Dead Cross – Dead Cross (Review)

Dead CrossThis is the debut album from Dead Cross, a hardcore band from the US.

Featuring members and ex-members of bands such as Faith No More and Slayer, there’s immediately a certain level of expectation with this, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Continue reading

Advertisements

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

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.