Sound — 8
Speed Theory's first full length album has taken the solid, melodic thrash metal template of their EP and pushed it into overdrive. The result is a raw song, successfully combining the much loved features of older thrash with the cutting edge of modern metal. Songs like title track Hit the Dirt and album opener Neo Testament won't just prompt mosh pits around the country, they'll also prompt guitarists to grab their guitars and nail the riffs that are fired out. The older songs Cancer, Vengeance is Mine and TIC don't cause inconsistency within the album and everything merges together very nicely. As with the EP, Speed Theory aren't tearing across new ground with their album but they are taking a well-worn genre and stamping their flavour all over it. A solid metal album, sound-wise.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this album are a good progression from the three songs they released on their album, Neo Testament spitting out a choking damnation of war, a war which they don't specifically name. Join Us is a call to arms that will no doubt prove popular at their gigs and is a song that could become an anthem. Songs like Awakening, Aftermath and Deconstruction mix up the cliches of metal songs with clever lyrics without sounding pretentious. Pain is a much shorter song, lyrically, and seems to be a short rant provoked by a burst of rage. Speed Theory have improved their lyrics since their EP and it's a promising sign for their next album. Wes's voice still weakens a bit on the softer parts of the songs but by and large pushes the songs forward with its pure strength. Wes seems to have found his own voice and certainly isn't purely emulating someone, hopefully he'll carry on with this.
Overall Impression — 8
As said before, Speed Theory won't win any prizes for pure originality but there's nothing wrong with that when they can produce such a solid album as their first full-length. Neo Testament was that song that impressed me most off the album, followed closely by Join Us, although older song Vengeance is Mine is certainly up there with them. I must admit that I tend to prefer older metal, but Speed Theory are one of the few new bands who have impressed me and who have found a permanent spot on my MP3 player. If this album were stolen, I would definitely buy it again, because I'm one of those people who wants to learn some of those riffs they're pushing out. Speed Theory have lauded by Terrorizer, Big Cheese and Metal Hammer so it would appear people are starting to take notice. With a new album, Blood Money, being released on the 20th August and a heavy touring schedule up and down the country, this could be a prime time to catch this young metal band.