Primal Rite – Sensory Link to Pain (Review)

Primal RiteThis is the latest release from US hardcore bruisers Primal Rite.

This is a twisted crossover mix of hardcore and metal, weaving punk and death/thrash influences together into three furiously ugly tracks. Continue reading

Advertisements

Torrefy – The Infinity Complex (Review)

TorrefyTorrefy are a Canadian thrash metal band and this is their second album.

Containing over an hour of material, The Infinity Complex is an ambitious and epic release full of progressive thrash metal. The music borrows from the old-school while still retaining enough modern flavour to appeal to a wide variety of metal fans. Continue reading

Exalter – Obituary for the Living (Review)

ExalterThis is the latest release from Bangladeshi Thrash Metallers Exalter.

Featuring three new songs and four older ones, this release showcases what Exalter have produced up to this point in their existence.

After being suitably impressed by some recent Thrash releases, (Artillery, Crisix and Exumer, for example), I’m in the mood to be wooed once more by Thrash Metal, and I’m pleased to say that Exalter don’t disappoint. Continue reading

Artillery – Penalty by Perception (Review)

ArtilleryArtillery are a Thrash Metal band from Denmark. This is their eighth album.

These Metal veterans return with another 54 minutes of old-school Thrash Metal.

The vocalist’s melodic cleans are straight out of a different era, and in the context of 2016 sound flawless and delivered with a skill and passion lacking in most similar bands.

Savage riffs and sterling solos are moulded around classic song structures. The band obviously know exactly what they’re doing from the outset and this is a ridiculously strong collection of tracks. Catchy, memorable and charismatic, these songs are seriously good. They also awaken such a powerful sense of nostalgia in me that I honestly don’t know what to do with. I’ll just listen to more Thrash Metal I suppose.

Some of the riffs and melodies on this release get the hairs standing on end and the overall feeling is indescribable in some ways. Being exposed to this much authentic top-grade Thrash Metal in one go should come with a health warning.

Well, this really has made me sit up and take notice. I pretty much hate the vast majority of the retro-Thrash movement with its stupidity and moronic nonsense, so it’s great to hear a band that were forged in the original era when this kind of thing was first born produce something so strong and worthwhile. This should put all of the idiotic posers in their place and demonstrates what a force to be reckoned with Artillery still are.

Taken with the recent release by Exumer, could 2016 be the year that reignites my love affair with Thrash Metal? It’s shaping up to be that way so far.

This is what Thrash Metal is meant to be about.

Chugun – Virus (Review)

ChugunChugun are a Thrash/Death Metal band from Israel. This is their début album.

Chugun’s sound combines Old-School Thrash Metal with some just-as-old Death Metal influences as well as a pinch of a more modern approach to produce this enjoyable 30 minutes of Metal mayhem.

The vocals alternate between deep grunts and higher screams. The singer does both styles very well and her voice is well-suited to both roles.

This album is an up-tempo rager, with the main bulk of the music having a healthy Thrash Metal base, onto which Death Metal and some Modern Metal elements are incorporated. There are a lot of good riffs on here and the bend seem to revel in what they do. It’s clear a lot of love and passion has gone into this release and this comes out in the songs.

My tolerance for Thrash Metal has lowered a lot of late, partially due to the over-saturation of the retro/comedy style; Virus, however, has none of this nonsense and this is a really enjoyable release. It’s more aggressive than most due to their Death Metal aspect and the songs motor along quite nicely.

The musicianship is tight and the recording loud and heavy. It’s a modern-sounding rendition of an older style, played with grit and devotion.

Unexpectedly good. Damn good, in fact. Check this out.

To the Pain – 7 (Review)

To the PainThis is the second album by US Thrash Metal band To the Pain.

This is a short release – 6 songs in just under 27 minutes – featuring Bay Area-style Thrash and a fantastically-titled closing song Don’t Eat the Eyes. (I felt compelled to point that out).

The Metallica/Anthrax/Testament inspired songs are a real throwback to decades past and in all honesty it really, really works. It may be resolutely Old-School but it’s not a Retro release or any such nonsense – this is a real band playing real Thrash and doing it very well.

I enjoyed their début album, (which was one of my earliest reviews), but I can’t help but notice the strides forward that the band have made in the intervening years. 7 has seen them make advances in every area, from sound to songwriting to delivery; the entire thing sounds more confident and assured. The songs are better and this is a real Thrash Metal feast.

The singer’s voice has improved along with the rest of the band and he too sounds more confident in his role. He has settled into his job with ease and seems to have no problem infusing his performance with character and charisma.

