Tag Archives: Thrash Metal

Fusion Bomb – Concrete Jungle

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Fusion Bomb - Concrete Jungle

As a reviewer, one of the greatest pleasures is following a band’s journey and having your predictions confirmed. A bit more than two years ago, I reviewed Fusion Bomb‘s debut release and while it had its flaws, I expressed high hopes for their future and boy was I right! I’ll pretty much spoil the end at this point already, but: their new release Concrete Jungle is a massive improvement on an already solid base. Let me tell you why I think that’s the case!

Everything I liked about the predecessor can still be found here, just cranked to eleven: the guitars come at you with pure ferocity and the, dare I say, catchier riffs bite into you until they have you banging that head like no tomorrow. The drums have also improved in terms of technicality and groove, along with the clearly audible bass guitar they lay down the perfect groundwork to create a perfect…wait for it…fusion of instruments.

The ten songs, which include an Excel cover, have also vastly improved in terms of song-writing: while a majority of the songs is still mostly centred around a single riff (per song) I feel like there is enough variation and different parts thrown in at just the right moment, to avoid repetition. And that, to me, is what makes a good song: just the right amount of repetition so that it will drill itself into your skull after one listen, but never to the point of boredom.

I especially have to praise the vocals, since not only have they improved in terms of enunciation but also in diversity and overall execution. I mean, the record starts off with a scream that would make Tom Araya jealous, what more do I have to say to sell these thirty-seven minutes? Maybe that the quartet has managed to come up with one of the catchiest choruses that I’ve heard in a while on their song Slam Tornado, which you can listen to below. Or that the entire thing was mastered by Zeuss, and therefore sounds like a tank?

Whatever floats your boat, be sure to give Concrete Jungle a listen when it releases on January 26th and come get your mosh on at Rockhal that same day at the release party. In the meantime, had to Fusion Bomb‘s Facebook page for more information and drink beer, be free!

Abstract Rapture – Hollow Motion

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If there is one thing that most Luxembourgish (metal) bands are known, or should I say notorious, for it’s the amount of time it takes them to release new material. While the reasons behind that are understandable, it doesn’t make it less tiresome to wait for more than five years for a new album by your local shredders. Today I have the pleasure of writing about a record that boosts the waiting time to a full seven years. Let me just get ahead of myself and say that Abstract Rapture’s Hollow Motion was well worth the wait to me. Read ahead to find out why I think so!

First off, a brief history lesson about what went down in those years: the vocals, drums and lead guitar are still in the hands of the original members, but the rhythm guitar and the bass has seen the addition of two new faces in the form of Maks and Alex, who (used to) play in Retrace My Fragments. The addition of these two has definitely brought a new, and at times very different, breath of fresh air to the quintet’s sound. While the fifty-one minutes still feel like your classic AR, there’s also quite a few instances where you might wonder if the album has switched mid-song without you noticing.

Generally speaking the album has a fairly high level of musicianship, but there are a couple of songs that definitely stand out high above the rest, namely Inner Plague. The song is an interesting blend of the trademark Abstract sound and something that could be straight from a black metal record…and it works to perfection! I predict many a sore neck at gigs when this song is being played! This might just be me, but the addition of the new members has had a heavy influence on the songwriting, because I feel that especially the guitars have become “spacier”, for lack of a better word, and full of new elements. I’d even go as far and say that this is the most innovative release of the serial boozers since their debut EP Dead End Entry.

Out of the eleven songs, there are two interludes that can be regarded as intros to the songs they precede, and even those have a feel to them that I haven’t previously found in the band’s sound. The drums…I honestly don’t know what to tell you about them. The man is a local legend and delivers another top notch performance that locks in extremely tightly. The vocal melodies are also more memorable to me than on Earthcrush, and the lyrics delve further into the common themes of the guys’ music. Especially the closing track, Ego Non Te Absolvo, feels like a spiritual successor to the debut full-length’s closer, Observations In A Mirror (Through The Eyes Of An Alcoholic).

