I'm honestly a bit close-minded at the best of times. I know what I like and it's very hard to introduce me to something new, in all aspects of things, not just music. I've never been big on thrash aside from a few Metallica, Megadeth and Artillery songs (though Evile are starting to make inroads), much preferring bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest et al. My concerns with thrash are chiefly that much of it tries to be "brutal" to the point of alienation, that many vocalists try too hard to sound scary and cut right through the song, and that production tends to sound far too cheap.
Luckily, with Fearful Symmetry, all my concerns are addressed!
I was first turned on to this album when I was played Hotel Blast Terror, and was instantly hooked. HBT is humourous without being over-the-top/try-too-hard (hello Edguy!), while remaining fast, hard and heavy. I instantly preordered the album, and was rewarded! On first listen, it is obvious that two of my three thrash concerns are addressed right away: the production is brilliant. It's clear, well-mixed and balanced, really heavy but not drowning out all the treble. Also, the vocals are similarly clear. Are they aggressive? Damn right, but he's also clean and not trying to sound like a demon or something, like some other thrash singers do. These are very raise-your-fist-and-yell-along-to vocals, and the songs coincidentally have many such lines with crowd-like backing vox.
As for the music as a whole, well, as the previous reviewer said, the riffs appeal to me greatly as a fan of Maiden and Priest. They're heavy without needing to go to Drop... Z tuning or whatever, and they're fast without sounding like a metalcore band on fast forward. Riffs, drums and vocal melodies alike are strong and distinct, and very tight. I've heard a few few thrash songs that sound like each band member is just doing his own thing, and this isn't that kind of album. Indeed, the twin guitars play off of each other in a way more reminiscent of post-NWOBHM, with strong harmonies, call-and-answers and solos that are fast but never slurred or, pardon my french, wanky.
I think the best way to describe this album is how the songs make me feel: With a lot of thrash and heavier metal, it seems being evil or brutal or demonic can come to the fore way too much, to the and I find the idea of going to see said bands a bit off-putting. Not because of the image, but because, well, see my earlier line about drop-Z 1000mph messy jams. Thrashist Regime have that brutal quality - there's songs on here about torture devices, murder and being buried alive - but the music is clearly very, very carefully crafted, with the strong, neo-NWOBHMesque riffs, the harmonies, time changes etc. Unlike those other bands, I find the idea of having a drink and banging my head to Fearful Symmetry at a festival like BOA a very, very appealing prospect.
In short, Thrashist Regime (and Evile!) are teaching this closed-minded lad that thrash can be and is a brilliant subgenre of metal, and I'm pleased that I found this out just on the rise of this new wave of thrash that said two bannds are truly on the crest of. I now intend to expand that view, and will be checking out more thrash: currently on my list are Exodus, Heathen, Mortal Sin and Overkill. Cheers lads!