The Fiend: Greed Power Religion War

Fists and spittle fly as punk-metal Brits get angry

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Underground metal’s enduring relationship with hardcore punk is well documented, of course, but it remains a mystery why there aren’t more bands that sound like The Fiend.

Ablaze with the none-more-aggro spirit of Discharge and GBH, but tethered to a steel chassis that hasn’t been driven with such rabid urgency since the last Exploited album, Greed Power Religion War is a brutal tirade against injustice and stupidity.

Brief flashes of black metal’s epic menace surface amid slower passages that punctuate an otherwise relentless sprint, but as heavy and precise as songs like Bring Out Your Dead and They Blame You are, this is still a punk rock record from toenail to tooth, albeit one that acknowledges Motörhead and Venom as cogs in the dirty hardcore wheel. The album’s finest moment comes with the bellicose one-two of I’m Bought and Fuck It: a devastating lesson in crazed crossover that bulldozes at mid-pace, followed by a high-velocity barrage that connects like a shattered pint glass to the neck.