So, here we begin what we hope to be a monthly thingy with our long time contributor Longstretch. You may remember him from basically anything we run with Thrash wise bar a few exceptions, and we thought it was about time we paid some more attention to the genre seeing as most of us have our heads stuck up our arses being busy listening to Death/Doom, or that other shite known as Black Metal.. (The Great Mack here, I expect hate mail from the Kvlt amongst us hahaha.)
What’s with the photo you may well ask. Well it is most certainly NOT Longstretch, as he is about seven foot tall and of Austrian blood, makes David Prowse look like a sissy and makes Arnie wish he was 50 again. No, this is his loyal Thrash Hound Jeff. Jeff likes Thrash, and not much else apart from a good crap in the backyard and a good feed of chicken giblets (don’t we all to both I say). Jeff has a particular talent due to his rare breed of giving critique to music, and they both work together on this one to make it all so much better.
Yes, Jeff can’t write, he is a fucking canine after all and if you’ve ever seen one hold a pen let alone outwrite Tolkien please send pics so we can call them deep fakes. No, Jeff has a simple code. One bark for good, two for no, and three for Dave Mustaine is knocking on the door again and wants his talent back. Great animal hey! If you are curious as to where you can find one of these Thrash Hounds, may I suggest the dark web, and may I warn you this ability comes with a side effect, that being that they are quite gassy. Yes they fart a lot, and the pic above shows Jeff letting off a cracker…
Anyway, here we give you some excellence! Enjoy!
Tortured Demon – “In Desperations Grip”
Look out the Thrash and Metal world because I’ve just listened to the future, and it is safe and secure in the hands of Tortured Demon. They are a three-piece Thrashcore band from Manchester, UK. Aged between 14 and 17, yep that’s right, read that again, aged between 14 and 17, they formed in 2018 and released their first full length album, “In Desperations Grip” in February this year.
Even though they are in their formative years and still learning their art, putting their age aside, what we have here are nine tracks of remarkable song writing, tight musicianship and uncluttered production that absolutely delivers an overall sound that keeps you thoroughly entertained throughout the album. There’s also some superb lead work, righteous heavy riffs together with accomplished Death inspired vocals all played with a quality that belies their youth. Standout tracks for me include “In Desperations Grip, “Usurper” and “Oppressed.”
As this is their debut album and given the age of the members plus their skills in producing music of this calibre, other established and well-known bands will need to watch their backs because they are definitely a band to watch, and this album and the band could become goliaths in the industry.
Rating – 4.5/5
Hidden Intent – “Dead End Destiny”
Like your Thrash “Old School” then have I got a band for you. Adelaide’s three piece Thrash Metal animals Hidden Intent released “Dead End Destiny” in February 2021 and just one look at the ripper of a cover, and you know these guys are unapologetically from Oz. What a classic, complete with the ever-dangerous drop bears.
At around thirty minutes, this album is as fierce and intense as a pub brawl on a Friday night, however this is backed up by their superb breakneck velocity and a furious display of spectacular musicianship. Showcasing these attributes are “A Place of Horror,” “Breaking Point” and “Forgotten Fate.” Other killer tracks include an ode to an Aussie institution “Pub Feed,” a cover of a song originally done by The Chats which has a Punk feel right down to its core and has one of the best chorus lines ever, “All I want, all I need, all I crave is a good pub feed”. An anthem that should be a candidate should Australia ever need a new national anthem along with “Get a Dog Up Ya.”
I had a ball listening to “Dead End Destiny.” With all the bullshit around it’s so good to listen to an album delivered by consummate musicians who are enjoying every minute of their journey, and this comes through in spades as you listen. Definitely an album you’ll want to put on next time you’re having a few quiet frothies with some of your mates.
Rating – 4/5
EnforcE – “Deep Blue“
Perth based thrashers EnforcE released their 4th full length album “Deep Blue” on the 1st of July. EnforcE have been playing their brand of kick arse Metal since 1998 and “Deep Blue” demonstrates they have Thrash down to fine art because this album is one major boot in the rear end from start to finish. Magnificent riffs and lead guitar creations, vocals borne of hatred and a rhythm unit that provides the pounding incessant heartbeat. The production is crazy good allowing all the instruments to come through for our aural indulgence.
Although there are frenetic tempos permeating through the album, dirty, malicious and aggressive pace changes periodically run through the whole shebang at just the right time providing the soundscape changes that are always required to keep us attentive although these don’t detract from the very essence of what “Deep Blue” is all about, and that just in case you hadn’t guessed by the title of this column is to give us all a damn fine thrashing.
Their style at time reminds me of a certain Mortal Sin, even early Xentrix to be honest, which is a damned fine thing I say. Preferred tracks include “Thrash Attack,” “Deep Blue”, “Born of Bloodshed” and “Without Us.” “Metal United” deserves a special mention as it is a grand tribute to the Metal world which we all are a part of and runs on a knife sharp riff which you will find irresistible.