All in all, Abstract Rapture did take their sweet time to hit us with new material, but in my humble opinion it was well worth the wait! Hollow Motion is going to give the local metal scene a strong record to finish the year with and I for one am very much looking forward to the band’s future! If you’re interested, make sure to check out the record when it drops this Friday, December 14th, and head over to the band’s Facebook page for more information on the release show!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iatYAW2inIo]

Lost In Pain – Gold Hunters

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Something that never ceases to amaze me, even after many years of listening to and writing about music, is how artists always find ways to improve on something that has already been good to begin with. Sometimes I can exactly pinpoint what I feel is the biggest addition, but more often than not I am not quite sure what makes me like a release better than its predecessor; maybe it’s just because it’s new? I am pleased to present you one of these cases today, since Lost In Pain are about to release their third full-length, Gold Hunters, this Saturday!

First off, let me get one thing out of the way: almost ten years into its existence, the quartet has definitely shed its undeniable initial inspiration, from a certain Bay Area band, and matured into its own sound. While it’s still essentially thrash metal, there are a lot more experimental and even progressive touches to be found this time around, which elevate all the compositions onto a new level.

I’ve praised it in the past, but in this case I don’t mind repeating myself: LiP‘s feel for writing a coherent song, with recognizable parts and catchy hooks, never fails to impress. The eight tracks are chock-full with all kinds of riffs, ranging from headbang-inducing groovy to neckbreaking heavy, that are a pure joy to discover with all their little intricacies. I feel like the guitarists’ skill has even further improved, or maybe it’s just a matter of having a different goal while writing, but what I can tell you is that I would point towards that being a major factor why I like GH even more than Plague Inc.. The mind-blowing solos are, of course, back with a vengeance as well.

The drums have also seen an improvement, in two different ways: first off, to me, they have slowly moved out of the shadows and they’re stepping further into the foreground and, secondly, they just sound so much richer and imposing. The latter is also absolutely the case for the bass, which just sounds really good and is in great tandem with the percussive elements throughout the forty-one minutes.

The vocals are the only thing that I found to have remained fairly stagnant, which is not necessarily a bad thing, since I already liked the improved performance a lot the last time around. I would say that the technique has been solidified and, along with the great production quality, the vocals are in a very good place.

To sum things up, I would say that Lost In Pain have matured very well, and that Gold Hunters is a more than worthy successor to their 2015 endeavor. But why talk, or write, more when you can simply listen to the first single below and visit the band’s Facebook page for additional information? Also, if you like what you hear, be sure to move your booty to Rockhal this Saturday, April 7th, where the band is playing a release show!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI4pf6c2YFc]

Fusion Bomb – Pravda

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Fusion Bomb - Pravda
Little history lesson: about three years ago, there was a surge of new young bands emerging in the local scene and playing a lot of small shows. The vast majority of those bands were of the same genre: something-core; be it hardcore, metalcore or deathcore. A fact that I have nothing against, since I enjoy most of those genres, but there was one gang of youngsters that stood out to me. Simply because they decided to go against the grain and play an “unpopular” genre, because it was what they loved: crossover thrash metal!

If by now you haven’t figured it out, the quartet that I’m talking about is of course Fusion Bomb, who finally have actual recorded music to show in the form of their debut album called Pravda! Depending on your general knowledge, the name might give you an idea of what this concept album might be about, but just in case: it’s about the history of the Soviet Union and its eventual downfall. Well, except the last song, Beertroopers Of Death, which on one hand is a homage to genre pioneers S.O.D. and on the other an instant-classic drinking hymn!

