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Friday, September 30, 2016

Eradikal Insane - Mithra



Artist: Eradikal Insane
Release Title: Mithra
Year: 2015
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Death Metal/Metalcore
Tracklisting:
1. A Perpetual Nothing
2. Initium
3. Sediments of Misconception
4. Consciousness Alight
5. Abrasive Harbingers
6. Mithra
7. Intrinsic Propensity
8. Archetypes
9. Harvest
10. Universal Spine
11. Metanoia

Founded back in 2004, French death metal/metalcore fusioners Eradikal Insane have certainly seen their share of struggles over the years and have honed the anger and intensity into a fine package. Finally making it to their debut effort, the group brings aboard several notable guests to join in the occasion as it’s independently released September 7, 2015.

Managing to take on several extreme subjects as a whole, this whole affair is really centered around it’s tight, grinding riff-work that offers plenty of enjoyable elements, fast, razor-sharp and filled to the brim with intense patterns, this is a furious hard-hitting assault that really works quite well at generating the kind of savage baseline to incorporate plenty of other extreme elements into their sound. The faster tempos at play here and technically-challenging riff-work featured with this also works in connection to that savagery, and when put together that gives this the kind of savage approach that’s buffered quite nicely by the album’s propensity to introduce breakdowns into their tracks. Played with the typical hardcore approach where it’s all about the stuttering start/stop approach that comes slamming to the forefront of the tracks, it takes plenty of hard-hitting action to the forefront of the tracks and manages to make for a much stronger and fully enjoyable offering with all the brutality present here. The fact that the album does manage to stumble slightly with it’s riff-work as the album appears way too one-note at times where it’s running through pretty similar patterns which tends to cause this one to get into rather familiar territories quite quickly especially during the middle portions where it’s run through numerous repetitious patterns already by that point and it’s quite obvious retreading on familiar ground. Likewise, the bands’ inclusion of breakdowns into their music might be a cause for concern for some as there’s a decided backlash against that kind of element mixed into their extreme metal, though it’s not all that bad overall.

Though there’s some minor flaws to be had here, some of it worthwhile and some of it due to personal preference, there’s still enough positives to be found here that there’s more than enough appeal to be had for those that can overlook the flaws to enjoy the extremity offered while those that aren’t in the slightest brought in by that nature should heed caution.

Score: 82/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://eradikalinsane.bandcamp.com/

KZOHH - Trilogy: Burn Out the Remains



Artist: KZOHH
Release Title: Trilogy: Burn Out the Remains
Year: 2016
Label: Ashen Dominion
Genre: Epic Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Panoukla DXLII
2. Crom Conaill
3. H19N18

Becoming one of their country’s better exports, Ukrainian black metallers KZOHH have brought a pestilent-style ritualistic approach to the genre as the group has continued on throughout this style throughout their work. A loaded concept album about the history of the flu throughout history, the supergroups’ third album in three years was initially released with a bonus live DVD September 30, 2016 on Ashen Dominion.

For the most part this here is remarkably consistent in that it simply consists of epic arrangements with plenty of long, meditative passages throughout here. That leaves this one with a long, droning nature that’s melded onto the overlong tracks with plenty of exceptionally drawn-out sections that take those meditative elements to the forefront quite easily. There’s little else on display with the minimalist music offering up no real deviation at all here with the album going for that meditative mood for the most part here and the minor elements added into the arrangements which give it a rather heavy Middle-Eastern vibe manage to bring about a slightly different element to it while still engaging in that minimalist, droning meditation-style series of rhythms. It does break out into ravenous blasting black metal at select occurrences that feature those traditional tremolo-picked riffing and energetic rhythms that are featured here, though this one doesn’t put them as much of a priority as others would which tends to make this seem like a rather overlong exercise without much payoff. It’s clearly obvious the traditional black metal segments aren’t the main focus here, but they are the most enjoyable and energetic as the rest of the music comes off as bland background-sounds found in a relaxation spa with a few whispery rasped vocal shouts thrown in and it’s not entirely engaging with the exhaustive lengths found here which makes them even more challenging to get through.

Though this one isn’t all that great at what it does since the specialized nature of their appeal isn’t that dependent on themes and issues relevant to the target audience, this one really leaves the group to appeal mostly to fans of this sort of relaxing meditative chamber music only while more traditional black metal fans should heed caution.

Score: 55/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://www.kzohh.com.ua

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Abandoned by Light - Broken Mirrors to the Stars



Artist: Abandoned by Light
Release Title: Broken Mirrors to the Stars
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Depressive Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Broken Glass Trail
2. Seven Tears Are Flowing to the River (Nargaroth cover)
3. Frost Tinted Rose in the Sleeping Fields
4. Nackskott (Lifelover cover)
5. Death of a Silent God
6. Sterile Nails & Thunderbowels (Silencer cover)
7. The Eternal Sleep of the Dead
8. Don't Go (Happy Days cover)
9. Tearing Away the Veil of Night...
10. ...to Expose the Face of the Deep
11. Broken Mirrors to the Stars
12. .M.K.
13. Violating the Soulless Shrine of Failure
14. Nostalgia (Nocturnal Depression cover)
15. Abandoned by Light
16. Lost Wisdom (Burzum cover)
17. The Shimmering Radiance of the Dawning Horizon

One of the scenes’ more prolific artists, UK-based one-man depressive black metal act Abandoned by Light have carried on the style of their forebearers by pumping out numerous releases throughout the calendar year. Placed alongside several splits already, the groups’ second full-length of the year and eighth overall in just three years of existence is independently released September 10, 2016.

As is part of their heritage, the fact that this one here is such a cold, raw experience is the album’s main selling point as it offers up plenty of the genres’ typical output. This is typified by the excessively long, drawn-out riffing that utilizes ultra-simplistic plodding tremolo patterns that go about in many slight variations of the same tempo which creates an overall feeling of sameness throughout the album. This goes alongside the cold, plodding rhythms that are featured here which enhance the experience even more by leaving a lonely feel to the riffing and letting it carry on throughout a repetitive cadence that truly makes for an enhanced feeling of sorrow and despair in the arrangements. With the low-level vocals and drumming in the overall mix of the album letting the swirling riff-work at the forefront to be the biggest contributor to the album’s prevailing theme of sadness and loneliness. Still, that doesn’t take into account several other determining factors present in the album, too of which come together just simply by looking at the tracklist. The number of tracks comprising this official release is a gaudy amount that offers up severe resist from most simply on that scale along as the total number of just under twenty tracks is a daunting challenge to undertake. Even greater is the fact that a vast majority of these tracks challenge the ten-minute mark and several actually cross over into even greater lengths which together make this one of the most exhaustive listens in the genre as this is a near-impossible album to sift through in one sitting. Taking into account the droning, repetitive nature of the material which is so utterly effective at generating that type of sad, introspective experience here makes this an album that really struggles to remain listenable throughout it’s entirely as the two-and-a-half hour running time. Likewise, the need for so many covers on here is a slightly questionable choice as the possibility of removing several of them would help quell that somewhat, but still this is a very effective but daunting album to undertake.