But where’s the rest of the album? I feel like there are another two or three tracks missing. Some bands easily put out too many songs and you can lose attention, but 7 is the opposite and is over before you know it. Maybe it’s better this way though, as it certainly leaves you salivating and hungry for more.

Well, recently I’ve stated, quite a few times actually, that I feel a bit jaded with Thrash Metal. However, there have been a plethora of recent releases that are making me rethink this and To the Pain’s newest is another. 7 is a winner for me. Check it out.

Nightbreed – Nightbreed (Review)

NightbreedNightbreed are a Greek Thrash Metal band and this is their début album.

This is aggressive Old-School Thrash Metal in the style of Kreator and Exodus. It’s ugly, raw and not for the weak.

This is not for Retro-Thrash fans, nor is it for modern Thrashers who are used to huge, gleaming productions. This is for people who like the original Speed Metal template and are quite happy listening to a band who sound like they recorded this in the 80s and then sat on it for a few decades.

The singer has the right kind of angry snarl for the style. He seems to ride the riffs on waves of attitude and never misses an opportunity to add a belligerent edge to his voice.

The music is fast and furious. Solos are included, obviously, and these are well-played and most enjoyable. The riffs seem to lash out like barbed tentacles. The drumming is a relentless pounding that seems to only let up as the songs die off.

The songs blur by in a fit of rebellious fists, spikes and horror. The attitude and style is palpably Thrash Metal and the band don’t lack for presence.

If you’re looking for Thrash Metal that’s true to the original aggressive style then look no further and check out Nightbreed.

Comaniac – Return to the Wasteland (Review)

ComaniacComaniac are from Switzerland and play Thrash Metal. This is their début album.

Boasting a crisp, clear sound where you can feel every bit of crunch, Comaniac sound remarkably fresh considering this is Old-School Thrash Metal.

The songs have a kind of used vitality to them; it’s a well-worn genre but the band play it well and with such passion that it’s hard to feel jaded around them.

The riffs are frantic and well written, with plenty of leads and solos thrown around to make things sound even more Metal than they already are.

Comaniac certainly know their Thrash. These songs could easily have been written in the 80s, although the 80’s Thrash bands never had such a crisp, modern production as this of course.

The singer screams out his lyrics with a kind of focused insanity, one step away from mayhem but controlled enough for the moment. It’s quite charismatic and makes a good impression.

Considering the fact that I’ve been a bit sated on Old-School Thrash for a while now I wasn’t expecting much from this but Comaniac have firmly won me over. The combination of Thrash know-how and a punchy, energetic sound makes for a great listen.

Turn on, turn up and Thrash out.

Solanum/Epi-Demic – Passages to Lunacy – Split (Review)

Solanum Epi-DemicSolanum and Epi-Demic are both from Canada and both play Crossover Thrash Metal.

Solanum start us off with just under 18 minutes of aggressive Thrash.

Their contribution is underground and sharp, with a sound that wastes no time in ramming home their aesthetic.

This is Old-School, genuine and really rather good. I have a low threshold sometimes for Crossover Thrash, especially when done in a Retro style and I think this is one of the saving graces of Solanum; there’s no Retro nonsense here, just good, old-fashioned Thrashing out.

The other thing which earns them big marks is the fact that they can actually pen a decent song. The riffs are enjoyable rip-fests that tear along the road with the hungry appetite of the biggest gas-guzzler.

Oh, and the singer has a very satisfying bark to him as well.

Solanum have won me over.

Up next are Epi-Demic, with a shorter total duration of 13 minutes.

Epi-Demic are just as raw and intense as Solanum, and like Solanum they too dispense with any of the Retro nonsense and just concentrate on some lovely Old-School Crossover.

If anything, Epi-Demic’s sound is even more underground and aggressive than Solanum. Their riffs have more of a Hardcore feel to them in places too, although they still know how to Thrash it out with the best of them. Indeed, some of the guitar rhythms here are very tasty indeed.

You could pretty much land at any point in any of these songs and hit something good, but I think overall my favourite is Famine, with its combination of sharp, tight riffs and frenetic leads…or maybe Nuclear Dream with its swirly, twisting guitars…there’s a lot of good stuff on these four songs.

The singer has a higher voice than that of Solanum although it’s still aggressively based and hits the right Crossover tone.

So, Epi-Demic have also won me over.

If you’re looking for a quality Crossover release without any of the novelty bollocks then snap this up quickly.