This album will blow any blues away you might be feeling during these covid times just like the Fremantle doctor blows the heat away during the summer in Perth.
Rating – 4/5
Eradicator – ‘Influence Denied“
Germany has been a breeding ground for kick arse and killer Thrash Metal for years with bands like Kreator, Sodom & Destruction, however Eradicator have also been providing fierce and aggressive Thrash since 2004 and have added to their impressive assemblage of music with their fifth album, “Influence Denied” which is right royally out right fucking now!
Their ten song album runeth over with uncompromising, fast paced and catchy tracks that every battle jacket wearing Metal aficionado worth a pinch of shit will absolutely love. All the tracks are well composed, riff heavy and pure face shredding bliss that will have you in thrash paradise while also delivering the trifecta of aggression, power and melody. If you wanted to sample a few of the tracks to provide confirmation of the words of which I speak then listen to “Driven by Illusion,” “Influence Denied” & “5-0-1.”
This right here is an old school Thrash Metal album that is well done, is genuine, and has a modern appeal. Go get some
Rating – 4.5/5
Evile – “Hell Unleashed“
Champions of the Thrash metal scene since 2004, British based Evile have released their long overdue fifth studio album “Hell Unleashed,” and well what can I say apart from holy shit this is good. Although they haven’t released anything for around seven odd years, there is no sense of ring rust as they have just slipped back into what they do best, provide us punters with seven tracks of no bullshit, riff laden, aggressive and crushing tunes.
I’m not going to go through each track and I’m also not going to provide any favourite tracks since all of them beautifully blend the technical musicianship and viciousness of the compositions with frenetic and uncomplicated speed. This means that the whole kit and caboodle that “Hell Unleashed” provides, is an outstanding Thrash Metal accomplishment that you need to get yourself a copy of whether you beg, borrow or steal it.
In my humble opinion, Evile should probably rank in the higher echelons of the Metal world and for me this album will go a long way in providing them the vehicle to reach that pinnacle. Please, I humbly ask though, don’t make us wait another seven years before the next album.
Rating – 5/5
Gojira – “Fortitude“
Ok so Gojira aren’t Thrash, I know it, however they deserve a few paragraphs with their April release of their seventh album “Fortitude” which I just can’t stop listening to, much to my partner’s chagrin and annoyance. Matter of fact, I can hear her now shouting “really again” as I listen for the umpteenth time while writing this.
There are tracks here that are truly Gojira with their unmistakable and distinctive mix of Tech, Prog and Death metal resonances that will remind the existing devotees of “Magma” and “L’Enfant Sauvage” however there are also a few tracks that are more melodic, and groove driven, all combined with a social message that I imagine will open them up to a brand-new audience.
“Amazonia” is one such track and, for me, brings back memories of Sepultura’s “Roots” album. The combination of grooves on this track, with that distinctive and mesmerising riffing, together with the environmental message of the plight of the amazon rainforest and the effect on the indigenous tribes still living there haunts and moves me every time I hear it. “The Chant” also provides a story surrounding the plight of Tibetan refugee children and when it finally gets played in a full stadium, will bring the roof down.
So as you can see from the last few bits of my blathering’s, I genuinely love this album and am truly astounded at the depth and soundscape that “Fortitude” has brought. Thankyou Gojira but for now I better turn this off lest my beautiful partner’s aim improves.
Rating – 5/5
Fear Factory – Aggression Continuum
Starting in 1989, American Metal stalwarts, Fear Factory have brought us their solid blend of Industrial and Groove riffs and melodies for around three decades and on June 18 released their tenth album “Aggression Continuum,” which just so happens to be ten tracks of definitive and iconic Fear Factory. Funny that hey!
This album is heavy as hell, full of dynamic sounds and magnificently expressive and aggressive, and ok, it mightn’t beat “Demanufacture” which arguably is their defining piece of work nevertheless this album is still a significant and meaningful slab of excellence.
From the first track, “Recode” with its flashes of melodic keyboard accompaniments through to the killer riffs and rhythms of “Fuel Injected Suicide Machine” and “Collapse” to the aggression and assault of the closing track “End of Line,” which I’m hoping is not an insight to their future, there is no mistaking that “Aggression Continuum” is a testament to their perseverance and determination.
Yes, they have had personal issues and hostilities throughout their career which I don’t need to repeat or get into here, however, name me a band that’s been around for thirty odd years that haven’t had differences of opinion and well, let’s face it, most of the time there’s friction within a band the music that is produced somehow brings an edge to everything that the band do which is good, yeah?
Rating – 4/5
There you go. Some pretty good shit right there, and the furry little beast has barked along as well. Interesting story, Dave Mustaine then went looking door to door to get his mojo back, and got kicked in the arse by several Aussie bands. Someone heard Suicidal Tendencies and Testament laugh… One for the older ones out there perhaps.