Setting out to accomplish what it wants to manages to earn this one some rather strong marks, yet the other underlying factors present here in which the sheer draining, exhaustive nature of the album as a whole both in volume and concept of the material makes this one strictly for the most devout depressive black metal fanatics only.

Score: 64/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://perpetua.bandcamp.com/album/broken-mirrors-to-the-stars-4th-lp

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sin of God - Aenigmata



Artist: Sin of God
Release Title: Aenigmata
Year: 2016
Label: Satanath Records/Murdher Records (co-release)
Genre: Old-School Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. The Emerald Tablet
2. Phosphorus
3. Ignis Infernalis... Illuminate Us
4. Loss Leads into Impiety
5. Aenigmata
6. Altered States of Chaos
7. Deus Metamorphosis
8. The Great Lion Devours the Sun
9. The Human Worm

Taking their sound to it’s fullest extent, Hungarian old-school death metallers Sin of God have fully explored their devastating blend of traditional old-school death metal and a more technically-challenging grind to become one of the fiercest groups in their homeland. Now after four years of intense touring that has taken their work to a new level, the group prepares it’s second full-length effort September 23, 2016 on a co-release with Satanath Records and Murdher Records.

Carrying on from their previous releases, the group’s main attack here is a predominantly old-school approach that brings about the hard-charging chugging characterized by the US scene with a slew of ravenous, deep swirling riff-work that effectively evokes the churning atmosphere found there. As the tight, densely-packed riffing is given a rather blistering tone here with the full-tempo series of pounding drum-blasts and the charged, fiery technical riffing packed into it that manages to bring about the dynamic intensity along through the rhythms. The way this changes up between the tight, frantic and utterly blistering rhythms while still maintaining a strong, ominous mid-tempo lurch along throughout the tracks here while still managing that heavy, vicious energy is where this one really scores incredibly well here by offering up the burning technicality that charges along while still keeping the old-school tones present in utterly dominating fashion as the variety here is incredibly dynamic and manages to give this such a dynamic charge that there’s very little about the bands’ attack to dislike overall. The only issue that crops up within this one is the fact that the album’s got a remarkably low tone in which the guitars are recorded in, and though it’s dynamic, tight and crunchy there’s places where it tends to turn into a rather indecipherable blur of heavy buzzing rhythms that doesn’t become a detriment but is somewhat distracting with the way it causes them to come off. Still, there’s little else about this release to really cause an issue with.

Frankly this turned out to be quite the impressive and wholly dynamic offering that brings about many great positives and not a whole lot of issues here which are mostly just brought up by the production rather than any part of the music itself which really makes this such an intriguing choice for fans of old-school technical death metal or just old-school death in general.

Score: 95/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://satanath.bandcamp.com/album/sat158-sin-of-god-aenigmata-2016

Kausalgia - Dreamquest



Artist: Kausalgia
Release Title: Dreanquest
Year: 2016
Label: Saarni Records
Genre: Atmospheric Black/Dark Metal
Tracklisting:
1. The Call
2. Thorns
3. Sarastus
4. Stagnation
5. Dreamquest
6. Vihamiehet
7. Moss
8. As the Curtain Falls

Initially formed in 2004, Finnish atmospheric black/dark metallers Kausalgia spent numerous years as Hypotermia until a moniker change in 2010 as well as a style change from a rawer form of black metal into their more common atmospheric sound. As they’ve taken their time to hone this set-up, after three years in the studio the group finally prepares it’s full-length debut to be released July 18, 2016 on their own label Saarni Records.

From the beginning there’s a rather heavy blend of atmospheric and rather melodic blend of black metal that seems to be built around the tight, frantic series of swirling tremolo riff-work. That wraps into a mostly dynamic attack with the strong swirling patterns taking up plenty of rather impressive tempos here as the straightforward approach keeping the riffing rather frantic and furious. That atmosphere is allowed plenty of leeway to work with the album’s main penchant for utilizing long, drawn-out simplistic dark metal rhythms that bring these to a grinding halt with their rather plodding paces and a dropping of the atmospheric rhythms for more melodic tones that just really doesn’t offer up much in terms of generating the necessary energy to keep the black metal elements in check throughout here. From the soft, near-romantic rhythms that are accompanying the drawn-out, plodding paces alongside it all together in one package to the simple riffing patterns, there’s not a large amount of enjoyable elements present in these sections to keep this one interesting and they tend to grind the album to a halt with their bland rhythms. Frankly, the fact that this is still a debut album does mean this gets somewhat of a pass due to the group still trying to find their sound but it’s far more enjoyable without those elements present.

Though it does have a few problems here with the dark metal rhythms being rather bland at times, there’s still some rather enjoyable elements present here to provide enough of a launching pad as they go about their career in the future that they are a quite intriguing group for those who prefer this type of effort for the most part.


Score: 74/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://kausalgia.bandcamp.com/

Far Beyond - A Frozen Flame of Ice



Artist: Far Beyond
Release Title: A Frozen Flame of Ice
Year: 2016
Label: Aeterna Records
Genre: Symphonic Gothic/Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Evernight - Part I
2. The Song Remains the Same
3. A Frozen Flame of Ice
4. Last Farewell
5. Unrelenting Force
6. Evernight - Part II

Finally returning to his main project, German one-man symphonic gothic/black metal project Far Beyond marks the full return of the group following a decade of silence with mainman Eugen Dodenhoeft coming back after working on other groups in the meantime. Now recharged and more focused than ever with solid session musicians, they release the second full-length effort September 1, 2016 on Aeterna Records.

