As one of the most awaited Thrash Metal releases of 2016, today we have Testament and their latest opus “Brotherhood of the Snake”. As one of the originators of the Bay Area Thrash movement, Testament seems to only get better with age as this album delivers over 45 minutes of no-holds-bared Thrash-tastic music.
Opening with the intense album title track, the band quickly fires the first round with blistering drumming and crushing riffs. Paired with Steve DiGiorgio’s intricate base guitar line, this song fires on all cylinders and delivers a hectic opening that will instantly raise your pulse. The intricate guitar work of Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick brilliantly shines on killer tracks like “The Pale King”, “Seven Seals” and the amazing leads of “Neptune’s Spear”, which almost make this track, be more along the lines of Power/Progressive Metal bands.
Arriving from Germany, today we have the legendary Sodom and their latest Thrash-tastic master piece “Decision Day”. Showing no signs of slowing down and with a thirst for blood, the band delivers 11 relentless tracks that will blow you away from start to finish. If you like old-school Thrash Metal and don’t mind a clean and crisp modern sounding production, this release will blow your socks off.
Opening with the pummeling “In Retribution”, Tom Angelripper and company fire on all cylinders delivering vicious riffs and tight drums crafting a very sinister mood. The band quickly sets an insane level of intensity as they pummel through pieces like “Rolling Thunder”, “Decision Day” and “Caligula” and its cool chorus sections. Picture the cleanliness of Accept’s sound paired with the Thrash grittiness of bands like Destruction and Death Angel, this is exactly what this release sounds like.
Arriving from Spain, today we have Thybreath and their very interesting Modern Thrash Metal sound. Delivering ten tracks of high-octane music, “Where the Gods Fall” provides the listener with plenty of ammunition to headbang their way into a coma. Perfectly mixing old and new influences, this band will surely get any Thrash Metal fan excited.
Opening with the eerie kids chants on the intro track, the band sets a creepy mood that is nicely capped with the high level of intensity of “The Bogeyman”. In this song at some point, the band has a certain Amon Amarth sound to them due to the combination of harsh vocals and catchy riffing. Never straying too far from their Thrash roots, “Deceit and Letdown” is a perfect example of a well-crafted Modern sounding Thrash anthem filled with crafty guitar leads and catchy melodic passages.
Creating a very interesting mix of Thrash, Punk, Hardcore influences, today we have La Horde and their crushing release “Dystopia”. Featuring 14 tracks of intense music, this release will keep the listener engaged from start to end and quite amused for the durations of the album. If you are looking for a mixture of Municipal Waste with Hatebreed and Unearth, this band should be of interest.
The album quickly makes an impression with the intense “Soleil Noir” and the Thrashy “Nous Saviouns”. By this point, the listener should still be trying to digest the unique style of the band, but at the same time being strangely attracted to it. The album continues to intoxicate the listener with the Punk-ier edge of tracks like “Ravage” and “Le Monde Inverti”, while still retaining that crushing Thrash Metal riffing which borrows from bands like Exodus and Dark Angel.
Hailing from the USA, today we have the superbly unique Vex and their 3rd full-length release “Sky Exile”. Seamlessly blending influences of Death/Thrash/Progressive Metal with melodic undertones, this band’s sound is quite refreshing and unique. Reminding us of bands like Cenotaph, Buried Dreams and The Chasm, this band has a very unique and polished sound that is very diverse and engaging.
Slowly building up from the intro, the album really kicks off with the intense “To Anacreon (Strangling the Muse)”, a very diverse track that showcases heavy riffs, crushing growls and very proggy Enslaved-like rhythmical sections. Perfectly continuing the uniqueness of this release, “Empyrean” provides an interlude before the melodic brilliance of “Antithetical Age”. In this track we have again that gritty Death/Thrash Metal influences paired with more melodic influences, and even some clean vocals to fully round up the song.
