Posts Tagged ‘deaththrash’

The vibrant pink cover of the debut self titled EP from Scotland’s Tyrannus belies the ferocity lurking underneath. Admittedly, the demonic Chthonic skull motif might have given us a clue… It is out now through the band’s Bandcamp.

Opener ‘Bad Spirit’ has a gnarly guitar tone, and brings to mind the earliest days of death metal when there was still a hefty thrash influence. You can feel the early Possessed and Death seeping through, while ‘Demon Under Clay’ has a couple of snarling Mustaine-isms in the vocals too. Megadeth is obviously an influence too, as my version includes a cover of ‘The Conjuring’ which is pretty ace. The production is a little rough, but in a debut EP you have to forgive that to an extent.

Closing with the almost black metal tones of the best track here, ‘Repeating Misery’, I’d call this a rough and ready debut performance, which can easily be tightened up with a little time. The potential is all there though, the guitar tone and fretwork is ace and the songwriting skills have definitely got a spark to them. The best debuts leave you waiting for the next step, and Tyrannus do that here. Great.

Warthorn - G.O.D.

‘G.O.D.’ is the full length debut from Greek death/thrashers Warthorn, and it was released at the start of this year through Envenomed Records. There’s plenty of meaty riff carange to sink your teeth into here, but does it move beyond just good riffs? Let’s find out

Opener ‘Vandal Resurrection’ doesn’t waste any time, launching directly into some hefty chugging riffage, with a very Eurodeath guitar tone. Imagine early Amorphis with less misery and a bit more fire and you’ve got an idea. The directness of the early tracks blows through rapidly, and definitely traces of The Haunted as an influence as well. Fiery brutality is the name of the game until suddenly the mighty sweep of ‘Scythopolis’ swings down, decimating your preconceptions that Warthorn were about to feel a little one dimensional. A monstrous, lumbering behemoth of pure death metal, that both flails madly and then menacingly looms above your worthless hide. This is the high point as the album tails off a little after that.

Warthorn do most of their work by the book, but when they meander off into their own little world of darkness, that’s when things get interesting. Hopefully more of that will ensue in future releases, because there’s is a healthy supply of riffs and songs lurking with ‘G.O.D.’ itself, but you always feel like there’s more waiting to be unleashed.

Axegressor - Bannerless_Digital Cover.jpg

The rotting, deathly thrash of Finland’s Axegressor is another example of how there is always something a little darker and a little morbid about music from the land of a thousand lakes. ‘Bannerless’ is out now through Brutal Records, and it is the fourth record in a slowly building discography of quality.

The opening ‘In Safe Space No One Can Hear Your Scream’ is a statement of bloodied intent, with a gripping collection of riffs and some throat shredding vocals. ‘Bannerless’ is an album full of songs that you could describe like that, each threading Bay Area riffing through a nastier filter. That’s not to say that the music is boring or samey, the opposite is more factual. There’s a little Voivod weirdness in ‘Terminal Ignition’, some galloping Slayerisms in ‘Human Travesty’ and the particularly fearsome chug of ‘Barren Bloodline Worship’ is guaranteed to set pits alight.

‘Bannerless’ is a difficult album to review, because essentially each song has the same descriptor; killer riffs, insidious melodies and cool raw vocals. An album that is totally excellent, Axegressor are keeping the thrashy nature of proto death alive, and each poisonous riff is a blade to the bone. Get this and bang your head!

Neurosis - Las centurias de la muerte

Neurosis (not the overlords of the primal ‘Riff’) are a Colombian deaththrash outfit that have been churning through the South American underground since 1987, and their latest release is a three track EP entitled ‘Las Centurias de la muerte’ (‘The Centuries of Death’). Being South American and deathly thrashy, you just know that this is gonna be vicious.