From the onset here this one is pretty heavily stepped in the symphonic air as the keyboards are given a dominant presence here with plenty of work-outs throughout here which gets this one involved in a grand, epic soundscape quite easily. There’s numerous amounts of bombastic keyboards going throughout here alongside the album’s mostly straightforward riff-work that goes for a more Gothic-tinged atmosphere here with the way in which it goes for the incredibly simply speed-metal passages filled with brimming melodies and slow, plodding rhythms that flow throughout the majority of the work here. While the way it goes for the main rhythms are pretty much unyielding in that manner as it generates these elements for the main part of the album and weaves those bombastic keyboards into these sections with gusto as it’s a heavily symphonic charge that generates that majestic sweeping atmosphere perfectly alongside the album’s preponderance of clean vocals that gives it a wholly warm and bombastic atmosphere. Even when it goes for the fun of the ravenous drumming and explosive up-tempo melodies this one still gets in a lot of work to really like about it, with the album’s one main departure here coming in the form of it’s rather epic nature that makes this a challenge to sit through at times. It’s just a touch too long for some and really offers up plenty to like with the epic song-structures but is such a massive epic that it might be a challenge to get into. It’s not a big detrimental, though, and doesn’t come close to overcoming the remaining enjoyment found here.

While it’s a pretty hefty album on the surface of it all, that’s not nearly enough to dispell the fact that there’s just so much rather fun and enjoyably massive arrangements here that whip together the Gothic and black metal movements that it serves as a fine choice for aficionados of that style or just symphonic black metal in general.

Score: 93/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://farbeyond.bandcamp.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Chine - Immament



Artist: Chine
Release Title: Immament
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Cephalophore
2. Floating
3. Behind the Vivid Light
4. A Thousand Cuts
5. I Forgive You
6. Tid for hämnd
7. Sky
8. Immanent

Furthering their own independent voice, Swedish melodic death metallers Chine continue to make inroads in the scene since their change-over into a technical and aggressive blend enriched with dark harmonies that were introduced into their sound. With the group now joined by bassist Tommy Erichson, guitar virtuoso Jokke Petterson and extreme singer Ola Svensson, their third full-length effort was independently released July 1, 2016.

Once this one gets going, this one tends to run through the more melodic, mid-tempo series of styles associated with the melodic death metal genre which manages to incorporate the album’s penchant for stuttering, chug-heavy metalcore-influenced riffing quite dominantly throughout here. There’s a heavy incorporation of thumping heavy breakdowns and even industrial-flavored keyboards added into that riffing style which is infused with those chugging riffs which is then played at quite a few varied tempos and paces which gives this somewhat a semblance of variety as there’s a bit of something for all fans of these particular styles that’s covered throughout here. Though that does leave this with a highly simplistic melody-heavy sound, there’s not much else working here for the band as this presents the album with several flaws. The biggest issue here is the fact that the album never really presents much of a dynamic at all within this one as it’s mostly just a solely simplistic take on the style which really continues on without much change throughout that’s really obvious here. Even more to the point, it’s all pretty simplistic-styled chugging that’s not all that popular anymore with the short-changed, stuttering rhythms coming off as part of the metalcore scene from about a decade previous which makes the album sound far less original than it really should. That sounds far less interesting as well with the industrial keyboards charging away with the melodic harmonies as well, keeping them prominent in the rhythms though there’s some rather troubling nature with that style. Even still, there’s not a whole lot elsewhere beyond this factor.

Despite the fact that there’s some rather bland work here that comes from it employing uninspired riffing with some pretty overdone keyboards that turns this into rather rudimentary work, there’s still some rather decent material on display that makes this somewhat appealing only for the most devout fan of melodic death metal/metalcore.

Score: 71.100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://open.spotify.com/album/2pkAOKMiCMGu2ONsIyQLsy

Monday, September 26, 2016

Megascavenger - As Dystopia Beckons



Artist: Megascavenger
Release Title: As Dystopia Beckons
Year: 2016
Label: Selfmadegod Records
Genre: Swedish Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Rotting Domain
2. The Machine That Turns Humans into Slop
3. Dead City
4. As the Last Day Has Passed
5. The Hell That Is in This World
6. Dead Rotting and Exposed
7. Steel Through Flesh Extravaganza
8. The Harrowing of Hell
9. As Dystopia Beckons

One of the numerous bands in his resume, Swedish death metal project Megascavenger are part of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Rogga Johansson’s never-ending series of bands dedicated to keeping the flame alive for the original wave of Swedish-flavored death metal. Again gathering a horde of accomplished scene vocalists to join his instrumental assault, the projects’ third full-length album was released March 1, 2016 on Selfmadegod Records.

As is usual with Rogga’s trademark style, the main focus of the album is atmospheric Swedish death that whips the familiar churning buzzsaws through the blazing tremolo-accented riffing and plenty of flowing buzzsaw grooves that make for the ever-present Stockholm-style brand of Swedish death metal. Rumbling along with plenty of tight rhythms and the occasional burst into the charging mid-tempo chug patterns that make for quite a stylish burst of old-school Swedish death metal, and with the different vocalists present do give the songs a somewhat different vibe here with the different growling and shrieks generating a wholly varying atmosphere. This goes along with the album’s main drawback in the enhanced usage of industrial keyboards. This is so prominent in the second half of the album that it really derails the intensity and savageness of the first half and drags the album down considerably. It sounded so good and pummeling with the traditional Swedish-accented riffing and pummeling rhythms throughout here, yet this blaring, one-note keyboard work that just barges in on numerous tracks and drowns out the riffing or merges itself alongside these patterns causes it to really suffer from a sense of conflicting tones too great to really get the most out of what’s presented with the fun-if-derivative riffing providing this with some fun tracks yet this clanging intrusion really saps a lot of that out. It works on a few tracks as backing accents, but it really goes down when it overtakes the music which causes it to suffer.

Though it’s got a rather big and glaring problem to really overcome here in the hopes of getting to really like this one, there’s more than enough positives to like about it when it’s on that this one really seems to be in a strange middle-ground where Swedish-styled death fanatics who can stomach the industrial might like it while it might not have enough to please industrial fans, though any fanatic of Rogga’s work in general is advised to check it out.

Score: 79/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://selfmadegod.bandcamp.com/album/as-dystopia-beckons

Acrania (Mex) - Fearless



Artist: Acrania (Mex)
Release Title: Fearless
Year: 2015
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Experimental Death Metal
Tracklisting:
1. People of the Blaze
2. Poverty Is in the Soul
3. I Was Never Dead
4. Blinded by Power
5. Overflow
6. En el puerto
7. Hypocritical Conflict
8. Man's Search for Nothing
9. Point of Collision

Honoring their commitment to their genre, Mexican experimental death metal explorers Acrania are continuing to fuse their extravagant Latin roots with charging death metal rhythms, and the group’s full potential is quite a unique experimental side. With their full compliment of musicians again providing this one with fantastic work all around, their third full-length album was independently released April 25, 2015.

