Album review: Parasytic’s ‘Poison Minds’

Poison Minds
Vex Records
November 9

By Max Kyburz

Thrash has achieved a resurgence in the past five years; it began with a wave of kids attempting to emulate the 80s crossover thrash (a blend of thrash metal and hardcore punk), which had grown tired before they were even born. Nevertheless, they have remained record label darlings and given the impression that thrash is purely cartoonish and static.

Parasytic is not one of these bands, yet they thrash harder than all of these bands combined. With the spirit of 80s thrash in its heart, the guitars dropped way down, and the banner of crust punk waving in the air, Parasytic has delivered Poison Minds. I gotta tell you, there is nothing better than hearing a ragged gang of punks from Virginia play metal.

Poison Minds is Parasytic’s sophomoric release. Their first release, Hymn, was enough of a ripper to establish Parasytic as one of the best punk bands of the last ten years. With the new record, however, they present a more hellbent, fuller sound. Amazing considering they now have one less guitar player.

The album explodes with “Ides of War,” establishing Parasytic’s angry fervor. The final sound clip is of a car crash, which could be your fate if you don’t buckle up while you drive-mosh. Safety first, kids.

Vocalist Ethan Zell screams for vengeance with his words, calling for action from their listeners. The third track, “Uprise” is an anti-establishment anthem. “Egregious Blunder” is straight up punk, featuring a face melting solo from Nick Poulos (also in Cannabis Corpse). The lyrics are poetic in its anti-religious dissent: “Despoting existence and deifying rot / the inevitable instant for those who fought.” This pysched up aggression is preceded by what sounds like the soundtrack to a Hessian hammering through a resting place for fallen embers. Not a bad way to conclude side A.

Side B’s just as good as the first. The kick-off, “Traitor,” thunders with accusatory rage. Between this and the title track, Parasytic delivers the kind of howling faceplant metal that old timers Slayer and Metallica wish they could pull off.

No great album ends quietly; the final track, “Aspects of Man,” begins on familiar ground. It turns out to be an expansion of the interlude from a few tracks previous. It’s the record’s heaviest track, and it’s a damn good thing they saved the best for last. As Parasytic fades off into the red sun, you’ll still be pumping your fist in the air long after Poison Minds ends.

All it takes one listen. Consider your face melted.