There is a long tradition of political opinions in Thrash Metal, generally leaning to the left side of the spectrum. Perhaps it comes from the zeitgeist of the time of the genesis of the genre. Perhaps it’s because Thrash is at least a kissing cousin of Hardcore Punk. By no means is every Thrash band political, but there is enough of a regular streak throughout that it comes as no surprise to find unabashed political messages rampant in the latest offering from Spain’s mighty Holycide. In fact, “Fist To Face” starts off with an introductory track using samples from the current US president, essentially using his own words to show their opposition to what he stands for. My favourite moment on the track is the cheesy sound effect of a fist meeting a face, presumably meant to be his. The album cover makes their position abundantly clear with the image of a post-apocalyptic warrior (the metaphorical personification of the band?) on top of Trump, punching him in the face.
I first became aware of Holycide through their first full length “Annihilate…Then Ask!” (2017), another banger of rough and raw, no frills Thrash Metal. Now, 2020 brings us album number two. Featuring Dave Rotten (from a host of projects and owner of Xtreem Music) on vocals, Miguel Bárez and Salva Esteban on guitars, Dani Fernández on bass, and Jorge Utrera on drums, the band has plenty of firepower with which to work. Thick riffs, excellent lead work, ballistic drumming, thundering bass lines…musically, Holycide has everything you could ask for in a Thrash project. Over it all, Rotten snarls his trademark bark and lyrics full of dire political warnings, hitting on nuclear fears, Libertarianism, and more.
Front to back, “Fist to Face” is a banger. It hits you like, well, like a fist to the face. Unrelenting in every aspect, the album calls to mind classics of early Thrash, before bands started to try to make things prettier (Metallica, I’m looking at you). Whether the politics appeal to you, or you just like a headbanging good time, throw this one on the old turntable and get ready to pump your fist. (Your Fist to Face perhaps?)