As is to be expected here considering their origins, the band is really all about exploring the connection between their latin hometown and more traditional metal roots with a fiery display of mainly Latin percussion and rhythms in their arrangements as the dominant factor here. Offering up such non-traditional death metal instrumentation here from the trumpet, saxophone and other discordant jazz percussion amongst their rhythms with plenty of fiery death metal riff-work thrown into the mix, the result is incredibly dynamic and offers up plenty of strong dissonant and utterly schizoid arrangements that recall more of a freeform Latin-influenced jazz band than traditional death metal. The strongest point here is that this works for the bands’ favor as this bizarre mixture is strongly performed while giving them a truly unique and original voice in the genre by combining two seemingly disparate elements that shouldn’t come together at all sound quite fun together and even with the challenging nature of the arrangements it’s still a highly listenable and enjoyable effort with plenty of enjoyable elements about it. Though it does work quite often, it does stumble at times where it’s plodding Latin rhythms and percussion here end up causing this to slow down into samba or salsa-styled tempos that are so far from traditional metal-works that it might turn off fans here looking to see this infusion work as it reminds the avantgarde nature of this mixture too much. Still, there’s too much to really love about this one that it’s barely a detriment and not all that impactful all that much.

Graced with plenty to like here with a strong, unique voice with their strong and enjoyable mixture of work that’s truly one of the most dynamic attacks in this style, there’s plenty of enjoyable elements on display for fans of adventurous Latin-flavored metal music to get into this one or those inquiring about the potential of the fusion on display.

Score: 90/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://acraniaofficial.bandcamp.com/album/fearless

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Pete Flesh Deathtrip - Svartnad



Artist: The Pete Flesh Deathtrip
Release Title: Svartnad
Year: 2016
Label: Critical Mass Recordings
Genre: Death/Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. In Ruinam Iniquitas
2. Burial Shore
3. All the Serpents
4. The Sun Will Fail
5. Melting the Frost from Your Eyes
6. The Winter of the Wolves
7. She Dwells into the Dark
8. Svartnad

Though once a prolific artist, Swedish one-man blackened death metal project The Pete Flesh Deathtrip has quickly become the sole focus of the artistic namesake and forged a fearsome live line-up to compliment his vision and spread the project out to the masses. Bringing aboard the mighty Henrik Borg as a session drummer on the new material, the bands’ second full-length was originally released May 16, 2016 on new-label Critical Mass Recordings.

As befits the hard-charging sound present here, this is mostly a blistering, blasting assault of old-school inspired riffing that includes plenty of charging riffing scattered throughout here. Running the fine line between the churning buzzsaw patterns of the traditional Swedish scene with a furious blackened spark here with a series of fiery tremolo riffing that’s employed quite nicely here, the bands’ mainly mid-tempo approach lets both of these styles come into play here. The album generates more of a sprawling, mid-tempo charge here that takes the Swedish style influences to the forefront by offering up a strong charge with the chugging rhythms and plenty of blackened melodies to offer up a much more extreme charge than would be present on such traditional death metal styled affairs even with this one dropping that in favor of going for the explosive up-tempo thrashing typically found in the normal Swedish death metal scene with the crunchy guitars and utterly ravenous drumming. Still, it’s the epic nature generated by the sprawling black metal melodies here that make for quite a strong overall attack here with the main attack coming together into a strong mixture of the two, and it doesn’t have much overall really wrong with this one as a result. The album’s main stumbling block here is the overly-familiar and rather overused series of riffing styles which really tends to make this one come off as yet another in a long line of overly-melodic and familiar Swedish-influenced death/black metal acts. That’s not the biggest detrimental factor here, though, which does come up even with other factors to hold this up over this bit.

Despite a minor stumble with the rather familiar and somewhat overused riffing patterns that come into play quite frequently, there’s a lot to really like here with this one in terms of that overall attack and it’s certainly a really enough effort for anyone remotely into the blackened death metal scene or melodic extreme metal in general.

Score: 86/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://criticalmassrecordings.bandcamp.com/releases

Vinterbris - Solace



Artist: Vinterbris
Release Title: Solace
Year: 2014 (2016 re-issue)
Label: Nordavind Records (Triton's Orbit re-issue)
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Dysphoria
2. Ash Alight
3. Fathoms
4. The Aurora of Despair
5. Gazing at a Fallen Sky
6. Euphoria

Following up the acclaim of their debut release, Norwegian melodic black metal band Vinterbris have quickly risen up the ranks of the scene and their homeland’s greatest genre acts that’s all culminated in one of their finest releases yet. Being the last release with original guitarist Richard Hemre Dahle before being replaced by Fran Ramirez, the group’s second full-length was originally released June 16, 2014 on Nordavind Records before a vinyl reissue September 16, 2016 on Triton’s Orbit.

This here is quite an impressive assault which manages to round itself out into numerous rather appealing facades. The most impressive is the fact that this one drags itself through highly-melodic and enjoyable riffing that still retains the fiery tremolo-picked style in the frantic up-tempo realms while still generating plenty of harmonious leads that makes this all the more imposing. By dropping the tempo down in the middle of the tracks for extended segments of melodic atmospheres that are wrapped in completely furious patterns, it creates an enhanced level of harmonic nature by balancing the extremely aggressive traditional black metal fire with strong melodic moments, and given that there’s plenty of truly ferocious moments still within this one makes for a rather impressive blitz. Even the other additional elements present here, from the more pronounced technical riffing which gives this one a much more dynamic series of rhythms while letting it simply blast away on it’s other riffing patterns and bringing in some acoustic instrumentation to accompany the melody lines throughout here give this one much more to like in the bands’ overall attack. Though this makes for a generally enjoyable time, this still has a minor issue in the fact that there’s just not a whole lot of time here to get acclimated to the bands’ approach. It really feels quite short-changed here even with the rather overlong and fully-loaded rhythms that are apart of the multi-faceted tracks here which is quite an odd feeling but it does become prominent enough to get noticed. Otherwise, this one has plenty to like here.

Though it’s a bit rushed yet seems a little overlong which is a rather unusual facet, the fact that there’s still a large amount of quality work displayed here with the strong riff-work and utterly impressive melodies that are prominently featured here makes this a strong effort for those into the more melodic black metal sound.

