Strictly Savage is the third and most exciting release from San Antonio's very own, Afflictive Nature. This band is often referred to as the “Masters of Crossover Chaos” which is a fitting title for their own blend of thrash, punk, and hardcore that they excel in creating. Following their split with Jungle Juice, Strictly Savage showcases six ruthless tracks which prove this band is something to pay attention to. Each track is a forward progression from the last, with thrashy riffs and fast Ceremony-influenced parts that the band truly makes into their own.
Afflictive Nature opens up this record with “Beneath the Streets,” a fast paced, aggressive introduction to what is in store for the listener. The third track “Nothing Beyond” is a personal favorite from this release. Clocking in at 36 seconds, the song proclaims “no hope/no faith/no tears/no pain,” which sums up the theme of this record. For a moment in seems that the band loses focus, somewhat straying from the distinct variation that was showcased at the beginning of the record. This is all changed during the slow opening of the final track “Body of Two,” which pulls everything together. Fast riffs and and a pounding bass drum seem like an homage to 80's thrash metal bands at times, while the vocals really make this a great hardcore record. In my opinion, the constant drive from the drum section without predictability is what really make this record stand out from others in the genre. It's an honest, raw release from 5 dudes who have something to give to punk and hardcore music.
Fans of this record will certainly enjoy the band's first release, Doomed from the Start, where the listener can see the progression from this 2009 EP to Strictly Savage. Afflictive Nature has recently been signed to Life to Live Records, home to bands like Losin It and Ivy League. They are in process of recording their first 7” under the label.
4/5 - John