Bewitcher – Bewitcher (Review)

BewitcherThis is the debut album from US black/speed metal band Bewitcher.

This is some heady old-school stuff. Mixing thrash, speed, heavy, and first-wave black metal influences into its delivery, this album is designed to get you headbanging. Continue reading

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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

Wolf’s Hunger – Bež’te Živi, Vraćaju Se Mrtvi (Review)

Wolf's HungerWolf’s Hunger are a Serbian black/thrash metal band. This is their second album.

Despite there actually being a fair few bands out there that play blackened thrash metal in a convincing and enjoyable way, I still always think of myself as someone that’s not a huge fan of mixing the two. I think it’s Continue reading

Inculcator – Void Abecedary (Review)

InculcatorInculcator is a one-man UK black metal project. This is his début album.

With roots firmly growing out of the distant 80s, this is black metal with thrash influences. Or thrash metal with blackened influences. Who cares; turn up the volume, press play and revel in the ridiculously OTT 80s nature of this thoroughly endearing release.

The recording has a wonderfully cosmic edge, surely influenced by Continue reading

Arallu – Geniewar (Review)

AralluThis is the fifth album from this Israeli black metal band.

Ever since I first heard Satanic War in Jerusalem back in 2002, it was immediately apparent that there was something different, something special, about Arallu’s music. Sure, it was black metal and contained recognisably black metal components, but there was also something extra that the band had. They’ve nurtured and developed it over the years, and every time I hear them I’m reminded of just how individual they are.

So basically, we get black metal in the recognisable format, but twisted with Continue reading

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.

Manzer – Pictavian Chronicles – Volume 1 (Review)

ManzerManzer are a Black Metal band from France and this is a compilation of earlier releases and rare tracks.

Manzer play Thrashy Black Metal with a real underground feel and lots of savagery. Fast and furious, Manzer carve their way through an impressive 78 minutes of music on this collection. It’s a lot to sit through if you’re not completely in the mood for their Thrashed-up Blackened assault, but it’s definitely worth the effort as there are some real gems on this release.

The singer has a raspy voice that lets you know in no uncertain terms that this is not a band to be messed with. These occasionally descend into demented howling and early-Slayer-esque screams, bringing out the Thrash influence in the singer’s charismatic voice.

I like that these songs, for the most part, have a really good mix of Black and Thrash Metal in the right amounts. Old-School Thrash with lots of flair and character is dragged down into the filth and given a blasting, dirty, Blackened skullfuck until it knows its place and does its master’s bidding. First-wave Black Metal and Old-School Thrash collide, fight it out and result in Manzer.

It’s a very satisfying listen and gets straight to the point of the matter. Blackened Thrash can be a bit tiresome sometimes, but I find that, despite the length, I still enjoy this release a great deal more than similar releases from other bands that might have less than half the running time.

In addition to the original songs there are some live tracks and also covers of Venom, Abigail, Motörhead and Mercyful Fate.

A very enjoyable collection of volatile, raw Blackened Thrash. Recommended.

Nuclear – Formula for Anarchy (Review)

NuclearThis is the fifth album from Nuclear, who are a Thrash Metal band from Chile.

Opening straight off the bat with a strong sound, Nuclear reveal themselves to be fast-paced Thrash Metal. Taking cues from bands such as Kreator and Slayer, this is a much more aggressive Thrash than we normally get to see and all the more powerful because of it.

The riffs are tight and sharp, showing a reverence for classic Thrash, but also a personal touch that allows the band to throw in a few different flourishes here and there. The drums pound and never let up, while the bass is actually audible on occasion.

The vocals are angry snarls that are similar enough to the singer of Slayer to sound familiar but individual enough for that to not be an issue in any negative way.

Each of these songs sounds like it’s on fire. There’s a passionate energy that hangs around them like a blaze and it’s so damn hard to sit still when the band are just Thrashing out with passion and style; the tracks are well-written and have lots of hooks.

Catchy and aggressive Thrash Metal? That’s the best combination it seems.

These days I find I tire so easily of Thrash, as it seems to be largely populated by bands who go the Retro/Old-School/humorous route, and while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that it’s just so easy to become stale playing those styles. Nuclear, however, have reminded me why Thrash, in the right hands, is so damn essential. In a similar way to Alkira, Dew Scented and Algebra; Nuclear are a Thrash band that have gone all out in the aggression stakes resulting in an absolute winner of an album.

Here we have a band who have thrown out all of the nonsense and produced an album that straight-forwardly rips its way through the running time with relish, enthusiasm and above all, talent. This is aggressive, raw and utterly, wickedly delightful.

If you find yourself on the more jaded side of things when it comes to Thrash Metal then I heavily advise you to check out Formula for Anarchy. Maybe it can relight the passion for Thrash Metal in you.

I really can’t say enough good things about this album. Simply check it out and get ready for a wild ride.