Never one to give a f-ck about genre boundaries, David Pajo has explored countless facets of post-rock, electronica and acoustica, both on his own and as a member of Slint, Tortoise, The For Carnation and Billy Corgan's short-lived Zwan. But even if Dead Child's founder and frontman hadn't exhausted so many other possibilities, he'd have eventually slouched metalward. Like similarly-experienced bandmates Todd Cook, Michael McMahan, Tony Bailey and Dahm, Pajo grew up joyfully immersed in the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Attack finds the Louisville-based quintet revisiting the stormy skies of their youth with so much vigor, we can never be sure exactly when whose tongues are in which cheeks.
Nor does it matter. The band adroitly marry UK histrionics (think Rob Halford) with classic Bay Area thrash on the morbid-fascination confession "Screaming Skull." "Boiling lead poured into your brain/ Let us shiver in the night," vocalist Dahm yelps capably over taut, galloping accompaniment. He's a formidable screamer, too, but his real strong suit reveals itself on a concise, serpentine guitar solo that, like pretty much every move he makes on the album, suggests he's spent years preparing to let his inner metal dude rise…again.