Pokerface – Divide and Rule (Review)

PokerfaceThis is the début album from Russian Thrash Metal band Pokerface.

Pokerface play Thrash Metal with a modern sheen that nonetheless takes its cues from the early, aggressive style of the genre. Think a modern take on older Kreator and Slayer via a bit of Dew Scented.

The singer has an impressive snarl that she uses to great effect. She varies her attack and includes higher and lower screams, as well as even the odd bit of spoken-word.

The musicianship is tight and first-rate without being flashy. There are solos aplenty and these are very enjoyable.

The production is strong enough to showcase the band at their best but not polished enough to give them that manufactured feeling. Pokerface are the real deal and Divide and Rule is 36 minutes of ferocious underground Thrash Metal.

The songs are sharp and fast, going straight for the jugular with lethal intent. Songwriting ability is clearly valued highly and there are lots of hooks and catchy moments across these 10 tracks. The songs are well-written and the performance is energetic. There’s a lot of content on this album and the band offer up a meaty feast to be hungrily devoured by Thrash fans everywhere.

It’s really nice to hear this kind of Thrash Metal. In an age where a lot of Thrash bands seem to be take the retro/comedy route, seem compelled to have some form of nonsense gimmick, or blend their Thrash with other styles, it’s great to hear a band like Pokerface who play no-nonsense aggressive music, backed up by talent, skill and confidence.

I could easily imagine this band being snapped up by one of the larger labels and given wider exposure. Let’s hope that happens, eh?

If you’re looking for a bit of satisfying Thrash Metal with good songs and a killer instinct, look no further.

Highly recommended.

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