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Guilty As Charged – Leap of Faith

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After their debut EP titled “Boxed In” from 2009, now in 2014 the first full-length album from Belgian based thrash band Guilty As Charged titled “Leap of Faith” has been released. This band still is independent but after listening to this album you could ask yourself the question if some labels are deaf and dumb!? Produced and mastered by no one less than Dan Swanö (know from his work with Opeth and Bloodbath and…) and you know that the result on that area is from great quality. This four-headed band plays heavy/thrash metal with a modern touch to it. First things that’s an eye catcher is definitely the cover artwork from Mr. Vitaly S. Alexius. An angel that seems to leave the wasted world to find himself another one that’s in much better shape. Musically seen there’s a huge quality-injection audible if you compare it with their first EP and it seems that these guys have chosen a more thrashy path for this release. Opening track “Preach to the Masses” knows a whipping start with the drums that fall in perfectly, followed by the semi-grunt from frontman Jan De Vuyssere. The drums keep pounding and there’s a vicious riff audible that keeps on going as undertone for the rest of this song. This song is quit uptempo but also knows a paced piece where the speech ‘Time for Choosing’ from Ronald Reagan is heard. The structure of this song is from a high level, because GAS gets the fire in again with mighty riffs. “Last Chance” is a catching song where the refrain sounds melodic yet energetic. The riff that blasts out of the speakers in the middle again is top and is clearly head banging material! The drum parts are perfectly balanced with the guitars and the backing vocals give this song that extra thing. Title track “Leap of Faith” begins with a bass intro from Hannes De Caluwé (Heinz) and the vocals sound somewhat different. There’s place for some twinsolo’s from Dempsey and Jan which are executed in a great way and again everything is built up technically strong. The drumsalvo’s from Matthew pound and blow and will definitely damage the neck muscles. Track “I’ll Never” is the most aggressive song on the disc where you can feel the anger. Live this song will surely bring forward the needed moshpits ands fists in the air. “Lone Wolf” has some opposite riffs in it and a melodic tone, and ends in a way that only Chuck Billy can stop a song…excellent! The instrumental track “Elysium” is more a filler in my eye because this track breaks down the tempo in this release in my opinion, and I miss a nice transition to the next song. Possibly the longest track is “Lack of Control” where a sublime riff is audible. Again much aggression is heard, the drum parts are bad to the bone and the perfect co-operation between the guitars and bass is noticeable. The vocals again are a mix from inner rage and energy which makes this song in its total one of the best on this release. This albums ends with “Down” that contains the tempo, where again opposite instrument parts come up and where a supremacy of drums and guitars boost up the track and where more melody has been added. In conclusion: yes it has been proven that unknown band also can release excellent albums and Guilty As Charged is THE perfect example of it. These guys have the needed potential running through their veins to become a very big band, so give “Leap of Faith” a listen and get a smile on your face! Great job guys!! (Fredde)