Featuring the return of the band’s debut release vocalist, Lawrence Mackrory, today we have Darkane’s latest opus “The Sinister Supremacy”. Keeping the Swedish Death/Thrash Metal flame alive, this release is packed with a 14 massive tracks (on the digipack version), that will have you headbanging since the opening riff. With a scene filled with band shifting to the annoying (at times) core-like screams, it is quite refreshing to have manly vocals in this release.
After the dramatic orchestral opening, the album kicks off with the pummeling album title track. Darkane immediately shows off their power with powerful melodic guitars and very fitting vocals. The band took 5 years between releases but they still deliver very effective and engaging songs. We particularly like the catchy chorus sections and mixtures of clean and harsh vocals. Other tracks that have more elaborate opening sections like “The Decline” nicely keep the album fresh and change the flow of the release very effectively.
With a very interesting sound mixing old-school Thrash with Black’n’roll. Punk/crust, and even some Doom elements, today we have Gökböri and their debut full-length “Balbal”. Featuring members of Daylight Dies, Pagan, and Sun Descends, this is one of those albums that is quite good, but very hard to peg down since every track offers a wide palette of sounds and influences.
As the album begins, the opener “Sarp Geçitler İçinde/Balbal” is a very cool retro-sounding track that reminds us of the riffing power of Vreid and the old-school Black’n’Roll bands like Midnight. The same continues with the catchy “Ulu Dağlar, Atalar”, which really engages the listener with very effective riffs. The vocals are quite fitting for the music and also have that retro-vibe. However, there are some questionable clean vocals on this last song, luckily some solid growling remedies the situation.
With the costs of professionally producing demo’s and releases getting lower by the day, we are glad that bands like Aratron can showcase their quality and have a powerful and lively sound on their demo’s. “The Recovery” is the band’s latest demo and it features five crushing tracks with a timeless Thrash infused Death Metal sound that is quite powerful and well crafted.
The starts leads with guns blazing on the song “The Recovery”, a very direct and brutal track that combines relentless riffing with excellent vocals. The band’s sound reminded us of early days Grave and similar Swedish DM outfits that rely on Thrash Metal foundations. “Imprisoned” keeps the album flowing with another dosage of solid riffs and very tight drumming. The band’s musicianship is quite good and they are not afraid to show it with their incisive tracks.
Hailing from Athens, Greece today we have Alter Self, a killer Death/Thrash Metal band that delivers eleven punishing tracks on their debut full-length release “Seven Deadly Blessings”. For this release being the band’s debut full-length, their sound is very mature and the songs are perfectly executed. Mixing Thrash and Death Metal, the band achieves a timeless sound that is quite catchy and appealing.
After the traditional intro track, “My Sober Reflection” has a very Sepultura-esque ring to it and it also showcases the band’s ability to craft catchy and brutal songs. The drumming is quite impressive and the guitar work is pretty well crafted, allowing the song to flow naturally. The band’s songs keep getting more and more interesting as the funky riffs/bass guitar sections of “Fovea” make for a very cool track.
Constantly releasing relentless albums since 1981, Sodom returns today with another fine example of in-your-face German Thrash Metal with “Epitome of Torture”. Contrary to normal patterns, this German outfit keeps getting more punishing with age and on this release they deliver an intense 40 minutes of crushing music. Keeping things simple and direct, Tom Angelripper and company are at the top of their game and they make a very clear statement with “Epitome of Torture”.
Breaking in new drummer Makka in the opener “My Final Bullet”, the band shows the same ferocity and intensity they have since the 80’s. This track is quite direct and at some points (on the song and album) Tom even sounds a bit like Tom Araya from Slayer. For all familiar with the band’s sound over the years, tracks like “S.O.D.O.M” and “Epitome of Torture” are the perfect example of the high-octane Germany Thrash Metal that the band has been perfecting with each release.
