Early Man – Beware the Circling Fin [EP]
The End Records (10/14/08)
Throwing Early Man’s latest EP onto the stereo is like activating a time machine. The band somehow manages to perfectly encapsulate the raw energy of Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All and other early thrash pioneers and, in doing so, they accomplish two things. First, Early Man refuse to fall into the trap of attempting to inject any modern element to the sound. But secondly, and more importantly, they do this without coming across as an homage or novelty act.
Instead, Early Man has basically constructed an album that should have come out in 1983 instead of 2008. From the catchy, thrash bliss of “Sinking the Knife” to the Priest-inspired wails on “Coiled Like a Snake”, it’s clear the band has a firm grasp on crafting a classic… well, something that sounds like a classic. But it’s the title-track that most captures the best of what Early Man has to offer —driving riffs and cymbal-heavy drumming with soaring, lo-fi vocals crushing together into a mid-tempo, sludgy heap of metal. And just for kicks, the short set closes out with the punk-inspired, minute-and-a-half “Suck Me Dry”.
It’s clear this is just a taste of what this three-piece outfit has to offer. With another full-length on the horizon, fans may do better to wait for that. But for a nice, albeit brief, re-introduction to the band (it released an EP and full-length in 2005 as well), or for fans of classic thrash in general, you won’t go wrong with Beware the Circling Fin.