As THE most expected album of 2015, today we have Slayer’s first release in six years titled “Repentless”. After the loss of Jeff Hanneman and the departure of Dave Lombardo, many people wondered how the band was going to push forward, but for this release the band brought back Paul Bostaph on drums and enlisted Gary Holt to handle guitar duties. Keeping up with their tradition of intense and well-crafted releases, the band manages to deliver a very cohesive album that is considerably better than their 2009 effort.
Opening with “Repentless” after a short intro, the band lays down the law with a crushing vocal performance from Tom Araya in this intense Thrash-tastic track. This song reminded us of Slayer from their best years thanks to the awesome riffs and furious pace. The drumming is quite hectic and the overall riffing onslaught is stellar. The band continues their onslaught with very solid pieces in “Take Control” and “Vices”, but the guitar leads of “Cast the First Stone” really deliver the second standout track of this release.
Catching our attention with their viral marketing campaign that labels Cretus as something more than a band, a cult, we decided to give “Dux Mea Lux” a try. Featuring a very plain and unimaginative Thrash Metal sound with some cleaner and more mainstream elements, the band fails to live up to the hype with their average music and very repetitive nature.
Opening with the playful “Price of Immortality”, the band’s novelty quickly wears off. This track is pretty bland and while amusing for a few minutes, it can easily go unnoticed by any fan of the genre. “Darkness Bites” is the best track in this release as it gets you going with its hectic opening and catchy hooks. Other songs like “The Leader” have a certain twangy feeling to them, something that could have been easily exploited in this release to make it more unique.
Bands these days try to mesh all kinds of genres together and get pretty odd or awesome results. Unluckily for Deer Blood their mixture of Groove and Thrash Metal falls flat to expectations in “Devolution”. Featuring over 13 tracks and 58 minutes of music, this release has some interesting moments that are quickly obscured by an iffy production and a very odd mixture of styles.
Opening with “Bushmaster” we instantly get a weird Groove/Sludge vibe that morphs into Thrash after a few minutes. The raspy vocals are oddly mixed and come out too loud for the rest of the elements to shine. The guitar riffs individually are pretty decent, and in songs like “Born Strong Live Young Die Hard Born Again” and “Trapped Inside” we have some interesting rhythmical sections and a few leads that are very Thrash-tastic, but the groove vibe manages to kill all sense of cohesion and flow.
Delivering a Thrash-tastic sophomore release, today we have Denmak’s Impalers with “God from the Machine”. Featuring over 45 minutes of frantic Thrash Metal, this band nicely sets themselves apart from the countless other Thrash ‘revival’ bands by adding some cool melodic elements into their music.
Opening with the relentless “Future Void”, we are treated to some solid old-school Thrash with a certain European vibe. Filled with attitude and relentless riffing, the band makes this opener quite intense. The melodic elements start appearing as tracks like “God from the Machine” and “Prepare for War” start to wind down. Filling the album with blistering guitar leads, Thomas Carnell does a pretty solid job in epic songs like “Beyond Trinity” and “Destroy the Meek”.
Helping us ring the New Year, Josh Middleton and Sylosis return with their very interesting blend of Melodic Death Metal with Thrash elements on “Dormant Heart”. Featuring 12 songs that have a darker edge than the band’s previous works, this UK outfit delivers one of their finest releases to date.
Opening with the melodic “Where the wolves Come to Die”, the band really steps its game with the crushing “Victims and Pawn”. Both initial tracks are filled with the traditional Sylosis-styled barrage of riffs and harsh vocals. The band’s signature sound is further developed with a mellower tempo and a certain darker vibe in tracks like the imposing “Dormant Heart” and the breakout single “Leech”.
With the latest Thrash revival still in full swing, and all the legendary bands releasing crushing albums, Exodus does not fall behind and they are releasing “Blood In, Blood Out”. Marking their first release without Rob Dukes in almost 10 years, the band fully takes advantage of the return of Steve Souza and crafts 11 tracks of solid Thrash Metal filled with all those awesome riffs that make you feel warm inside.
Quickly getting on the scoreboard, the band unleashes “Black 13”, a powerful track filled with Gary Holt and Lee Altus signature riffing and the typical Thrash Metal tempo we all enjoy. Steve’s vocals while not the favorite of many, they do a solid job in conveying the band’s lyrics in tracks like “Blood In, Blood Out”, charged with aggression. The band stays current and shows sings of incorporating more Groovy/Modern elements in songs like “Collateral Damage”, a thing they perfectly blend into their already established sound.
Hailing from France, today we have Deficiency, a very promising young band that plays a mean modern sounding Thrash Metal. Presenting us with ten superb tracks, this band showcases that not everybody is just trying to copy what old-school Thrash Metal bands have did in the past. Giving us a certain flair of bands like Mercenary, EverEve (sans the experimental craziness), etc., this is a very entertaining album that will not get dull at any point.
Blasting away instantly with the album title opening track, the band showcases vicious riffing and versatile vocals. Not settling for your typical Thrash style, the band throws some growls into the mix. As “Unleashed” and “A Prospect of Traveling Beyond” unfolds, the band clearly showcases their unique signature into the music with emphasis on epic vocal sections and incisive riffs. For those of us that enjoy dark and melodic songs, “Those Who Behold” is one hell of a track with lush drumming and the perfect tempo to make it quite memorable.
With the Netherlands being a huge supplier of female-fronted Metal bands, it is always quite refreshing to hear bands trying different genres. Desitution delivers ten tracks of old-school Thrash Metal with modern production values and the original attitude of the 80’s. Featuring a very retro sound and packaging, this digipack is one solid debut release.
Instantly channeling their inner Kreator, “Mr. Greedy” opens the release with solid vocals and excellent guitar leads. The vocals have that very distinct Thrash ring to them that allows them to fully take command of each song. Not being slackers, Destitution delivers plenty of songs over 3:30 minutes long, with some of them even clocking 5 or more minutes. This allows the tracks to fully develop by themselves and features a wide variety of guitars leads and melodic sections like “Criticize”, “”Vigilante” and “Alcathrash”.
Playful Thrash/Crossover Canadian mongers deliver their debut EP release titled “U.F.NO!”. Featuring five tracks full of attitude and catchy riffing, Chemical Way is ready to compete with bands like Municipal Waste and Suicidal Tendencies for the Thrash/Crossover crown.
Taking us back in time to the early 90’s with its riffing, “E.H.P.S.C.A” blows things wide open with a furious pace and intense drumming. In terms of production, we can only wish that albums back in the day sounded as good as this one, since we can fully appreciate every little cymbal and the imperfections in some of the vocals. Keeping the retro vibe alive, “You’re Erased!” delivers a playful movie intro and a very chaotic song structure.
Hailing from Eastern France, today we have Sci-Fi influenced Desdinova and their debut full-length titled “Defying Gravity”. Featuring an intense mix of Thrash Metal with Progressive elements, this is one release that brings memories from bands like old Metallica to more recent Progressive Metal releases. Crafting a unique style is hard, but Desdinova gives us a very promising showing of their ambitious music.
The band starts off with very Metallica-esque songs with “Solanum” and “The Valley”. Things shift a bit more into playful territory with “The Valley”, before going very progressive with the soothing “Seven”. In just four songs the band quickly shows their range of abilities by crafting some ultra-catchy tunes that help Desdinova construct their own musical style. Filled with solid drumming and very charismatic vocals, this release has tons of elements to be discovered by the listeners. Going a bit more mainstream with “Sunbreaker”, the band keeps surprising us with their wide range of styles; however everything returns to their traditional Thrash roots in “Rules of Engagement”.