Any thrash metal fan will appreciate this
After 20 years, Mike Patton (vocals), Trey Spruance (lead guitar) and Trevor Dunn (bass) got together as Mr. Bungle to release a re-recording of their first self-produced demo, The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny. Originally released in 1986, the band revisit their origins of thrash metal. Minus “Evil Satan,” they re-record the entire album along with three unrecorded songs. Not only that, but they enlisted the help of well-known musicians in metal who should sound familiar: Scott Ian, the guitarist of Anthrax, and Dave Lombardo, who has many accolades, but most notably as the former Slayer drummer. Patton and Lombardo actually play together in the supergroup Dead Cross, so hearing them come together on another project isn’t a surprise.
As the opener on the original and this re-recording, “Grizzly Adams,” an instrumental piece, is pretty much the same, but the production quality is noticeable. The original sounds more acoustic, without the reverb effects to add to it. Overall, the 2020 version is audibly better by sounding more refined, but carries the same tune as the 1986 version.
Following after is the shortest song on the album, “Anarchy Up Your Anus.” The track starts with a 40-second narration from Rhea Perlman, but the track quickly shifts once the guitars take over and the vocals start with a wailing scream. From the start, Patton’s voice is aggressive and harsh throughout the album, in the best ways possible. “Raping Your Mind,” the first single off the demo, showcases Lombardo’s talent. His skills are unmistakable and elevate the overall quality of the song along with Ian’s insanely fast-paced rhythm.
Their cover of Stormtroopers Of Death’s—which Scott Ian was a part of when they were active—“Hypocrites/Habla Español O Muere,” starts off with aggressive/fast-paced lyrics, but people are quickly jarred out of this with their incorporation of the Mexican Folk song “La Cucaracha.” While also fast, it causes people to pause, but they transition back into thrash by having the roll of an “r” turn into a scream/growl which works so well.
“Methematics,” the longest track at almost nine minutes long, encapsulates Mr. Bungle’s talent. Everyone has their moments that makes this full on metal tune engaging throughout its longer run time. Ian (rhythm) and Spruance (lead guitar) riffage is especially noteworthy. Across the album their talent is shoved in people’s faces because one can’t help but be drawn in by their shredding and solos. Take “Eracist,” the second single off the demo, for example, the guitar shredding produces chills and makes it no surprise why this was chosen as a single. One also can’t help but be in awe of Lombardo’s drumming on this track. It’s tracks like “Eracist” that bring to light Ian’s and Lombardo’s contribution to the album as a whole.
Overall, the musicianship of each member is undeniable and they bring their talent to deliver thrash metal at its core in The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo. Ian’s and Lombardo’s presence shines through and they help Mr. Bungle deliver thrash at its finest. In the end, the only drawback of these thrash renditions is that the sound blends the further one gets into the album. There isn’t any experimentation, as they live and breathe in straight thrash, but fans of thrash won’t find any issues there.