Score: 95/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://www.tritonsorbit.com/collections/releases/products/vinterbris-solace-slipcase-edition

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Saboter - Mankind is Damned



Artist: Saboter
Release Title: Mankind is Damned
Year: 2016
Label: Witches Brew
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Purifier
2. Assassins
3. Prevailing Dictators
4. Marching Death
5. Impaler
6. Ghost in the Machine
7. Sacred Catalyst
8. Sands of Time

Forming just in 2014, Greek heavy/power metallers Saboter have come together to showcase their shared passion for old-school heavy and power metal while taking into account the thrash influence from the members’ previous act to quickly pump out their first release. A captivating concept album that portrays a dystopian world, the group’s full-length debut was released July 6, 2016 on Witches Brew.

For the most part here this is a pretty dynamic old-school assault of traditional heavy and power metal mixed together into a truly enjoyable burst of energetic material. With the majority of the material here decidedly based on the mid-tempo assaults mixed together with spurts of charging up-tempo power metal-styled melodic rhythms in the riff-work, it has the kind of pleasing approach of offering thumping, hard-hitting rhythms rumbling alongside harmonious melodies scattered prominently across the album. This is a rather fun and impressive style of attack that still offers up the kind of hard-hitting riffing and powerful rhythm section to give the material a nice heavy crunch when necessary yet doesn’t really get too far into that type of material before it snaps off a series of rather fun and fine melodies which combine together into a fine, majestic feel that conjures up the epic material created back in the genre’s heyday. This type of attack ends up bringing about the album’s main flaw here which is that the album’s pace is decidedly a one-note variation which really does come off with the same general attitude throughout here that holds it back with the same tone. That leaves it quite bland at times once it reveals the tricks of it’s trade, and there’s some rather troubling work with that unvarying attack which is featured in this. It’s still quite enjoyable, but does have some troubling factors.

Though there’s some rather minor moments here that come up in holding this one down, the fact that it’s still somewhat enjoyable enough to be listenable makes this a somewhat intriguing effort for fans of old-school heavy/power metal or those that like the slower, more melodic aspect of traditional metal.

Score: 75/100



Does it sound good? Order it form here:

Advermix - Pandeathmic



Artist: Advermix
Release Title: Pandeathmic
Year: 2016
Label: Born of Chaos Records
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Born of Chaos
2. Messenger of Death
3. The Power of the Perfect Line
4. Panje
5. Manhate Philosophy
6. Inside the Wall
7. We Fall
8. In Thrash We Trust
9. Pandeathmic

Formed in 2006, Spanish thrashers Advermix have made quite a name for themselves in the Spanish underground metal scene as the disciples of old-school thrash metal have gained in maturity and experience through each of their releases. Following up a series of EP releases and a strong three-way split, the group finally prepares to issue its full-length debut released May 31, 2016 on Born of Chaos Records.

Bristling with fury and intensity, the group unleashes a rather vicious surge of old-school thrash here with plenty of furious and truly frantic rhythms that employ every inch of the traditional thrashing that makes for a wholly crushing and dynamic offering. The fiery, vibrant rhythms featured here generate the kind of explosive energy and hard-hitting crunchy chugging that’s a hallmark of the style and is graced alongside the fine and enjoyable introduction of the album’s more mid-tempo work featured here. This melodic, bouncy series of patterns comes in and gives this a majestic feel with it’s mid-tempo, plodding series of riffing that still offers up that rumbling crunch that keeps this in a firmly old-school thrash design that’s boosted nicely by these melodic features. Though that works nicely, it does make the album quite a bit less interesting as the album is much more fired up and lively when it’s going through the up-tempo style while it tends to drop off in energy and intensity with the melodic accents coming in and not really letting the album go through it’s paces all too greatly. The crunchy patterns are all too short as well, making this one feel way too brief than it really should and the album’s really over just when it feels like it’s starting up. Otherwise, there’s some good work here.

Though it’s not quite as ruthless as it really should with the introduction of the slightly melodic tones that hold it down from it’s true thrashing sections which really stand-out here when they appear and make it worthwhile for old-school fanatics who can appreciate the flaws of this one.

Score: 76/100



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Unhoped - Sonic Violence



Artist: Unhoped
Release Title: Sonic Violence
Year: 2016
Label: EBM Records
Genre: Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Whole World Gone to Hell
2. Assimilation
3. Sonic Violence
4. Human Disgrace
5. No Man's Land
6. Warhead Sunrise
7. The Naked and the Dead
8. Club of Swines
9. Pies & Friends

After years of struggle to break through, Finnish thrashers Unhoped have finally found their mark with a strong combination of fast and heavy-handed thrash metal with plenty of death metal elements brought to the forefront. Taking a three-year gap in between releases with an EP in the middle, the group’s third full-length effort was released March 3, 2016 on EBM Records.

For the most part here, this one tends to go for the more blistering and frantic thrashing that carries with it a sense of violent intensity that’s highly impressive with the rattling riffing making for quite a fun time. They manage to inject a reckless bombast to the material as the furious rhythms are generally tight, frantic and built around the rattling fury of the thrashing blasts present here to create the frenzied approach typical of this style while also being mindful of adding in plenty of more vicious elements with the furious death metal charging chugging being added as well. This adds another layer to the bands’ approach with a reckless and energetic intensity added to their riff-work by offering a blistering up-tempo counterpoint to the traditional thrashing offered here, and that gives this plenty of swirling rhythms interplaying with each other as this generates the band’s trademark fury here even on tracks that take their time to build into the thrashing. This really doesn’t leave the album much breathing room in it’s rhythms at all, which works out incredibly well here with it managing to offer up it’s best positive as well as greatest negative in the fact that there’s just not much variety at all in the tracks which tend to come off as vicious, violent slabs of thrash without much exception here and is generally a difference of minute details in how they all differ from each other. This can make the album appear somewhat one-note and rather oblivious to itself as it just thrashes away with reckless abandon as to what’s on offer here, but overall there’s not much else really wrong here.

Featuring a ton of utterly fun vicious thrashing that doesn’t really slow down all that much which becomes it’s greatest virtue as well as biggest stumbling block, overall the fact that this one is such a blistering, brutal bash of thrash makes this one of the more appealing prospects for those into that style as well as any thrash/death fanatic.

