Raider – Trial by Chaos (Review)

Raider - Trial by ChaosThis is the second album from Canadian death/thrash metallers Raider.

Over 39 minutes Trial by Chaos combines the melodic strains of death and thrash metal into eight tracks of savage intensity. Raider know how to write a good tune, and Trial by Chaos is packed with them. For a rough starting point, think of a mix of Legion of the Damned, Revocation, Nervosa, Slayer, Kreator, Defleshed, and Skeletonwitch.

Trial by Chaos has a violent old-school heart, but it’s delivered with contemporary energetic passion and skill. Effectively an aggressive thrash metal release which is bolstered by some muscular death metal elements, this album is a brutally successful record. Combining the ferocity of death metal with thrash’s hooks and enough melodies to texture their attack, Raider unleash their vicious material with the force of an exploding mountain.

Raider slam fiery riff upon fiery riff into the listener. The good thing about Raider though is that the songs come first; this is no simple riff-fest, as the band are clearly adept at writing in this sort of style. The music offers a punishing assault, one that’s only softened somewhat by the restrained use of melody. Of the latter, this is less-blatantly deployed than some bands playing this sort of style, which works well as it allows the band to ramp up the aggression, while still benefiting from melodic catchiness and depth. There’s also a level of technicality and complexity apparent in places that further enhances the music. At other times, Raider simply peel off chunky riffs, rhythms, and grooves that don’t need anything else other than the pounding drums and rumbling bass to make their mark.

Trial by Chaos has the full package. The recording is sharp and powerful, and the relentless songs make the most of this. The vocals consist blackened rasps and harsh roars, and add yet another layer of extremity to the music’s bite.

Raider have impressed. Trial by Chaos is great fun to listen to, and absolutely destroys.

Essential listening for fans of aggressive death/thrash.


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