Thrash Metal anyone? Fuck yes I say! Cultural Warfare are here plain and simple to remind you how good it can be, and that’s no lie. As we all know, us astute fans of Metal in all its forms, Thrash has had a revival or two, and so it should, as it is was one of the most groundbreaking movements of it’s initial day, got ignored or forgotten for a while, and then came back all guns blazing with a new breed of maniacs.
I, The Great Mackintosh, was lucky enough to be born around the right time to hear it at it’s finest. Bands such as Exodus, Testament, Vio-Lence, well even Metallica and Anthrax were showing the world the power and skill that they possessed by shaking the whole Metal tree so to speak. A new power had arisen, and all fell in its path. The Germans decided that they could do shit better with the teutonic power of bands like Destruction and Kreator, and many more. Absolute masters of their game. Sepultura showed us that other countries could not only kick your arse, but could redefine what we thought was the best shit ever. The UK gave us Acid Reign, Xentrix, Slammer. What a time to be alive indeed.
The 90’s arrived and things were grim to say the least. Grunge had taken over the world, and as far as thrash went, things were not so good. Yes, many a band in other realms of Metal did well, but Thrash was a casualty, and people moved on to other shit, or gave up entirely depending on your generation. Death Metal and Black Metal became more prominent, people started speaking in tongues about genre types, the world of Thrash had gone to shit. Sure, it still existed in far off European places that none of us have, or will ever hear of, but it was for all intents and purposes was dead.
A resurrection occurred of sorts. Around ‘95 a band named Nevermore appeared. They had the classic riffing of the early Thrash movement combined with the styling and vocals of many an earlier traditional Heavy Metal band like Judas Priest, and hit the nail on the head for some, and not others. Roll on a bit later and then you have Evile, that brought back a sense of pure structure to Thrash. Riffs, well organised and clean as fuck, again an homage to the past but doing it the right way, and then amongst the rest (yes I have missed many but this is my review, not yours) and Thrash, or it’s kind, was welcomed again with open arms. We missed you Thrash, where have you been!
2018, name a band. Ultra-Violence from Italy, Amken from Greece. Acid Reign are up and about again. Xentrix have reformed, Most bay area Thrash bands are now legendary. What the fuck does any of this have to do with this band? Well, for a band that is pretty much on their debut album, it all means a lot for mine. These young chaps, and I mean that figuratively because they could be old men for all I know, have delivered an album of absolute immense proportions.
You will hear nothing but pure Thrash, clean sharp riffs and almost old school mannerisms on the first few tracks. You get but a hint of their capabilities on opener “Warmageddon”. “Divided we Crawl” gives you the same, a bit of chanting ala old Anthrax or Vio-Lence, even a bit more vocal range, but still for all intents and purposes, this is Thrash. It isn’t until track 4 “Eyes of the Land” that you begin to see a correlation with what I have said above and what is now on display. Vocalist Jacques Serrano rips out the finest Warrel Dane I have ever heard, and this is in no way an insult. “Two Spirits” follows, and now you have the chance to tell me if I am wrong. We have nothing but brilliance left here to listen to, to stand in awe, and to admire. I have no idea who the lady is that is singing, so let me know if you do. The ending would make any mosh pit cry, for a while at least.
And so it goes. Thrash at it’s finest, each and every band member pulling their weight whilst you remember albums gone by. “Scars Left Cold” fools you into thinking it’s going to be mellow before ripping your pants off and making a fool of you. “Punished” opens with an almost early Exodus type of riff before slowing down into an almost comfort zone, then pokes you in the rear at about the mid section to show you some melody, and killer riffs.
“Witches prayer” brings early Testament to mind at the start, and then hits a groove that is hard to beat. ‘Shadow Priest” is another fine example of how to have your arse Thrashed off. “Blood Machines” brings the early Anthrax stomp to the party, and the balls to carry it off. The ending is an instrumental, the way all good things should end.
I’m amazed by this band, and also a little confused. Thrash is the best shit ever, apart from my usual stomping ground, Death. I can see why Death Metal bands throw in some variety, because fuck, we all know they can sometimes sounds the same don’t we? This one brings such moments of brilliance, of unpredictability, and then…it can get a bit samey, but only a little. I want more from these guys. I’d lean more to the power of the vocals than anything else, but as always this is only my opinion. Fantastic all around though, and you need this, yes, you do. Thrash fan, Metal fan, so worthy.
Rating: – 4/5
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