Score: 96/100



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http://ebmrecords.bandcamp.com/album/sonic-violence

Untimely Demise - Black Widow



Artist: Untimely Demise
Release Title; Black Widow
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: German Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Forgotten in Time
2. Enslaver
3. Black Widow
4. Cancer of the Heart
5. Anticolonizer
6. Calling Me Back from the Light
7. Sickening Repression
8. Holy Man
9. Anticolonizer (Shawn Drover Drums)

Advancing their style with every release, Canadian thrashers Untimely Demise have certainly advanced quite rapidly towards their chosen style of homaging the German style of old-school thrash while spicing up the pot with plenty of other extreme elements. With powerhouse drummer Bryan Newbury joining the group, the trio prepares it’s third full-length effort was independently released May 28, 2016.

As has been the case for their career, the main element present here is the bands’ celebration and admiration of the German school of thrash as they manage to whip through plenty of frantic and ravenous patterns here that take that to heart.  Full of tight, stylish and heavy thumping patterns that are graced nicely by frantic technical rhythms in their patterns that are far more challenging and complex than anything they’ve done before which adds to the album’s overall sense of dynamic heavy thrashing that is straight from that overall mode of attack. By accompanying these rabid, technical thrashing with an utterly explosive sense of melodic prowess by not only sprinkling in melody-driven soloing and plenty of harmonic accents to the tracks but also managing to add to the driving main rhythm itself there’s such an overall sense of melodic firepower displayed alongside a ravenous full-throttle approach to the tracks here that makes up the majority of the tracks here. It’s such a thumping, heavy-handed approach that treads the fine line between brutalising with it’s attack and overdosing on melodic accents that it hits hard, charges forward with utter impunity and offers the perfect breathing room in their rhythms which is such a devastating impact that it’s simply overpowering on nearly all fronts and becomes a nearly-perfect sonic assault. The only effort that holds this from being utterly perfect is the re-recorded track at the end which features a different drummer, and while being one of the album's highlight tracks originally the change in tone is noticeable and does affect the momentum of the rest of the album. It's so minute, though, that it barely registers against the blistering rest of the album.

With such a powerful and utterly dominating effort that it creates a near-perfect blend of ravenous full-throttle thrash German with plenty of strong melodic accents, they make this an essential release for those into any form of old-school or German thrash in particular, but it’s really hard not to find any thrasher that won’t find something to utterly love here.

Score: 99/100



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http://untimelydemise.bandcamp.com/

Crisix - From Blue to Black



Artist: Crisix
Release Title: From Blue to Black
Year: 2016
Label: Listenable Records
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Conspiranoia
2. Journey Through the Fire
3. G.M.M. (The Great Metal Motherfucker)
4. T-Terror Era
5. Psycho Crisix World
6. From Blue to Black
7. Strange
8. Five as One
9. Fallen

Quickly rising up through the scene, Spanish thrashers Crisix have turned themselves into one of the brightest spots in the crowded revival scene with a strong flurry of releases leading up to yet another explosive offering. With long-time bassist Marc Torras departing and being replaced by Dani Ramirez, the group prepares its third full-length effort March 18, 2016 on new label Listenable Records.

For the majority of the album, this one manages to readily employ the kind of tight, ravenous old-school thrash that readily bursts with a savage and utterly ferocious attitude. This bristles with plenty of furious speed-metal patterns which are given a wide-ranging dexterity here which makes for even more great times here as the band is able to whip around the hard-hitting, furious barn-burners to upbeat mid-tempo stompers that give off a lively party-anthem vibe in the riffing and groove-laden chunks of crunchy riff-work which give this a stylish sense of variety to the album as a whole while still managing to maintain an effective old-school atmosphere in the riffing structure. Though that laid-back, party-fun ambiance is quite prominent in here the fact that it can still lay down the thrashing anthems is what really sells this one as the ability to bounce back and forth is a great advantage in offering up a varied and engaging effort, though it also exposes the minor issue that crops up here. Indeed, the album’s wildly varying tone and approach might in fact rub some the wrong way when it comes to those looking for an intense and rocking thrasher which the band is quite clearly competent at, and while there’s not a big tonal shift present when it comes to offering up the other tracks it does have some lower tempos that stick out here for those that prefer straightforward and full-throttle thrashing. Still, it’s not a big detriment on the album and gives this a rather enjoyable atmosphere and tone.

Despite featuring one minor element that doesn’t really impact the album that much but does become somewhat noticeable at times, this ends up being yet another strong and impactful release from one of the strongest thrash acts in the revival scene and makes for a stellar addition to any retro-thrash or old-school thrash fan in general.

Score: 92/100



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http://listenable-records.bandcamp.com/album/from-blue-to-black

Crimson Slaughter - Cycle of Decay



Artist: Crimson Slaughter
Release Title: Cycle of Decay
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Combat Formations
2. Endless War
3. Buried Beneath the State
4. Dead Walk Again
5. Bred to Obey
6. Wretch God
7. Battlefields
8. Kill of Be Killed
9. My Fist, Your Face
10. Punisher

Formed just recently in 2015, Spanish thrash metal band Crimson Slaughter came together from members of other metal bands in the southern area of Madrid with the intent of showcasing their love for old-school metal. Quickly taking the plunge into releasing their first works out to the public, the group prepares their self-released full-length debut June 27, 2016.

Frankly, this here is quite an impressive and wholly enjoyable retro-thrash assault that begins with the wholly blistering riffing here. Taking the deep, heavy churning crunch of the Bay Area scene and wrapping that into a frenzied, explosive mix of up-tempo patterns that generate a kind of off-the-rails intensity that results in utterly frantic, blistering rhythms full of dynamic and tight patterns. This frantic energy is quite enjoyable with plenty of utterly frantic rhythms and explosive, charging riff-work carrying this along without much deviation throughout here as the full-throttle paces generate the kind of enhancement required to generate this kind of frenzied patterns that are featured throughout here with the extra dose of up-tempo riffing here generating the old-school feel here quite nicely alongside the fine mix of varied tempos and rhythm changes that add a balance to the energetic thrashing. This is such a fine and energetic old-school assault that it manages to readily capture that feel to such a degree that it really doesn’t have an original bone in it’s body as it runs through the paces in such a manner as to emulate and ape the scene quite frequently. It’s effective at conjuring that sound and style, but so do dozens of other bands and it’s all part of the endless crop of bands attempting the same thing. As well, the hoarse shrieking vocals can take some getting used to, but beyond that there’s not much else wrong here.

Though this becomes yet another frenzied and energetic band working in the same playbook as dozens of other groups, there’s an infectious and utterly uproarious amount of style here that makes this one quite enjoyable and frantic to those that appreciate this reckless brand of revival thrash or the style as a whole.