In the guitar department, the six tracks, including an intro, are generally-speaking very fast-paced and straight-forward, with one gallop riff fading into the next, but manage to infuse just the right amount of groove and technicality in the form of intricate solos to keep you interested as a listener. Throw in fairly organic sounding drums that know exactly how to go along with that vibe by bombarding your eardrums with blast beats and double bass attacks, and you’ve got yourself quite an enjoyable package. I do have to mention that the songwriting isn’t exactly diverse and many passages are repeated ad infinitum during the individual songs, but to be fair: that is a staple in the genre.

However, I do have one partial gripe with these twenty-eight minutes: the vocals. While they sound very powerful and well-performed, it is almost impossible to make out any of the lyrics because the enunciation is at times really horrendous. I wouldn’t have a real issue with it, if it wasn’t a historical concept album, where the lyrics are potentially a major factor of enjoyment.

To sum things up, what can I say? Is Pravda a breath of fresh air in the fairly repetitive Luxembourgish scene? You betcha! Is it flawless? Definitely not. Is it worth your time though? I would say so, yes. Fusion Bomb have a lot of potential and talent, and this respectable endeavor is perhaps the first step toward greatness! Be sure to listen to watch the lyric video below and head over to the band’s Facebook page for more info on the release of the album next Saturday, September 24th, at Angerfest in Kulturfabrik!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBm5eg_RMME]

Bio-Cancer – Tormenting The Innocent

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The Greek guys from Bio-Cancer are demonstrating with their second album Tormenting The Innocent how vital old-school Thrash sounds in the year 2015. With a lot of rage and a maniacal speed their opener Obliged To Incest immediately shows that they take no prisoners.

The vocals are a bit atypical as they are completely guttural and rather high pitched while one might expect a more snotty performance in their particular style of music. This might at first seem strange to the listener given the fact that it is also sometimes hard to understand the lyrics but it brings in more aggression and can definitely be considered as a unique selling point. It’s a bit of a pity that the vocals are mostly on the same pitch, as there could have been more variation right here, but the great vocal rhythms make up for this.

One major focus are the infectious riffs and soli which are played insanely fast and grant the nine songs a particular quality. Nevertheless Bio-Cancer do not only rely on speed, but also understand how to write mature songs which results in great tunes like Bulletproof and the title track.

Some calmer parts like the beginning of F(r)riends Or Fiends with its use of strings are a nice variation while the short Haters Gonna… Suffer!, which adds even more to the insane speed of the album, stands out as a nice eye-catcher by adding more of the same.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbmCW-SXUPg]
This review was written by our freelancer Luc Francois from Legacy.de!

Shredhead – Death Is Righteous

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Let me ask you: what better way to start the new year than with some kickass thrash metal? Shredhead are just what you need to wake up from all the partying these past few days, since their record Death Is Righteous is every thrasher’s wet dream!

I don’t know about you, but I was always pretty ignorant about the fact that Israel had a solid metal scene and it wasn’t until I came across Ferium in mid-2013 that my opinion changed greatly! Today’s quartet is originally from the same country and helps underline its importance in heavy music, since their modern approach to thrash metal is a blast from start to finish and doesn’t have to hide behind the big bands’ releases at all.

The eleven songs are a pure riff fest from start to finish and shower the listener in equal amounts of groove and fast-paced shredding. The influences are very wide-spread and at times you even get brief stoner metal moments to complement the gallop riff galore. One big thumbs up from me goes to the bassist, and the producer, since his instrument is clearly audible and noticeable on DIR! The strings are accompanied by very versatile drums, that make every genre enthusiast feel right at home with their relentless tempo and diversified beats, making the instrumental front an indestructible thrash tank!

Throughout the forty-two minutes, the vocalist delivers an extremely strong performance with numerous different techniques. Showcasing impressively fast screams, deep growls, high-pitched screech-like vocals and last but not least, almost, clean vocals in a few instances. From a lyrical point of view, it’s quite honestly nothing really surprising: zombies, death, violence and social criticism…but I’m fine with that. They are well written and to be frank: I don’t listen to thrash metal to discover life-changing points of view.

