By Louis Crowshoe
CALGARY – Four long years after their founding, old-school thrash metal band W.M.D, or When Minds Develop if you will, has released their debut EP, Lethal Revenge, as of this past October. With Skyler Mills at the helm with his compelling lead vocals and parallel guitar narratives, Nolan Bendetti’s wild drumming, guitarist Brody Blaze’s steady yet shredding guitar and Jake Wendt’s dexterous bass behind them, the band has finally been able to capture their elusive thrash soundscape in the recording studio.
A solid, but surprising 40 minute journey defined by speed and aggression, Lethal Revenge mines the band’s key influences including Nuclear Assault, Exodus and Megadeth for heavy metal gems. The resulting album is exhibits all of the raw and power its predecessors have come to represent while putting W.M.D.’s own stamp on the finished product.
“My main philosophy for writing music,” says guitarist Brody Blaze, “is cognitively realizing and comprehending the fact that music flows like the blood in your veins. To try and bend or manipulate that flow in any way is treason to musical expression. Any one path you follow while writing music is equally valid when held against another. Boundaries only keep things withheld.”
Ready for exposure, Lethal Revenge is almost completely home-recorded and produced, and the unpolished style is undeniably one of its strengths. Between its enthralling guitar solos and the complex drumming that backs it, the EP is sure to get your synapses firing in a way that gaming console never could. Binding the album together, Mills’ emotionally charged lyrics are radical but relatable, reflecting both W.M.D.’s personal lives and their collective frustrations.
It’s evident that songs like “Toxic Burn” and “The Age of Extinction” convey highly political messages and much of the aggressive tone of the album is fueled by the turmoil and trouble that W.M.D. has faced as a band. They’ve had their share of difficulty putting down roots in Calgary.
“It’s almost unbelievable what we have gone through together. From evictions, sharing bedrooms, getting ripped off, van malfunctions, getting sabotaged and personally attacked, but we have plowed through all those obstacles and looked forward each time,” confirms Benedetti. “The good part is, we have seen more good times than bad, and that is what keeps us strong!”
Capturing those exhilarating highs, the track “Thrash Attack,” while still consistent with the hard-hitting sound of the rest of the album, possesses a light-hearted tone that peels away from its divisive counterparts. The dichotomy between serious socio-political commentary and the band’s more carefree songs keeps things as fresh and dynamic as the band’s take on modern metal. In the end, Lethal Revenge is incredibly listenable despite its intimidating moniker.
“We are about having a good time, inspiring others and including people in that by living in the moment on stage!” proclaims Mills.
Looking to climb their next mountain, W.M.D. already has a second homecooked EP release on their ‘To-Do’ list for spring of 2019. Now that they have a few Canadian festivals under their belts, the band also hopes to be packing for an international tour in the near future. Whatever your philosophy when it comes to taking life by the throat, W.M.D. is a band that should be on your radar.
W.M.D. perform with Dayglo Abortions Dec. 31 at Stetson Pub (Calgary)Dayglo Abortions, Stetson Pub, Thrash attack!, W.M.D