Score: 92/100



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https://crimsonslaughter.bandcamp.com/releases

Inferior - The Red Beast



Artist; Inferior
Release Title: The Red Beast
Year: 2016
Label: Big Balls Productions
Genre: Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Own Your Honour
2. Expressed in Murder
3. Continuous Resentment
4. The Red Beast
5. Divine Spectres
6. Innocence Denied
7. Above the Surface
8. Monumental Rebirth
9. Carving the Legacy
10. The Righteous Will Rise

Following the success of their debut, Swedish thrashers Inferior have soldiered on taking the criticisms of their previous release to heart with a concerted effort to continue offering their quality output in a more compact, concise package. With the group firing on all cylinders and offering plenty to enjoy in the three-year gap between releases, their second full-length effort was released May 6, 2016 on Big Balls Productions.

For the most part this here is basically a strong and imposing blend of modernized thrashing with a series of strong, imposing riffing carrying this one along through it’s paces. The ability to offer up more compact, tighter patterns makes the most impact here for this one with it’s strong sense of frenzied, groove-paced patterns holding this one along it’s mostly frantic and intense rhythms as the riff-work here generates quite a lot of vicious, intense patterns. There’s strong hints of groove chugging in these sections to add to the intensity and viciousness, and when it’s dropped off in favor of the band going for the kind of intense jagged thrashing this strong combination of rhythms makes for a wholly vicious and intense beast. With the album going for plenty of vicious groove rhythms and the strong hints of traditional thrash moldings it does make for a wholly impressive and even dynamic mixture of incorporating the older-style song structures as well with extended epic intros alongside the tighter, more ferocious material that forsakes the old-school crunch in favor of unleashing pure sonic violence, and the often loud and rumbling patterns throughout here provide this with plenty of intensity. The album does have a slight tendency to get lost in the realm of offering brutal beatdowns at the expense of any kind of point here as it just tends to go on for quite a while just featuring plenty of rather intense rhythms that go by in a strange blur. Otherwise, this one has plenty of enjoyable moments here.

While it’s a vicious and violent affair that offers up plenty of enjoyable moments, the fact that it gets caught up in a series of unrecognizable blurs of rhythms does keep this down from what it could’ve been, yet those positives here are more than enough to appeal to fans of more modern vicious thrashers.

Score: 89/100



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https://www.facebook.com/inferiorswe

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Anthrax - For All Kings



Artist: Anthrax
Release Title: For All Kings
Year: 2016
Label: Megaforce Records
Genre: Old-School Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Impaled
2. You Gotta Believe
3. Monster at the End
4. For All Kings
5. Breathing Lightning
6. Breathing Out
7. Suzerain
8. Evil Twin
9. Blood Eagle Wings
10. Defend / Avenge
11. All of Them Thieves
12. This Battle Chose Us
13. Zero Tolerance

Following the years of tribulations together, New York thrash legends Anthrax have soldiered on despite the constant line-up shuffling and uncertainty to come back recharged, refocused and more intent on providing the type of thrashing material from their heyday. Coming back together with Megaforce Records once again, the groups’ eleventh full-length of original material and first with new guitarist Jonathan Donais was originally released February 26, 2016 after a five-year gap between releases.

Being around for as long as they have, this here is pretty similar to what’s been apart of their sound for the majority of their career which focuses on the tight, melodic twin guitar-based thrashing that’s featured here. The riffing is highly melodic and makes for quite a rousing series of high-energy riffing that’s quite heavy while also bringing along plenty of melodic harmonies in the vocals as well as the strong leads throughout here create a strong sense of surging melody that compliments the varied heavier riffing throughout here. That comes from a selection of pieces that range from hard rock-inspired numbers mixed with some mid-tempo groove to their traditional stomp-style thrashing that raises the energy considerably and even drops the energy level down into a more slower-paced crawl with the addition of ballad-esque numbers that occur here which are also quite evenly mixed into the album as a whole. This is quite a dramatic variety that delivers on a dynamic level quite readily with this one having such a varied yet still contained feel and tone that carries throughout the album as a proper whole which makes for a highly-appealing time here that offers up enough sections from each part of their career that it readily allows for anyone to get into it. The only real breaking point is the ballad which some would claim might not really belong on the album but for the most part it’s still a great listen on the whole.

With plenty of variety to get any fan of any point of their career covered which makes this one of their brightest and most enjoyable releases in their vast catalog and ranks as one of the better releases of the year which makes this an easy choice for fans of the band’s more recent output or the group in general as well as the old-school thrash scene overall.

Score: 96/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
http://anthrax.com/4ak-us-canada-orders/

Infrared - No Peace



Artist: Infrared
Release Title: No Peace
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Old-School Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Inframental
2. T.O.C.
3. No Peace
4. My Good Will
5. Social Science
6. Cliche
7. Some Kind of Disease
8. Down Below
9. Untimely Storm
10. Thoughts Caught (In Between)
11. In Search of...

One of the scenes’ greatest comeback stories, Canadian thrashers Infrared have finally followed through on the premise of their debut demo after twenty-seven years of being away from the music scene with their reformation several years ago. Now after two years of additional rehearsals to provide the finishing touches to their tracks, the group finally prepares it’s full-length debut independently-released March 25, 2016.

As befits their old-school stance, the band clearly adopts a straightforward and unwavering old-school tone and approach that’s influenced quite heavily from their peers in the scene during the initial run of the band which is basically simple crunchy Bay-Area thrash throughout this one. The choppy rhythms, explosive melodic breaks and varied tempo changes that run from tight gallops to heavy, chugging mid-tempo charges manage to effectively evoke that old-school feeling for the main part of the album which gives it a startling consistency during the tracks with the group able to keep the main charge rather consistent and powerful. That it manages to even weave along a more consistent old-school feel in the varying tactics that were employed back then with swirling melodic intros, dynamic tempo changes and a variety of different riffing tactics that offer up relaxing epic moods during sections in the tracks before offering up charging full-throttle breaks creates a wholly effective atmosphere for the most part that does provide this one with it’s main flaw here. The fact that it does play so close to the vest of so many ravenous thrashing bands in that style gives this one a rather familiar feel that plays like countless other bands in the revival or even of the old-guard still charging along that it can feel quite familiar and like it’s going through the motions overall which does crop up throughout here from time to time. Strangely, though, this here manages to feel part of the albums’ charm as this actually was a band around during that time and doesn’t really affect it that much.

