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A Review of the Album "Mental Decay" by the Band Laid to Waste

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Mental Decay is the sophomore effort album released by Czech thrash metal band Laid to Waste. As for the album Mental Decay that one was released in May 2017 and the album’s cover shows a person that is strapped to a table in a small room with two other people standing on each side of the table. The album’s cover shows the photo of a small room in a mental institution perhaps.

How Does the Album Mental Decay Begin?

As for the music itself in this album, the first song called “Reborn” starts off about as beautifully as a song can as it has a great acoustic section with melody and this takes a page out of the playbook of various European heavy metal bands. The song is about the dangers of a nuclear war. Closing the doors of our homes will do little to protect ourselves from the threat of nuclear wars. “Reborn” does not mean that the band’s members were somehow reborn in a musical sense but these guys can play pretty decent thrash metal and the vocalist has quite an impressive range.

A photo of an abandoned asylum which symbolizes the album's cover in a way.

A photo of an abandoned asylum which symbolizes the album's cover in a way.

Analysis of the Songs The Breaking Wheel and Bells of Return

We will get to the title track of this album at the end of this review because there is a very interesting structure to that song. “The Breaking Wheel” is a fast song about the fact that life is too full of stress, duties, and responsibilities as the stress and pressure lead to fatigue, burnout and other health problems. We want to be able to take a breather and live in the moment but that is challenging to do so in many nations in the world. We wonder whether life is supposed to be lived just to fulfill a bunch of duties. “Bells of Return” has the sound of three bell chimes before the heavy metal section starts up.

The Czech Republic is a nation that may not get enough exposure when it comes to the heavy metal genre much less when it comes to thrash metal. This is quite a melodic instrumental song in its own way and it breaks up the monotony of the same, rehashed speedy style of thrash which is a good thing. So it is reasonable to say that this second album from these Czech guys has more musical variety which is one of its strengths.

"Bells of Return"

Now as of this first writing, we finished off this review with the song called “Mental Decay.” The song is about someone that has been taken to a mental institution that has been corrupted by greed. His body has been pumped full of sedatives.

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"Mental Decay" Song Only

Final Thoughts About the Album Mental Decay 4 Years Later

We are now analyzing this album again August 2021 and by now if you have been able to tune in for this long and gotten to hear their second album, you will hear that they have gotten a little more diverse with their sound because of the exotic melody in the title track. However, Laid to Waste is mostly about very fast and aggressive thrash metal and they usually do not take their feet off of the gas pedal of guitar playing if such a comparison makes any sense. This album ends with the war filled lyrics of the song called “Collateral Damage.” Due to the fact that the thrash metal genre has become so diverse, Laid to Waste is a band that isn’t the most original thrash metal band but they have elements of Greek style thrash metal bands and also the Bay Area thrash metal scene such as Exodus. One positive thing about this 32 minute speed fest is that at least this kind of thrash metal doesn’t overwhelm your senses. The last song all of a sudden really slows down and what we hear is a beautiful acoustic section which is just the right ending for a more musically diverse album such as this one.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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