Acid Reign – Anthology 1987 – 2017 (Dissonance Productions)

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Way, way back in the day, somewhere in the shrouded mists of time that learned folk and academic types refer to as the eighties, while still on my thrash journey, I stumbled across a mini-album called Moshkinstein. The first “proper” release by a bunch of long haired reprobates from Yorkshire known as Acid Reign, it was the record that finally made me take the British thrash scene seriously and cemented my belief in it.  Then I caught Acid Reign in their favourite environment, supporting Nuclear Assault, a band that they came within a curly hair from down below’s width of blowing away, and my fandom started to deviate toward obsession and over the next couple of years, I picked up the studio duo, Fear and Obnoxious, that they went on to release, saw them doing their incredible live thing again and then, almost as quickly as they became a staple part of my musical diet, they were gone. Acid Reign were no more.

And then, nearly thirty years after they disappeared, they were back and it was almost as if, in all the years they were absent, they hadn’t missed a beat. Oh sure, most of the faces responsible for the beast were different, but they were still the same slavering, drooling, thrash crazed monster they’d always been, only this time they were powered a by a desire to do it right. With the benefit of the wisdom and hindsight that comes with age, this time they were determined that they were going to ride the rollercoaster until the wheels fall off and with the release of their new record The Age of Entitlement, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

However, part of looking forward involves embracing your past and that’s what Anthology is all about. Bringing the bands past to life and serving it up in thrashtacular style for the fans, new and old, who have rallied to the Reign cause. Collecting the aforementioned albums (bar the new ‘un, because that just wouldn’t be cricket or make sense) and all of the odds and peculiar sods that they’ve recorded along the way, this is the definitive Acid Reign collection. From the frenzied live version of Motherly Love to the slightly bizarre and frantic covers of Magic Roundabout, Hanging on the Telephone and Big White Teeth (cough Jaws cough) and their “comeback” singles Plan of the Damned and The Man Who Became Himself this is everything you could ever want, and more, from  Acid Reign. Anthology isn’t perfect, but it’s as close as you’re ever going to get to that ever elusive yardstick.  Thrashtastic…   Tim Cundle

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