Release Title: Saints
Genre: Thrash Metal
1. Lady Flame
2. Zombie Lover
3. Perfect Plan
4. Smoke & Soot
5. The Story About Bird & Snake
7. The Last Meal of the King
9. Mr. Two-Face
The debut full-length from Polish thrashers Thermit continues the great work that had been accomplished prior to the release and fulfills a lot of the promise established there. There’s not much deviation from their past here as once again the rhythms on display are pure adrenaline-releasing patterns straight from the late 80s Bay Area, propelling this along with quite furious and energetic riffing that really keeps these songs blazing along at rather fast tempos. Not only are they quite fast, but there’s a tightness to the leads that gives this a powerful, dynamic crunch that affords the band a great deal of muscle as they go about their frenetic paces, making this one even more dynamic with the inclusion of a strong series of overwhelmingly melodic and fiery lead-work along the way. Not content to simply focus on tight thrash for its duration, the band incorporates a heavy amount of traditional metal along the way as well for a wholly spectacular mix that really sticks out quite well. The heavy metal rhythms found here are quite different from the tight, dense riff-work found in thrash as instead this is featured with simple chugging, sprawling rhythms and a more spacious approach to the melodies so it’s not always about the fury but opting for a touch of that light-and-dark type writing structure usually found in that genre. Not only is this quite effective at generating a wide range of feelings within the music that makes for imminently more replay value but also turns this around from being just a straight-forward collection of tracks with this type of energy making for a complete representation of the band’s style. The main issue at hand here is that at times the traditional metal requires a slower tempo to work with while the thrashier patterns push the faster rhythms into play, and it’s evident there’s some arrangements that struggle to keep the interest going yet not enough to be a truly worthwhile detriment.
The first half features a fine showcase for what’s on display. Opener ‘Lady Flame’ uses spirited energetic riff-work and frantic mid-tempo drumming steadily along through the charging rhythms with plenty of strong thrashing rhythms as the dropoff into a slower sprawling section with melodic leads runs into the fiery solo section and on into the energetic final half for a strong opening effort. ‘Zombie Lover’ takes ripping riff-work and full-throttle rhythms carrying through tight, crunchy thrash and fiery leads along the mid-tempo pace with sterling soloing leading through the frantic, fiery rhythms bringing along plenty of melodic leads along through the dynamic finale for a truly dynamic, spectacular highlight. ‘Perfect Plan’ features tight, crunchy rhythms and pounding straightforward drumming through the driving mid-tempo pace with the twisting thrash riff-work and crunchy patterns keeping the dynamic charge on through the squealing solo section and keeping engaging rhythms along through the final half for another rather enjoyable offering. ‘Smoke & Soot’ uses a screeching intro with rather bland plodding drumming with chugging riff-work holding through a simplistic swirling rhythm with plenty of rather banal riff-work leading along through the slightly-livelier solo section as the funky bass-lines lead into the charging finale for a superb finish to a mostly dull offering beforehand. The instrumental ‘The Story About Bird & Snake’ offers deep, clanging bass-lines reminiscent of a cinematic western that works as an appropriate mid-album breather.
The second half here isn’t as great but still has a lot to like overall here. The epic ‘Fairyland’ offers light chugging and droning bass-lines giving a light, epic western feel with the simplistic chugging holding the energetic rhythms at bay while the droning, sprawling rhythms weaving along through the epic mid-section kicking into a livelier mid-tempo chugging through the solo section and carrying along through the finale for a truly overlong yet still somewhat enjoyable effort. ‘The Last Meal of the King’ features explosive and engaging riff-work with plenty of dynamic drumming and screeching melodic leads flowing along through the driving rhythm with fiery choppy chugging riffing carrying the stellar rhythms along into the fiery, frantic final half for a truly enjoyable highlight. ‘Louise’ uses a simple mid-tempo chugging with plodding start/stop riffing that drops out for the fiery melodic leads heading into the thumping mid-tempo series of swarming fiery leads along through the solo section and holding into the charging, frantic finale for a decent start that gets wholly more enjoyable as it goes along. ‘Mr. Two-Face’ features immediate driving riff-work driving along through the steady swarm of energetic riffing full of stuttering rhythms and dynamic drumming that brings along the stellar and engaging series of energetic leads in the solo section as the sprawling melodic rhythms continue into the final half for a solid overall effort. Finally, the title track features swirling twisting rhythms and frantic drumming running alongside the fiery melodic leads as the charging pace carry on through the sprawling mid-tempo patterns as the charging rhythms and pounding drumming come back into the crunchy mid-tempo solo section and working along through the finale for another solid and impressive lasting note.
This the proper way for a debut to work as it manages to carry on through the promise generated from a bands’ earlier works and remains a wholly listenable and enjoyable piece despite that work, leaving this a perfectly enjoyable recommendation for fans of the bands’ work or just those looking for solid, enjoyable thrash overall.
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