A Review of the 2005 Groovy Thrash Metal Album "Alcohol Anthems" by Mental Care Foundation Featuring Henrik Klingenberg
Henrik Klingenberg of Mental Care Foundation and Sonata Arctica
Track Listing for the album Alcohol Anthems
- Death Lasts a Lifetime
- All the Same
- The Turnover
- Down the Line
- Hate Avenue
- My Real World
- Move Forward
Who plays on this album?
Band Members for this album:
Henrik Klingenberg: Vocals
Antti Hokkala: Guitars
Pasi Kauppinen: Bass Guitars
Lauri Bexar: Drums
The musical style of Mental Care Foundation and who they are compared to
Mental Care Foundation is a band that most people in the heavy metal community would not know about. They are a groovy thrash metal band from Kokkola, Finland. They were formed in 2003 and released their debut album "Alcohol Anthems" in 2005. Think of these guys like Pantera except there are no intricate melodies in this album. Vocalist Henrik Klingenberg has a harsh shouting style that I actually enjoy listening to. The band cites Pantera, Testament, and Slayer as their influences. However, I believe that Mental Care Foundation suffers from a lack of depth and creativity in their music. What was the band’s goal when they wrote this album? It certainly sounds like a thrash metal album, but the speed is mid-tempo most of the time. On the other end of the extreme, bands such as Slayer use speed exclusively in their music. There has to be a balance when you write songs in an album. This album is lacking that balance I am referring to. If you enjoyed reading about Finnish thrash metal band Mokoma, let me say that Mental Care Foundation is nowhere near as good as those guys. Mokoma have lots of hooks in their songs. Henrik Klingenberg has also played keyboards for the Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica.
A Review of the album Alcohol Anthems
One example is the sub-standard song called Pain. It has a lot of shouting by Klingenberg and lots of mid-tempo riffing but that’s pretty much it. The album does have a pretty good beginning with the song Headtrip. I hear some Annihilator style soloing in this one. One thing that is prevalent in the album is that the solos have a blues style and influence to them. The Turnover starts with bass guitar play and then it turns into another generic thrash metal song. But it gets a little better with the song called Down the Line. This is the first song that I heard from Mental Care Foundation and it is one of those really groovy songs that you can really get into. Guitarist Jeff Waters would probably enjoy this one because it is pretty freaking heavy! He is a fan of those heavy kinds of songs for sure. Mental Care Foundation is similar to Finnish thrash metal band Hateframe. Unpredicted is a song about a person that doesn’t know what to do with his life. He feels that he is drifting aimlessly without direction. This song is just average. There is heavier riffing and the guitar tone sounds kind of dirty. I have heard heavy metal albums that are much worse than this album. In fact, I think that Prong’s Cleansing album may be weaker than this one even though it has a few memorable songs in the first half. And certainly, you can make the valid case that Megadeth’s Risk album is one of the worst in the history of heavy metal. Henrik Klingenberg is a decent vocalist for this type of groovy thrash metal. My Real World has a pretty good solo and is one of these thrash songs that has some kind of different feel to it so I will give it credit for that.
The song called All the Same
Best songs in the album
The best songs in the album are Headtrip, Down the Line, Unpredicted, Hate Avenue, and My Real World. What is the final word on this album? For those that are die-hard thrash metal fans, you will find it hard if not impossible to love this album. If you are a heavy metal fan that enjoys listening to different kinds of heavy metal, then you might like the music from Mental Care Foundation. Alcohol Anthems gets a 68 out of 100 points from this writer.
Thoughts About the Album Alcohol Anthems in 2018: It is Better Than Originally Thought
That was the rating for this album in 2016 but has the rating gone up? One thing that I can say that this album is definitely much better than Pantera’s last two studio albums. Credit must be given to Henrik Klingenberg for at least trying to sing without straining his voice. He does not have a varied vocal range and tends to stay in the lower octaves. The blues influenced solos at least help to give this album some variety. In 2018, the album "Alcohol Anthems" deserves a little increase in the score so let’s give it 70 out of 100 points.
The song called Down the Line
© 2016 Ara Vahanian