In the short-but-sweet category, today we have a very talented entry from the Northern lands of Finland: Neferion and their 2012 demo “The Primordial Mode”. In this four-track release, the band showcases and new and fresh style that allows them to deliver powerful tracks filled with harsh and clean female vocals delivered by the band’s vocalist Maija Saari. Combining a good dose of melody and Thrash Metal this brief release gives you a powerful insight into the band’s musical capabilities.
Opening with the powerful “Nightingale” the band delivers waves of melo-Thrash riffs that immediately grab your attention. The growls are as powerful as any male-growls and the transitions to clean vocals are very well done. The sense of melody of the track is quite engaging and gives the band that clean-cut Finish-style of Melodic Metal presence. “Daunting” keeps the energy flowing and has more of a Modern Metal vibe to it with the chorus part making the band comparable to acts like Kittie and such, but with a more aggressive edge.
All the releases we usually get from Finland deliver high quality Metal music, but there are also the ones by very unique and totally weird bands. Today we have one that falls under this category, “Flesheaters III” by Scarecrow. Initially after observing the album’s art that features people with corpse paint, we expected some Black Metal…. and we were totally wrong. Delivering 12 tracks of ‘Horror Metal’ as the band calls it, this release features a very interesting and intense combination of Thrash/Death and some sprinkles of Black Metal with punk elements.
Opening with a very creepy atmospheric intro, the band wastes no time delivers a high-intensity Thrash Metal-esque riffing on “Killing Machine”. Things turn into a mixture of Thrash and Punk with “Undead Nazi Bastard” and “Eine Symphonie des grauens”. The band again changes gears and delivers the very Punk-ish “Night of the Butterfly Knives”. Up until this moment, the versatility of the band is quite impressive and makes things very hard for us to really fit them in any particular genre.
With the current Thrash Metal revival, it is quite sad to hear bands going on their last hurrah with very mediocre releases. This is 100% the case for Schmier and company with a very uninspired “Spiritual Genocide”. Bands like Accept, Kreator, and Death Angel have managed to evolve over time and incorporate some more ‘modern’ elements into their sound, Destruction on the other hand has managed to stay exactly the same for the last 10 years.
Opening with the insipid “Exordium” this album instantly feels like the last few of the band. Tracks like “Cyanide” and “Spiritual Genocide” are typical Thrash Metal songs that sound like they arrived 10 years too late. The riffing is predictable and the vocals are so-so, there is a lack of viciousness and aggression here, and bands like Kreator and Death Angel are now clearly superior to this band that peaked years ago.
Arriving from Canada in full force, today we have Haiduk and their debut full-length release titled “Spellbook”. As a one-man project, Haiduk is one of those bands that deliver simple yet powerful music that will send you into a headbanging rampage since the first listen. Featuring ten tracks filled with guitar acrobatics blended with Death and Thrash Metal influences, this album packs a lot of punch in its short duration.
Opening with the catchy “Lich”, Haiduk immediately showcases a furious speed that only a handful of bands can pull off and not sound extremely pretentious. The overall atmosphere of the track is intense and very melodic but aggressive at the same time. The growls are pretty standard, but sometimes sound a bit uninspired when contrasting the powerful music. In another Death/Thrash 101 lecture, “Stormcall” is a very straight forward track that has an entertaining bass guitar line and efficient drumming.
Arriving from Violent Journey Records, today we have Finish outfit I Lied and their super catchy Death/Thrash Metal in “World Insane”. Originally a self-financed EP, this release is too catchy to pass and we are quite glad that the band got a label to release it to a wider audience. Delivering five tracks covering 19 minutes, this album features tons of catchy riffs and a very old-school attitude behind its music.
Opening with a Mortician-style intro, “Beaten Zone” immediately delivers powerful guitars and super catchy hooks. The vocals are very typical of the genre and they are very well balanced between growls and screams. Moving on to a more melodic approach, “Total Self Hatred” keeps the riffing onslaught alive with incisive guitars and tight drumming. There are plenty of superb headbaning moments in this track as well.