Arizona was no stranger to the thrash manifestation of the late 80s, and produced a number of strong acts in that genre like Atrophy and Sacred Reich. A few years after the music's relevance began to wane in the face of new, alternative movements, another would-be speed/thrash hero arrived in the form of Innerfear. Performing a dynamic if ultimately forgettable blend of rapid mute streams, tangible melodies and gruff, street splatter vocals reminiscent of Sacred Reich, Hallows Eve, Forced Entry and others, they managed to produce this sole full-length, independent release before disappearing from the public eye that failed to even blink in their direction.
Innerfear is a competent enough album when broken down to its individual components. The riffs are heavy and transition fluently from faster, frenetic energies into a moshing metroplex, with no excess ballast on either end. Tracks like "Innerfear" and "The Luring/Hatred Society" are angry enough to stomp your feet around like an elephant with a beehive up its butt, shoving an elbow into some innocent waif at the edge of the pit and causing a breakout in delinquent retribution. The solos shred but are rarely memorable, and the actual construction of the riffs, while not offensive or headache-inducing, is quite reminiscent of the Sacred Reich debut Ignorance, only not as catchy or crushing. Technicality is not often threaded through the procession of meatcarving guitar riffs here, but a track like "Soured Ground" shows a propensity for melodic depth that vastly outweighs the gravity of the band's simpler fare. "Prosperous Land" shows the band's softer, emotional side, clean guitars ceding for a raging slugfest.
Innerfear (the band and album) were forgotten for a pretty good reason: they don't do anything to individualize themselves among the rampant hordes of potential thrash pundits that broke across the underground consciousness several years prior to this album. Had it dropped in 1987 or 1988, there would have been a greater stir over its contents, but when you consider the level of perfection that had been developed in the style through numerous European and North/South American contemporaries years before the seeds of this record were germinated in the studio womb, there is simply nothing special to say for it, and it sinks slowly into the depths of the tidal pool of obscurity against the shifting, raging ocean of thrash's development into more extreme ventures.
Verdict: Indifference [6/10]