Classics: ATROPHY ‘Socialized ​Hate’

And here comes another chapter of my little Classics-series and it features a band hailing from Tuscan, Arizona. It was in 1986 when a new quintet got into a work mode, a band that delivered a first demo in 1987. A second demo tape followed a bit later and last but not least it was the contribution to a split album that acted as a springboard for signing a deal with Roadrunner Records.

The band I’m talking about is Atrophy. The guys premiered in 1988 with ‘Socialized Hate’, which was the first out of two releases the band brought out to market.

It’s the galloping ‘Chemical Dependency’ that opens the album and it’s a first strong statement. Blistering solos, a merciless rhythm section and aggressive vocals, these are the main pillars of Atrophy’s sound, all coming back in the opener.

Lyrics on ‘Socialized Hate’ had often a serious background, but the guys showed their party passion too. ‘Beer Bong’ is THE song for a good party and one of the most spot-on thrash metal tracks. After such a closing of the A-side, it’s the title track, which opens side 2. An acoustic beginning leads to smashing thrasher that shows Atrophy’s songwriting talent. Next to that, it’s the vocals, done by Brian Zimmerman, that make a difference. Zimmerman isn’t just screaming. He’s combining aggressiveness and a melodic approach, partly reminding me of guys like Chuck Billy of Testament.

Atrophy is another example of thrash metal bands, being pioneers in metal but never had a real breakthrough. This band is for sure underrated and therefore I would like to bring this 30 years old classic to your attention. Unfortunately life for metal bands was tough in the early ’90s, one of the reasons why things cooled down for Atrophy. With ‘Violent by Nature’ a second album left the record pressing plant, a good album that could achieve the same attention as the debut. The official status of Atrophy is still on ‘active’ and a glimpse of Atrophy’s Facebook account shows signals of the quintet working on new material. Maybe we can welcome a third Atrophy album in 2019, more than 30 years after the debut hit the shelves.


  1. Chemical Dependency
  2. Killing Machine
  3. Matter of Attitude
  4. Preacher, Preacher
  5. Beer Bong
  6. Socialized Hate
  7. Best Defense
  8. Product of the Past
  9. Rest in Pieces
  10. Urban Decay

Label: Roadrunner Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date: October 1988

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