29 May 2017

Redrum: "Power Corrupts"

Unpolished gem of old school thrash from when the genre was on its way out of style
Redrum from Sacramento, CA, should by connoisseurs be considered a classic underground American thrash band. They only ever released a handful of demos of varying quality, but the main attraction here is their one full length album Power Corrupts, which was re-released in 2007 by Evil Legends with new artwork (and thank god for that, 'cause the old artwork was terrible and speaks of a limited budget).

Redrum is as 80's as they come. Thrash riffs coming out the ass, scissor-beats aplenty and raw vocals with affinity for USPM-esque screams as well as powerful bass lines. All in all a great recipe for political thrash metal straight from the states. By now it's a recipe most know by heart.

"...it can sometimes be hard to focus on anything but the hi-hats,"

Unfortunately the otherwise classic songwriting gets a proverbial kick in the groin by one of the most tinny and flat productions I've ever heard. Many thrash bands of the mid 80's had terrible production, and often this added a certain flavour that connected all the American bands of the time, but with Redrum it can sometimes be hard to focus on anything but the hi-hats which are being brutally punished repeatedly.

It's a terrible shame because the riffs and solos are fantastic. The band's genuine thrash riffs could pull your teeth out, and songs such as the title track Power Corrupts and Greenhouse are well worth repeated spins, and though it's obvious that their prowess doesn't warrant them the same attention as the more well known bands from the same place and period, Power Corrupts remains a gem of American thrash metal often overlooked.


Released in 1989 independently



  1. 1989?? Was it really that long ago??

    My first introduction to Redrum was a brief blurb about new and upcoming American bands in Terrorizer magazine. There was a photo of the band (easily found online) holding skateboards, dressed kind of like Suicidal & Anthrax, and one of the skateboards had the slayer logo on it. About a month or so later I saw the Power Corrupts record in a shop but it was an import and was priced way out of my league. Had it not been so expensive I think I would have bought it based solely on the look of the band. It remained in the import section along with the likes of School of Violence and INC, until one day it disappeared.

    Fast forward to the days of the internet and I finally got to listen to Redrum. It's definitely "of it's time", sounds very American, and a better production would not have gone amiss. I suppose the fact they only recorded one album speaks volumes about their place in an already crowded sea of second tier thrash bands. But still, I like it!!

  2. Thanks for your comment!

    It has its flaws, as most bands belonging to that wave does, but that's part of its charm!