Published on April 1st, 2017 | by Justin G.
Cyclone Temple: I Hate Therefore I Am (Divebomb)
When groundbreaking Chicago area speed metal band Znowhite lost vocalist Debbie Gunn (she decided to join Sentinel Beast), guitarist Greg Fulton, bassist Scott Schafer and drummer John Slattery III decided to soldier on, bringing in a new vocalist (Brian Troch, formerly of Hammeron) and eventually changing the band name to Cyclone Temple. The band made their debut in 1991 with I Hate Therefore I Am, one of the true underground classics of thrash metal.
We’ve all heard the story about how early on, Metallica tried to recruit Armored Saint vocalist John Bush. Listening to I Hate Therefore I Am, you can almost hear what that collaboration might have sounded like. Greg Fulton’s intricate rhythm guitar work is worthy of Metalllica in their prime (not to mention Testament and Anthrax), and Troch has a perfect voice for this kind of thrash metal, bringing a kind of gruff power to these songs. I Hate Therefore I Am is one of those albums that has a massive impact on you whether it’s the first time you’re hearing it or the hundredth. The combination of unforgettable crunching riffs, vocal melodies and emotional, socially aware lyrics make this album transcend the normal expectations of a thrash metal album (not that it doesn’t satisfy completely on that level as well). “Public Enemy,” “March for Me, Die For Me” and the title track are three great examples of the Cyclone Temple sound, but you’re not going to find a weak moment here.
I Hate Therefore I Am was the only album Cyclone Temple recorded with Troch, though they did carry on a while with a new singer. This album is as good as most anything coming from the thrash metal scene in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but didn’t get the kind of push it needed or attention it deserved. If you missed it the first time around and are into bands like early Metallica, Testament, Anthrax, Dark Angel and Forbidden, you owe it to yourself to discover this outstanding debut.
Reissue Notes: Out of print for far too long, I Hate Therefore I Am gets a second chance this year thanks to the Divebomb label (who reissued their 1994 follow-up My Friend Lonely back in 2012). Divebomb’s reissue, as expected, features newly (and brilliantly) remastered audio by Jamie King, and has a massive booklet that’s loaded with band history, new notes from the band, lyrics, vintage photos and press clippings. It may be the biggest CD booklet you’ll ever encounter. As for bonus material…there’s nothing added to this reissue, but their new Cyclone Temple collection Land of the Greed Home of the Depraved has that in spades.
Summary: This is a first-class reissue of a thrash classic