Hailing from Greece, today we have old-school Death/Thrash Metal outfit Aeons fo Hate and their self-titled debut release. Featuring over 30 minutes of music, this album brings back some memories of the late 90’s with incisive riffs perfect for headbanging while chugging beer. If you like the riffing capabilities of bands like Sodom, Kreator, Death Angel and Morbid Angel, this this one interesting release for you.
Opening with the Slayer-esque “Sands of Deception”, the band makes quite a strong impression with pummeling guitars and harsh vocals. The riffing is quite pleasant as it weaves between Thrash influences and old-school Death/Thrash influences from the Sepultura early days. It is quite interesting to note that as track like “Solemn” and “Aeons of Hate” roll around, the music tempo is kept relatively ‘slow’ allowing the riffs to fully sink in and our heads to start bobbing from beginning to end.
Arriving with great hype and praise, today we have Germany’s Ketzer and their third full-length release titled “Starless”. Delivering a hefty mixture of Black Metal, Thrash Metal and some Post/ Hard Rock elements, this release comes under its own terms and with its unique sound that further expands the band’s musical range. Considerably more creative than most albums these days, the hype is real when it comes to this outfit.
Opening with the playful and Black’n’Roll-ish “Starless”, we are treated to a mixture of Aura Noir and Vreid thanks to catchy riffs and a very crafty tempo. Things get more awesome with the uber catchiness of “Godface” and its very direct attitude. This song reminds us a bit of Tribulation, but with the Ketzer signature. Continuing with the surprises, the heavy “Count to Ten” has a good dose of sinister riffs and that obscure BM atmosphere that bands like Satyricon seamlessly create.
Hailing from Belgium, today we have Leave Scars and their sophomore release “Chain of Redemption”. As with many Thrash Metal bands, this outfit has only released two albums in the decade the band has been together, and luckily for us, the eleven tracks presented here are quite polished and well crafted.
Opening with the in-your-face riffage of “P.B.D”, the band sets quite a solid bar with a very melodic and fast-paced song. Evoking old-school Destruction and Exodus, the band plows through killer tracks like “Final Chance”, “The Faceless” and the anthem “Chains”. This last track suddenly busts out a melodic passage that completely elevates it to a whole other dimension. The vocals in this release are quite diverse as the swing between old-school Dave Mustaine (minus the whiny parts) to more mainstream Modern Metal and swing back into typical Thrash-styled screams.
As one of the wackiest releases of 2015, today we have Vhöl and their sophomore release “Deeper than Sky”. Featuring members of Agalloch, Hammers of Misfortune and YOB, this is one super group with enough musical chops to make even the weirdest sound great. IF we had to categorize their music, we would say that they play Avant-garde Heavy/Thrash Metal, due to the mixture of genres surfacing thought this release.
Opening with the Deathklok-esque “The Desolate Damned”, the band delivers an intense music with some brilliant guitar wizardry, which interestingly enough have Mike Scheidt handling vocal duties while John Cobbett handles the guitars. After an unconventional opening, “3AM” feels a bit more like a traditional Heavy Metal song with some funky drumming, courtesy of Aesop Dekker. Mike’s vocals are very versatile, as anybody that listens to YOB can attest, and they perfectly fit each track’s unique level of madness.
As one of the most underrated Bay Area Thrash Metal band in the scene, today we have Ulysses Siren and their EP “Justifiable Homicide”. Featuring some songs of their 2011 demo and three live songs, this release was slated for a couple of years back but the loss of Jon Torres derailed all the band’s plans. A few line-up changes and a couple of years later, we are finally able to get our hands on a few songs from the demo and some live goodies.
Opening with the title track, the band delivers an intense punch of old-school Thrash brilliance. The guitars are quite vicious and the drumming delivers the perfect tempo for this great piece of period music. The band’s experience allows them to deliver their timeless sound with an unspoken authenticity that only the real Bay Area Thrash bands have. “Bludgeoned Mass” keeps things nice and heavy with some killer guitar acrobatics and very tight drums. Paired with a very upbeat tempo, this track is quite enjoyable.