I was glad when D.R.I. came out with an album entitled “Thrash Zone” because face it, they were a Thrash band. I went to see these guys in August ‘04 and some little punk rock kid saw I had my Nuclear Assault “Survive” tour tee on and said ever so sarcastically, “Metal, YEAHHH!” All I said was, “Hey moron, what kind of band do you think you’re seeing? That’s right a metal band. Go wack it to your DK records.” (The kid was probably thirteen.) Sure they got the punk rock inspired lyrics and the Hardcore hollering and occasional riffs, but they were definitely in the Thrash genre if you had to pidgeon hole them.
Thrash Zone is interesting for a number of reasons, the lighting fast speed element is almost completely gone except on few numbers like “Worker Bee”, the slow parts are really slow, almost like Obituary during their dirge moments on “Slowly We Rot”. The production is the best of any D.R.I. album, famed Metal Blade producer Bill Metoyer uses a little to much compression but this ends up giving Spike Cassidy a boost in his awesome riffs. Some of the best guitar riffs of any D.R.I. album here. I was a little bit disappointed in Felix Griffin’s drumming because he is an awesome drummer and one of the best in the genre. His drumming here is just too simple, there aren’t any of those awesome breaks or tom fills that were on Crossover or Four of a Kind. Still some cool triplets though. Kurt’s atonal voice is a little more in the background but still keeps everything together.
This album would then go on to close the most successful period for D.R.I. The later two albums would lack focus and be cast on the dust bin of history. They would also go on to loose a huge driving force in 1990, their drummer Felix Griffin. Their bassist would also get stabbed on tour in Mexico after this album, a further setback for the band. Worth having along with everything that came before. If you like D.R.I. then you should also check out the first two Hirax albums and Nuclear Assault pre-1991. For more underrated Thrash check out Forced Entry, Anacrusis, Coroner, ans N.J.’s Whiplash. They don’t sound like D.R.I. but they are all awesome bands.