Livewire is a four-piece Speed/Thrash Metal band from New South Wales, Australia. Formed in 2011 as Fenrir, they renamed themselves in 2019. As Livewire, Under Attack is their debut full-length album. It contains seven regular and four bonus tracks and runs for almost 50 minutes. You can hear some old-school influences in some of the riff work, including some early Megadeth-sounding guitar work, so I immediately felt a happy connection to this beast of a record.
- Nick Wilks – Vocals/Bass
- Anthony Ierardo – Guitars
- Christopher Puglia – Guitars
- George Delinicolis – Drums
April 28, 2022
- Attack! Attack! Attack!
- A Cold Day In Hell
- Midnight Sun
- Solace In Escape
- Lockjaw Deathroll
- Artificial Selection (Bonus Track)
- Mirror Of Fate (Bonus Track)
- Hypnotik Idol (Bonus Track)
- Demon’s Grip (Bonus Track)
The album opens with “Attack! Attack! Attack!,” a full-force assault right off the bat. The guitars are fast and frenzied, the rhythm is an exercise in speed, and the vocals are clean, fast, and powerful. The notes Nick takes to his best heights are really well done, and I love how he hits a high, then jumps up to the next level. The whole song is a killer display of speed and accuracy. Everything stays perfectly in sync throughout the song, staying in lockstep with each other.
The twin guitar assault continues on “A Cold Day In Hell,” another lightning-fast track with lots of what you love about Speed Metal, random fills from every instrument, high-pitched screams, and no chance to catch your breath. While there have been some Thrash tendencies to this point, the focus has been more on Speed Metal, acting more like a faster version of Power Metal. I am not complaining, though, because I love all those genres, and hearing Livewire crossover is a lot of fun.
“Conqueror” and “Insecticide” go more Thrash Metal, especially with the lyrical content. You don’t get the fantasy/epic journey wording of Power Metal; plus, the vocals turn heavier with distortion thrown in to take the whole tone a bit darker. There is still a lot of Speed in these tracks, so the identity is not lost. Livewire is not trying to change its stripes; it just shows they aren’t a one-trick pony.
For another facet of the band, there is a melodic intro for “Midnight Sun” before the guitars go through both Thrash and Speed Metal phrasing. Anthony and Christopher are a magnificent duo. Whether racing each other through a Speed Metal section or trying to out-Thrash each other, they are perfectly fused, timed to the millisecond. Somehow, George keeps up without getting all four limbs tangled. Kudos to him for maintaining this pace for the entire album.
“Solace In Escape” has more killer vocals, with Nick hitting more of those crystal-clear highs that are so fun to listen to. He definitely stands with the elites of music with that range and the notes he can hit. Then, just to show he can still go next level, he hits those notes in a rapid-fire Speed Metal Rap on “Lockjaw Deathroll.” Lockjaw is what I would have tried to keep pace with his lyric delivery on this one. That opening is insane and so much fun! I also really like the melodic outro with the killer double bass drumming.
The following four tracks are all listed as bonus tracks, and they start with “Artificial Selection,” which has a bit of a Megadeth meets DragonForce vibe to me. This one shifts from Thrash to Speed and back, and the lyrics rival some of thrash Metal’s most apocalyptic songs beautifully. It’s a dystopian hellscape where natural selection is overridden by people who want to ensure survival at any price.
“Mirror Of Fate” and “Hypnotik Idol” are both heavier on the Thrash end of the spectrum, going for a darker tone while keeping as much of the Speed feel as possible. Then, “Demon’s Grip” goes melodic for a few measures, then hits the regular Livewire stride. This is one of the few songs where the vocals spend more time in the lower register, though some nice flairs soar into the normal Nick range.
Livewire is a lot of fun to listen to. They have a groove that makes you want to move along with the rhythm, whether that is to air drum, headbang, or just tap your fingers in time to the beat. More than once, I had to backspace to take out some finger drumming that I just could not contain. These guys do a great job of rocking your brains out.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 9
- Overall – 9.00