Negative Creeps - Mutual Annihilation
Black Lotus Records
Thrash/Hardcore
10 songs (42'03")
Release year: 2004
Black Lotus
Reviewed by Alex

This album honestly may not have gotten a review if it didn’t float to the top of the promos heap. Turns out Negative Creeps out of Greece have been together from early 90s, but really didn’t start their recording career until 1999 with self-financed demo EP 999. (Don’t think I know everything there is to know about metal scene, but thanks to the label enclosing the promo sheet). The same sheet says that band used to play what they themselves dubbed Satancore, a combination of thrash and hardcore with death and black metal influences.

Satanic references may very well come in the lyrics, but since I don’t have the sheet for that I can’t really comment. What I can assure you though Negative Creeps latest release on Black Lotus titled Mutual Annihilation does not contain a sniff of death or, moreover, black metal. Instead, this album is a fair attempt of combining thrash and hardcore in an effort to create accessible and not very complex heavy music. There are a couple of tracks on the album that represent for me what I truly don’t like about this thrashcore hybrid. Human Crossbreed and the closer Eyeball Drilling invoke nothing but the images of a pretend tough guy jumping around the stage to the accompaniment of muddy guitar chugging. Not everything is lost, however, as certain songs do manage to combine not overly fast one-two riff thrash with typical hardcore melodic breakdowns. The opener Inflammatory Scourge, Methods of Dissonance and Lapitation of the Murine Race which adds the gang shouts fit that mold (I have no idea what Murine Race is, but they must like yelling things together). Negative Creeps don’t play fast enough to be compared with Slayer, Dew Scented or The Haunted, but I am sure they would love to share the stage with those guys.

The band’s rhythm section is steady enough that when they hit the groove with a decent dark riff they tend to play it a few times which is not that bad at all. A decent amount of headbanging can be extracted out of title track and We Come for Your Ass (what a pleasing thought). The band’s best moments, however, come when they go after still faster Swedish style of thrash as in Lateral Losses and Creeping Human Parasites. And if they wouldn’t try to kill all that thrashing with a major dose of chug in Creeping Human Parasites it would have been even better. Couldn’t there be another better way of trying to lead into the song’s climax which is its melodic chorus? On the other hand, Negative Creeps even throw a pretty cool dual harmony lead into Lateral Losses.

I have already mentioned that the rhythm section of Negative Creeps is good enough. Apparently, they spend some time practicing and they don’t really reach for dizzying heights. Drumming ain’t bad at all, but tom sound is kind of plastic and flimsy. The vocals is where I have the most gripe. This is where The Haunted is abandoned and Hatebreed totally takes over. This simple shouting style is really not my cup of tea, so it didn’t score any positive points.

In the end I have to say that my opinion of the album has been steadily improving as I took a few more listens. In the style that really does not appeal to me that much Mutual Annihilation is certainly not the worst there is. However, we need to send this to The Haunted as a warning of what not to become. It is OK if young Greeks are trying to emulate them and bring in the dose of American style hardcore, but it is not OK for the Swedes to dilute the sound.

Killing Songs :
Lateral Losses, Creeping Human Parasites
Alex quoted 57 / 100
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