The opening title track builds with melodic precision before kicking it into high gear with some great, early Sepultura worshipping thrash riffs. Capable of cooling it down to a hearty chug as well as a lightning quick thrash off, Neurosis keep it varied and the murky production keeps it feeling rabid and raw. The eastern tinges of the superb ‘El Guardian’ are pretty cool, and there are many epic guitar riffs lurking within. ‘Voces del Infierno’ is the highlight though; a shapeshifting thrash beast that ticks all the boxes if you like modern Kreator or early Exodus.

These guys have got their sound nailed down, and ‘Las Centurias de la Muerte’ is a ballsy thrash out that is sadly over too quickly. But that’s ok, because you can just put it straight back on repeat again and thrash yourself to death. Technically sound, memorable and properly ‘old school’, Neurosis are another gem of the South American underground, and should get more love!

transcendence LA - hour cover.jpg

LA death/thrashers Transcendence are due to release their debut full length later this year through Blood Harvest, so the label has released their late 2017 digital release ‘Hour of the Summoning’ on cassette in preparation. Hopefully the grimness rearing its head here bodes well for their full length!

As the title track hits you square in the face, you get a very proto-death metal feel like Possessed or very early Death. The gurgling vocals and double kicks drive this deep into death metal territory, but the killer solos betray that thrashy influence. ‘The Nocturnal Dwelling’ is a clattering death rattle, where blastbeats reign as a triumphant backdrop to some truly superb guitar work. If you don’t find yourself immediately air guitaring to the awesome start to ‘Mutilating Accursed Souls’, before banging your head in appreciation of the crushing primal death that follows, then frankly you are probably dead inside.

Transcendence have found and worshipped at the old altars of early death metal, where thrash was the main ingredient. Their death metal credentials are enhanced by the sheer raw brutality of some of these tracks, and ‘Hour of the Summoning’ is a tasty appetiser for what is to come. I look forward to more from these guys, as this is great stuff.

Assault are considered to be the hidden secret of Singaporean metal, with a potent deaththrash sound that mixes ferocity and killer melodies into some excellent songs. Their new record, ‘The Fallen Reich’, looks to capture the hearts and minds of those of us lucky enough to come across it, and will be another standard bearer for music from the region.

Opener ‘Enslavement to Torture’ is, simply put, fucking incredible. Visceral and savage, yet insidiously melodic, it hits me right in that part of you that FEELS how good a band are. So does the galloping/blasting ‘Genocidal Conspiracy’, where harsh almost black metal style vocals couple with some great thrash licks and some brutal double kicks to complete the holy trifecta in extremity. ‘Spawn of Rage’ is vicious in its attack, and in parts reminds me of latter day Hypocrisy which is cool.

The crushing ‘Ghettos’ is more like chunky death metal ala Asphyx in parts, which helps show the diversity of what Assault can bring to the table. Galloping thrash, blackened ferocity and death metal heft blending together to create an invigorating record that hits all the right spots. Brutal yet melodic, Assault are to be watched, and really should be shared far and wide as an awesome band with awesome songs!

American death/thrash legends Deceased first released ‘Fearless Undead Machines’ in 1997 on Relapse, and it was a landmark record in a genre that was just starting to come into fruition. A lot of early death metal was just extreme thrash, but there became bands who took that blend and ran with it. Deceased have been lucky enough to get this and two other full lengths rereleased on Transcending Obscurity Classics, and a whole new audience will become victims of the zombie death machine!

Opener ‘The Silent Creature’ is a monster, with riffs piling atop each other while tales of zombie apocalypses and death roar above galloping thrash. The morbid atmospheres are pierced by razor sharp guitar work, and Deceased have this explosive edge to them that is missing in a lot of thrash records. Taking cues from the songwriting prowess of early Metallica, Deceased show that it doesn’t have to be hell for leather all the time. ‘Contaminated’ sets up more of the zombie storytelling, which invokes ’28 Days Later’ zombies rather than ‘Dawn of the Dead’ with the furious speed of the title track, and the thrashing relentlessness of ‘Graphic Repulsion’.

