Although the opening title track is a celebration of life in the mosh pit, D.R.I.
's fifth album is pretty much straightforward metal with little of the band's hardcore punk roots in its unapologetically slick sound. That said, Thrash Zone
is an immense improvement over its immediate predecessor, the weak and unfocused Four of a Kind
. Kurt Brecht
's yowling vocals and forgettable lyrics are largely downplayed in favor of showing off the band's best assets: Spike Cassidy
's efficient punk metal guitar lines and the whiplash dynamics of bassist John Menor
and drummer Felix Griffin
, who handle the dips into slow, thudding mosh sections and curves into triple-speed overdrive with relative ease. Hardcore's late-'80s swerve into metal is still basically a lousy idea (one that most bands quickly abandoned after Nevermind
hit the charts and metal was suddenly very much out of fashion again), but Thrash Zone
is a better than average example of the form.