Submission For Liberty

01. Sinn Macht Frei
02. While I Lie Awake
03. Raise A Fist
04. Submission For Liberty
05. The Oppressed
06. I Will Not Bow
07. Taken Down
08. My Fathers Eyes
09. The Warning
10. Blood Of Martyrs

Danny Tomb (Vocals and Guitars)
Michael Vafiotis (Drums)
Andy Hinterreiter (Bass)
Johnny Glovasa (Lead Guitar)

13 Scars (2005)
The Empires Of Death (2010)


Matt Hyde (Production)

Released 6/2-2012
Reviewed 10/4-2012


I'm thinking One by Metallica as soon as the opening track on the third album by Australian 4 ARM kicks off. It's not because the soft piano intro have something particularly in common with that Metallica masterpice, nor because of that somewhat hardcoreish thrash metal that follows the intro is particularly similar to the thrash metal that Metallica play on '…And Justice For All' but because of the fact that also they have quoted a movie, just like Metallica did in their One-video. However, instead of Johnny Got His Gun, 4 ARM uses their spoken quotes from The Charlie Chaplin-film The Great Dictator, which I last encountered in music ten years ago when Timo Tolkki used it on his 'Hymn To Life' solo album. And compared to that album, I'd say 4 ARM is more likely to be inspired by Metallica.

Regardless of what I just said, I don't think that this particular album is very inspired by Metallica when it comes to the music, though I'd say they probably has been a great inspiration to the band, but there is plenty of things on 'Submission For Liberty' besides the music that feels similar to '…And Justice For All'. To mention a few things, we have the anti-war theme that both albums have in their lyrics as well as references to liberty, justice and democracy. Personally, I feel 'Submission For Liberty', just like Metallicas album, is more profound than most albums in this genre since there are things like the piano intro in the beginning and some acoustic guitars in the end as well as a quite big range of tempo variations that makes the album more than just a thrash metal album in full speed.

However, this profoundness isn't always shining through the music on this album. Most of the album feels very much like thrash metal without compromises and then some hardcore cream on it. You have to read (or listen) between the lines to hear those deeper elements that's constantly slipping through in all modesty. I've already mentioned the piano intro and the choice to use a Charlie Chaplin-quote, anti-war themes and liberty- and justice references. These are things that takes you on a journey through a thrash metal landscape that reminds me a bit of my home country Sweden - not best on anything but good at everything.

Sure, I like 'Submission For Liberty' but this isn't an album that completely can blow you away with just one breath. Instead, this album is more like a terrier that struggles and fights and bites and battles until it has weakened you so much that you find yourself in the bite of the dog, not able to fight him loose anymore. And then you're stuck there, listening to this album over and over across the double digit repeats despite you couldn't really see this happening when you first played the album. The album goes on for almost 50 minutes and in my opinion this feels a bit long when it comes to thrash metal (yet a whole quarter shorter than '…And Justice For All' only to mention another thrash album), but on this album I think those 50 minutes play themselves out quite well. Sure, there are parts where I peek at the clock but this is more a result of less interesting songs than the album being repetitive and boring and when you reach the end I can't say I feel the album felt too long. The sound is of course something that helps giving this feeling as the production is very good and helps this mixture of heavy bass, fast guitars and blastbeating drums stay interesting. However, the music isn't always fast and like that, the tempo goes up and down nicely and the music is varied and constantly moving forward in a nice and steady pace.

All in all I think this album is reliable thrash metal album that delivers what is should and ought to do. There are no particularly good songs on the album but a few dips made by the long solos in I Will Not Bow and the melodies in The Warning, but except for this there's nothing really wrong anywhere and I think this is an interesting addition to the thrash metal family for those interested in the genre. However, I have a hard time seeing too many that doesn't already have an established interest in thrash metal finding this overly exciting. The music just doesn't feel spectacular enough to reach those. 4 ARM and their 'Submission For Liberty' is good and reliable though and a nice thing to experience… just like Sweden.




Label: Rising Records/Gordeon Music
Three similar bands: Metallica/Machine Head/Exodus
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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