Deceased are one of those bands who, even almost 20 years since the release of this record, have material that more than stands up to today’s releases. The riffing and guitar work is inspired, inventive and remorseless. ‘Fearless Undead Machines’ is one of those underrated gems that has probably done a lot more for modern metal than everyone realises. You’ll recognise a lot of these riffs from bands that have come since, and for that alone it should be a record you get a hold of, because it is hugely influential.

Ryparian - Tides of Succession

American bruisers Ryparian have released their debut full length, ‘Tides of Succession’, a record that flexes many a riff-toral muscle in pursuit of plaudits. It’s available from their bandcamp site, and is a neck wrecker indeed.

Opening track proper ‘Oppression Under the Regime’ is a chugging, thick slab of death/thrash goodness, taking cues from the likes of Lamb of God, Exodus and even Gojira with some of the patterns. It is a killer, and a strong start that ‘Tides of Succession’ builds upon. This is a meaty, fearsome riff palace chock full of high end riffage. ‘Dying Mind’ raises the spirit of vintage The Haunted, while ‘Immolation’ is reminscient of when Trivium gave up on metalcore and became great thrash.

The fact that this is a mainly one man project also makes the achievement even more impressive. ‘Tides of Succession’ is a good, solid riff heavy modern metal record, with tracks like ‘Lurking’ leaning a bit further towards the death metal spectrum. That track is a particular favourite, but the whole record thrums with a barely contained intensity that is infectious. This is a great record for cracking a beer open and wrecking your neck to. Laaav it!

American deaththrash upstarts Mythrias have dropped their debut EP ‘Absolving the Treacherous’ in Spetember last year, and it’s a great, energetic five tracks with some quality leadwork and some catchy tunes. Plus, it has an Offspring cover on it which I admire simply due to the balls to put that on such a traditional metal format.

Opening title track is a galloping piece of raw thrash with some superb leads later on. Relatively straightforward (we weren’t expecting Metallica or Revocation here), Mythrias stick to their formula pretty tightly and for the most part it works very well. Each track is dripping with quality riffs, and tracks like ‘I am Fire, I am Death’ and the superb melodic leads of ‘Sounding the Horn of Atonement’ makes you want to bang your head with righteous vigor.

After the rampant ‘Lamia’ comes the only strange point of the EP, the aforementioned Offspring cover. Its ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’, an old favourite of mine from when I was a kid. Personally, I’m not sure it works quite as well as a thrashy death number, but kudos for picking an out there track for a band like this to cover. Other than that, ‘Absolving the Treacherous’ is a quality release from a band that I’m going to enjoy following from here! Excellent stuff

With a name like Sludgehammer, you’ve got to be pretty heavy. Otherwise you’ll come across as a muddy tool, which is all I can assume a Sludgehammer is. Fortunately, these Canadian brusiers have definitely hit the heavy on the head with their debut record ‘The Fallen Sun’. The record is out on June 10th through their Bandcamp.

Energetic death/thrash is the order of the day here, with some fantasic lead work running rampant through opener ‘Demons from the Woodwork’. What I do like about this record is the occasional break into ‘RAWK’ clean vocals that works without coming across as slightly cheesy. The riffs are straight from the playbook of legends like The Haunted, latter day Megadeth and Kreator, and Sludgehammer meld them into a record that’s bursting with headbanging moments. You wanna be good at thrash? Create riffs like these and you’re halfway there!

The chugging neck wreckers continue, like the anthemic ‘Carrion Eaters’ and the thrashing ‘Carnivorous Forest’. Sludgehammer sound like they’d be a storming live proposition, and their catchy as fuck, moshtastic tunes are sure to light up pits from Toronto to Tokyo. The production is clean and crisp, and the songwriting is impressive considering this is a debut record. They’ve obviously worked hard to create a record with plenty of hooks, riffs and roaring heavy metal power. Heartily recommended!