THE RECKONING, Absence of Mind (1990, demo)
Yes, it’s a blindfolded skull resting on a giant, wizened hand, but doesn’t it also look like a giant skull man with a tiny body, very short legs, and an incredibly long dick? I picture this guy capering about in New Orleans near some grim Mardi Gras float, drunk as a boiled owl and having a good ol’ time.
Most people think Anthrax or Overkill when they think New York thrash, and for sure those bands were at the vanguard of the city’s original thrash sound, but there were plenty of Bay Area inspired bands working their trade in and around the big apple, such as Cold Steel, Dead On, and, evidently, The Reckoning. The singing in this sort of band tended less toward gruff bellowing and more toward a kind of hardcore-inspired shout-singing. The riffing here is mid paced and grooving, rarely even putting on menacing airs (let alone actually doing any menacing). I like the prominent bass, but this is one of the few obvious hallmarks of the East Coast sound intruding on the demo. The Reckoning don’t offer anything new or especially interesting on this five song effort, but at the same time, they don’t make any obvious mistakes, either. I’m sure they riled up a few pits in their day, but it’s pretty clear why they failed to attract any label attention.
— Friar Johnsen