Wraith's excellent Absolute Power officially hits the streets today, and...and I'm not sure what to say about it that hasn't already been said. Thus, in a stunning display of self-plagiarism, please let me remind you that: "Absolute Power is--besides a successful sophomore release--a killer slab of bombastic, aggressive, and otherwise heartfelt heavy metal. It's a certified headbanger, and remains one of the most fun releases I've had the pleasure of reviewing this year."
Needless to say, this particular Villager was quite excited to chat with the thrashers in question. Our eternal thanks to Wraith for A. being the ass-kickers they are, and B. willingly subjecting themselves to our interrogation. Let's get to it, shall we?
Sleeping Village: Firstly, thanks for stopping by the Sleeping Village, and congratulations on the release of Absolute Power! How does it feel now that the album is out of your hands and into the world?
Wraith: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! It feels great to have another album out there. We are super exited about this one. I think we turned everything up just a touch for Absolute Power.
SV: Wraith occupies a frenetic space between punk, speed, and thrash metal. To someone who isn't familiar with the hallmarks of those genres--my grandma, say--how would you describe your sound?
W: I think the best way to describe Wraith is simple but precise. We spend a lot of time crafting the song as opposed to slaving over a riff. We want the song to flow. In addition, I think we have the corner stones of all those genres. We have the speed, mid-tempo, crushing parts, cool leads, rough vocals and of course the lyrical content really defines us.
SV: How is Absolute Power different from your previous two albums?
W: I would say that Absolute Power is faster, more pissed, heavier and a bit more composed than the other two releases.
SV: What Wraith track that you are most proud of having created?
W: That’s a tough question! I think that it changes often, but currently I am really proud of "War of Aggression." It feels like a total 80’s ripper. I also really like the lyrics/vocal pattern for that song. I feel like it has everything a solid thrash song needs. [Ed. note: also my favorite!]
SV: Speed metal is typically, among us music writer folk, deemed to be an early evolutionary stage in the primordial life of thrash. Would you agree, or is speed metal a purely unique genre?
W: I think it’s one in the same. Genres are tossed around so frequently that it is almost impossible to keep up haha. At the end of the day it’s all Heavy Metal to me.
SV: In your experience, what makes a good thrash song?
W: To me, I believe a good thrash song needs energy. It can be slow, midtempo or fast, but if it doesn’t have the energy feel like it misses the mark.
SV: One of my favorite aspects of Wraith is the sheer effectiveness of your lyrics--they form a perfect balance between ruthlessness and simplicity. How does the lyric-writing process impact your songwriting as a whole?
W: Usually I will come up with a title first. I typically will jot that title down and stew on it for a bit. Then when we are writing the music, I will think of the titles I have and see which one feels best for the song. Once the music is written, I will take that title as inspiration and start to come up with a story!
SV: You guys are admirably consistent--there's little lag time between releases. What's the secret to maintaining this album-a-year schedule?
W: Well to be honest, we were already writing Absolute Power as we were releasing Heed the Warning. I think we had a lot of ideas so we just kept the train rolling. We will continue to work on writing new stuff so hopefully we can maintain that consistency!
SV: The Indiana metal scene seems to be ever on the rise. What are three (or more!) bands in your area we Sleeping Villagers should be on the lookout for?
W: Since we live just outside of Chicago we often get lumped into that scene. In Chicago there are tons of really cool bands! A few to check out are La Armada, Bloodletter and Beyond Deth.
SV: How was your recent show with Solicitor? And as a follow-up to that, if you could support any current band on a nationwide tour, who would it be?
W: The show was great! We love playing the Cobra Lounge. It was cool to see so many people come out on a Tuesday night. Plus, Solicitor kicked ass. If we could support any band on a nationwide tour, I think it would have to be Toxic Holocaust. I know we are often compared, but I feel a Wraith/Toxic Holocaust tour just makes so much sense!
SV: We'd like to thank you for taking the time! Are there any last thoughts you'd like to leave us with?
Once again thanks for taking some time to chat with us! We appreciate all the support we have been getting, and we look forward to the future! Long live Heavy Metal.