Though it can play itself a bit too close to the old-school tone and feel quite often in here, the major factor going for this one in that the band did form during that time and are only now through circumstance finally getting it out overrules that by and large which makes for a rousing and thoroughly enjoyable release for anyone into the old-school thrash scene in general.

Score: 90/100



Does it sound good? Order it from here:
https://infraredmetal.bandcamp.com/

Condition Critical - Extermination Plan



Artist: Condition Critical
Release Title: Extermination Plan
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Interminable Surgery
2. Fatal Incision
3. Intravenous Mutilation
4. Voluntary Disfigurement
5. Extermination Plan
6. Ostracized
7. Vindictive Hostility
8. Genocidal Void

Furthering their approach in the genre, New Jersey thrashers Condition Critical have taken a huge step forward in their intensity and outward approach to the scene which makes them emerge as forerunners of the scene. With a flurry of lineup shuffling during the three-year gap between releases that saw drummer Ryan Donato leave only to return in time for the recordings while guitarists Alonso Maguiño and Sam Agnew got replaced by Tony Barhoum and Ryan Taylor, the groups’ second full-length is self-released March 18, 2016.

As was produced in the first go-round, the band here is exceptionally proficient at providing deep, frenzied riffing and rather intense patterns here in tight, utterly maniac tempos. The album’s loose, off-the-rails intensity featured here is full of explosive energy as the album dives through a series of ravenous, high-velocity riffing that offers a slight progressive touch only in the sense of being able to wallop the listener over the head with their dexterous arrangement changes. This produces a slew of tight, cramped songs beating down with a blistering intensity switching over into different rhythms and breaks constantly in their patterns which is a rather impressive feat at the ability to generate that feverish intensity for a consistent approach throughout here with the deep, churning patterns carrying these intense tracks along the way. That does bring up the slight problem here with this one being just way too compact and same-sounding to b unable to really differentiate the tracks from each other in the running order as the incessant volley of riffing thrown out makes it nearly impossible to catch a breath or even tell what track’s playing, and while that sort of relentless beatdown may appeal to some it does offer a potential problem for some.

Though the band is certainly quite adept and utterly pummeling in their delivery, this sort of tactic might not be a truly universally loved one as those who want some sort of variety in their thrash should heed caution but the overall frantic assault here should be welcomed by anyone looking for intense thrashing or any fans of the revivalist movement as well.

Score: 95/100



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http://www.indiemerch.com/conditioncritical

Raw Ensemble - Suffer Well



Artist: Raw Ensemble
Release Title: Suffer Well
Year: 2016
Label: Self-Released/Independent
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Enemy
2. Bad Religion
3. The 5th Dimension
4. Apocalypse
5. Beneath the Ashes
6. Bleeding Out
7. Weakness & Fear
8. Neither Nor
9. Outlaw Killers

Coming together in 2009, German thrashers Raw Ensemble have started with the attempt of creating old-school thrash metal the way of the original bands with their desire to write and record using the technology of the day. Now four-years since the release of their first demo, the four-piece is ready to release their self-released full-length debut June 18, 2016.

Taking plenty of influences from their main sources, the group offers a rather raw take on the explosive old-school style here as this one has a much more vicious take on the genre. The general riffing is Bay Area through and through with the crunchy patterns and generally dynamic energy created by the vicious up-tempo rhythms and pounding drum-work that adds to the choppy, jagged patterns featured throughout here, which is then given a rather vicious and intense boost with a raw edge to the material that makes for quite a fun time throughout here. This production on the album does end up managing to cause one of the few problems with it, as this gravelly tone here completely obscures the melodic rhythms that are interjected into the album along the way as this gives off a sense of just dropping the tempo down into a mere plodding chug rather than actually attempting to balance it all with minor melodic accents as the riffing drops off into the slower tempos which signals where this is supposed to occur. This isn’t accomplished as effectively as it really could with it generating the kind of ravenous vicious thrashing elsewhere yet stumbling with this other segment of their sound. Likewise, this causes the drumming to come off with a case of being recorded in a rehearsal room such is the simplistic thumping that goes on throughout here really robbing it’s power and instead really only keeping it’s speed and intensity which is part of the rest of the album. Otherwise, this one is quite fun.

Though it has some weak points due to the production job on this one, there’s still a lot to really like with this one in terms of its speed and intensity that gives it quite a lot to really like to hold up over those areas and make this a solid choice for the most devout revival-thrash enthusiast only.

Score: 81/100



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Toxic Waltz - From a Distant View



Artist: Toxic Waltz
Release Title: From a Distant View
Year: 2016
Label: Violent Creek Records
Genre: Retro Thrash Metal
Tracklisting:
1. Deify
2. Blindness
3. Generosity Exploited
4. From a Distant View
5. Off to the Red
6. Secret War
7. The Gold You Want
8. 13 Days to Live
9. Eternal Aftermath
10. Mass Atrocity

Continuing on from their strong debut, German thrashers Toxic Waltz have spent the dividing time honing their skill-set on the live stage with numerous gigs and shows to further their dedication and passion for the genre to it’s fullest. With a two-year gap between releases dedicated to showcasing this to the fullest, the group’s second full-length album is released March 18, 2016 as their only release on Violent Creek Records.

As was featured on their previous release, this one here opts for the rather tight and crunchy Bay Area style of old-school thrash which is displayed quite prominently throughout here. The album’s focus on razor-sharp, crunchy patterns and generally dynamic riffing filled with steady chugging gallops given a rather expansive melodic edge that’s effective at easing the intensity down from the rhythms. This does indeed manage plenty of efforts that thrash away with great energy and abandon when the time calls for it here, and it’s frequent enough that there’s a rather obvious softening of the rhythms here as the album goes along that favors the melodic accents to these riffs rather than blaze forward with the intensity typified in the genre as these are most prominent on the soloing throughout here. Those are the most obvious displays of this charge here and that manages to work quite well for the album’s case here in offering a slight deviation from the swarm of revivalist bands out there not really offering much difference between each other, though that does cause this to lose a bit overall as the efforts to import some melody into the rhythms does bring down the manic thrashing which is quite accomplished here. Still, there’s not a whole lot really wrong here with that basic attack.

Despite some minor issues present here, this one really turned out quite fun and enjoyable enough with a lot of enjoyable elements that will really appeal to most fans looking for something more melodic and accessible from the revivalist camp though others looking for the pure aggression and intensity are also advised to check it out.

Score: 80/100



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