All in all, I can only say that Shredhead is a band to watch in the near future, because their future should be a bright one…or at least they have an album in tow that has a lot of potential. I believe that you will be able to catch them on quite a few European stages this year, so don’t miss out but meanwhile, check out their Facebook page and their video below until Death Is Righteous is out on January 12th!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vVV4Y9g9AM]

Sublind – Thrashing Delirium

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Thrash is dead. Now, I know that’s a dangerous statement, so don’t get me wrong: thrash metal is anything but dead, but even the classic bands have adapted the modern sound that is so commonplace these days…and I guess that’s what happens at some point in the career of most bands. However, there are a fair share of new bands emerging that swim against the current and stick to the old school thrash that so many people love. I’m proud to say that one of these is resident in our little country and goes by the name of Sublind. To make things better, I’m happy to say that the five guys are releasing their debut album Thrashing Delirium this month…so let’s take a look at it, shall we?

The moment you start the forty-three minute musical journey, you are bombarded with pure metal and everything you, as a fan of the genre or as a newcomer, could hope for is condensed on this record: fast-paced riffs that convey aggressiveness through their simple but shit-stirring nature, relentless drumming that will make the headbanging set in even earlier than healthy and last but not least raw and powerful vocals.

It’s interesting to note that the quintet did not have the intention of having a perfect sounding album when they started recording these ten songs, which is why it’s not over-produced in any way whatsoever. The drums are not triggered, the string instruments aren’t quantized and, if you hadn’t guessed it, there is no auto-tune or other correction on the vocals. While some people might argue that’s a cheap excuse for a bad sound…I share the strong opinion that it conveys just what this music should be all about: attitude! And besides…the final product sounds pretty damn good, but be your own judge of that.

The lyrics are mostly of a slightly cliché nature, with such topics as drinking, war and having sex with dead people…what? While Shakespeare might twist in his grave at some of the lines, I, for one, love this approach…since it makes for great sing-alongs at gigs! The vocals are mostly screamed, with a few excursions into high-pitched screams, and are generally well performed but they are also the only thing where I could imagine a small improvement through a bit more variation.

To round things off, there is probably one of the best drinking anthems on here…in the form of the Luxembourgish song Humpeknupper! More information can be found on the band’s Facebook page and you can get an impression by checking out the song below. Last but not least, if you have no plans this Saturday, February 15th, be sure to head to the Café Remelenger Stuff in Rumelange, since that’s where the release party will be held! UH!

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/123177612″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
~Yannick~

Razor – Shotgun Justice

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Easily one of the best thrash metal albums ever unleashed upon mankind. The sheer speed and hatred gives Reign in Blood a run for its money, but first things first….

When it comes to Razor you can do no wrong, pick whatever album you can find and your butt will be handed to you. Sadly half of their discography is impossible to find and cost me a fortune on eBay. Shotgun Justice was my introduction to the band and is my favorite. This is easily one of the most aggressive records ever, the lyrics might be tongue-in-cheek, but the band actually has the balls to address certain issues other bands would be scared to acknowledge. Stabbed in the Back instantly comes to mind, a song where the band calls out on all the sellouts and posers changing their sound to appeal to mainstream audiences.

Listen to Violence Condoned to get an idea on how the band was dealt with by promoters or how about American Luck showcasing how being Canadian penalized the band in more than one way?

Razor releasing an aggressive album did not come as a surprise, after all, all their albums are aggressive and fast, but the band was in turmoil. Label problems and the vocalist leaving along with the scene changing, not to mention the problems that being an underground band brings along, didn’t help matters. At a time when every band (minus Slayer) either broke up or changed its sound Razor come along with their fastest record ever.

So you have Razor more pissed off than ever dealing out, and that is a perfect starting point for a thrash metal record. Each riff sounds like a…well a razor shredding its way in one ear, out the other.

Bob Reid spits out the lyrics in a fitting manner while Rob Mills closes every gap with his drums.

