Fueled By Fear


WRAITH’s “Fueled By Fear” is a foul and fearsome offering that Thrash metal fans deserve. Highly recommended. Embrace the fear.
July 8, 2024

Typically, when a wraith is sighted, it’s a bad omen. Harbinger of death and swallower of souls and all that. But when your social media feed informs you that Blackened Thrashers WRAITH have dropped a new album, well that’s a good omen. So, let the bacchanal begin. On June 28th, Indiana’s troublesome WRAITH released their latest studio album, “Fueled By Fear,” via Prosthetic Records. As usual they deliver up some serious auditory malice.   

“Fueled By Fear” features 14 tracks—WRAITH’s longest album to date—and clocks in at a suspiciously symmetric 45:45. Now, I’ve been following WRAITH since their 2019 “Absolute Power,” and I have to say this is the best produced album yet. They still retain their essential grit and spit vibe, but the sound engineering and mixing has definitely hit new heights allowing listeners to relish every discordant riff. And don’t worry, even though the bass line trolls the bottom like Godzilla sneaking up on Tokyo and the drums will puncture your cranium with the precision of a ballpein hammer, Matt Sokol’s vocals are still as raspy as a rusted razor. Some dirt is just too stubborn to scrub out in the final production. 

Similar to their 2021 album, “Undo the Chains,” “Fueled By Fear” warms us up with an instrumental. I’m wondering if they’ll start using this tactic regularly. Either way, it’s been effective for two albums now. In this case WRAITH lingers on “Asylum” for a solid two minutes, toying with the phrasing and riffs like a serial killer might sharpen their blades before the fatal strike. The full-on assault then begins with the title track, “Fueled By Fear” and the rampage doesn’t let up until the final strains of “The Breaking Wheel” fade into the void.    

There are some nasty treasures on this album. “Shame in Suffering” cuts through the pit with sharp elbows and size 12 boots. “Ice Cold Bitch” races like an over-stoked Ducati. And despite what one might assume, the song is not about your latest ex but rather about a literal ice queen . . . which might be the same thing. “Heathen’s Touch” has more chugs than a cross-country locomotive. You can’t be a fan of Thrash and not love the chug. “Shattered Sorrow” will leach on your soul, causing you to hum the refrain all day much to the discomfort of everyone who comes within five feet of you. And the closing track, “The Breaking Wheel,” will leave its mark on your sinews with Doom inflections as heavy as proverbial boots of lead.

WRAITH has proven to be a fairly prolific band. On top of their four full-length albums there are also two splits as well as their highly recommended pandemic EP, “Index Case: The Quarantine Sessions... .” Somehow through all that output, they have managed to not only stay consistent and relevant but to actually sharpen their craft. “Fueled By Fear” is a foul and fearsome offering, one that Thrash metal fans deserve. Embrace the fear.


9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Fueled By Fear" Track-listing:

1. Asylum

2. Fueled by Fear

3. Horses and Hounds

4. Shame in Suffering

5. Code Red

6. Ice Cold Bitch

7. Warlord

8. Merchant of Death

9. Heathen’s Touch

10. Hell’s Canyon

11. Vulture

12. Shattered Sorrow

13. Truth Decay

14. The Breaking Wheel


Wraith Lineup:

Matt Sokol – Guitars, vocals

Mike Szymendera – Drums

Jason Schultz – Guitars

Mike Drysch – Bass


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