and pain. The final result is a very solid and kickass 45-minute release by a band such as Wraith, that knows how to do things around here, without any pretentiousness or display of lackluster nature. You should definitely check this one out if you are into dirty and uncompromising black/thrash/speed metal.

Rating: 8.4 out of 10