Much like Slayer, Razor are punk gone metal, meaning they have the chops to actually sound menacing unlike most sloppy punk bands out there doing their bubblegum pop, but I digress…

Heck, even the linernotes are pissed off and full of warnings and threats. Every time I listen to the album I can’t help but grin like an undertaker, it just has all those elements that aggressive music needs to have and so many great moments, every song is awesome or just so freaking fast.

Brass Knuckles deserves a mention for the awesome break, before all hell breaks loose.

The Pugilist has just one of those riffs (that can be found allover the album) before the song ends in total chaos.

Miami has a weird title and even weirder lyrics. Totally hilarious and it just hands out riff after riff, at high velocity I might add.

The album is impossible to get on Cd, unless you wanna pay as much as I did, or you happen to come across one of the Russian bootlegs. However it has been re-released on vinyl, twice, in the last couple years. It seems as though the first vinyl re-release is hard to find (guess I was lucky) but the Highroller Records re-release is allover eBay, albeit with an ugly modified cover.

Let me finish this review with my favorite lyric

“All the bands I used to like are going down the drain
What the hell has happened here, have they gone insane?
I used to think that heavy bands ignored the current trends
But once you’ve been in Rolling Stone you learn about your friends”

and a quick fix
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdUPozwAaa4]

Jumalation – The Church Of Isaac

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Finland seems to really have grown into a small Metal nation since the early 1990s. Mostly known for their Black Metal and Death Metal bands, here we now have the greatest Thrash Metal album released since 1992!! I kid you not!

Jumalation, sadly, seem to have been a one time thing though as most members are active in Força Macabra. The band was formed in 1997 and The Church of Isaac was recorded in 2006, released on CDR in 2011 and, finally, on vinyl in 2012.

I came across the band when I received a newsletter and Infernäl Mäjesty stuck out in the description. For those who don’t know, Infernäl Mäjesty released one of the top 5 Thrash Metal albums ever. Of course I was skeptical at first, however Infernäl Mäjesty were not very unique to begin with. So I decided to give it a chance. Jumalation do sound like Infernäl Mäjesty, the main influence being Slayer though, which was also the case for Infernäl Mäjesty. I also hear a lot of Onslaught, Exodus, Destruction, Sepultura and Exumer.

The singer has the tendency to let his voice go up in the weirdest spots, kind of like Paul Baloff (Exodus) or Darren Travis from Sadus. Whenever he uses a hoarse growl or Hardcore shouts he reminds of a young Chuck Billy (Testament) or, at times, even of Roger Miret (Agnostic Front). His accent also reminds of Brazilian bands. Really weird but entertaining to have a singer with a split personality.

The church of Isaac is a thrash metal odyssey. Jumalation do not sound like a copy of a classic band, they sound like a follow up to a classic Thrash metal album. The music sounds familiar, yet the songs are new. Unlike most of the newer Thrash bands, they do not just steal familiar riffs to create generic songs. Jumalation created an album by sitting down and analyzing what Thrash is really about and wrote songs in the vein of certain classic Thrash albums, omitting the friendlier Bay Area sound for the more aggressive Teutonic and Canadian styles. They hit the right spot for me, this is how I love my Thrash!

This is a guitar album, riff upon riff upon riff. It is just amazing how many awesome riffs they come up with, especially on side B. The only notable exception being Tormentor, an 8 minute long mid-paced, doomy song. Here the band pretty much kept it simple riffwise, but have leads and solos allover the place. Sounds like the more progressive Sacrifice songs released on their Forward to Termination and Soldiers of Misfortune albums.

I can not recommend this album enough to any Thrash Metal freak!

Sadly most people will never get to listen to this masterpiece. I emailed the band asking for merchandise and everything is sold out. The CD version was in fact a CDR limited to 99 copies. The vinyl, which can still be bought on eBay, is limited to 500 only. So what are you waiting for??

Thrash or die!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfWNrhOPbRk]