“Mummy, is the doggy dead?”
“No little man, he is just all tuckered out.”
“Why Mummy? Why? His little eyes are closed and he smells like he’s dead… Whaaaaaaa.”
“Now, now son, he is alive, see his paw twitching? Looks like he is cutting some sick riffs hey! I bet he is just tired from listening to too much Metal all week.”
“But what about that smell Mummy?”
“Oh, did you see his mouth move a little just before? I think he farted boy, he is okay.”
Yep, poor little Jeff the Thrash Hound has been utterly worn out by his evil master, that long streak of pelican shit we all know and love as Longstretch. Instead of actually walking his dog like most normal human beings, and taking him out for coffee, to the local market, the hair salon and all the other fucking annoying things most modern dog owners do, he just plays Metal as loud as fuck at the wee beast until it drops from sheer exhaustion!
Now before you get all uppity and call the RSPCA and PETA or some other bunch of lovely do-gooders on our man ‘Stretch, please be aware that HE has to put up with the stench of dog fart on a daily basis (eye watering ones, I kid you not) and that the dog has a lovely bed as shown above, and gets fed duck liver pate and caviar, as well as gold flake sprinkled truffles on a daily basis so he is well looked after.
Maybe a change of diet is needed… Anyway, here is what the dynamic duo have been listening to lately! We hope you enjoy!
Callidice – “Shades Among Us”
Formed in 2014, this five-man Finnish Melodic Death Metal troupe have released two EP’s “Victims” and “Scarlet” in 2015 and 2016 respectively, a full-length album “Anthem for Resistance” in 2018, and in July of this year released their four track third EP “Shades Among Us.”
The first track off the EP is an instrumental intro that flows straight into “Emperors New Clothes” which has plenty of the genre’s best attributes including some synth to keep the most ardent Melodic Death Metal follower more than happy.
Continuing the theme but elevating the tempo “Happiest Country” provides some thrashy type tones combined with some melodious grooves perpetuated with synth and Death Metal-tinged vocals. “Treehouse” closes off the EP and successfully combines clean and gravel textured vocals with some blast beats and melodic guitar works.
If you like Soilwork, In Flames or Arch Enemy then you really must have a listen to this EP. Although its only approximately fifteen minutes in length, “Shades Among Us” manages to provide technical musicianship, and a meticulous crisp production, whilst being all the while surrounded by fist-pumping melodies. Definitely geared towards the Melodeath tribe.
Rating – 3.5/5
Infex – “Burning in Exile”
With normal services resumed, I bring your attention to San Fransisco Bay Area thrashers Infex and their third release “Burning in Exile.” Active since 2010, the band’s first “Circling the Drain” came out in 2012, and “Killing for Jesus” followed in 2016. After a couple of line-up changes, “Burning in Exile” was released August 13 and takes me back to fond memories of all that was good about this blueprint of Thrash and why I started listening to it the first place.
All nine tracks on the album deliver surging energy that are steadfastly ingrained in thrash and incorporate speed and brutality. Make no mistake, these guys can play and proof of this lies in the wonderful riffs and lead work, pounding drumming and the impressive vocals provided: particularly on the opening track “Blood of the Wicked.” Other absolutely standout tracks that took me to my special place include “Acid Reign,” “Legions of Hate” and “Torn Apart.”
I’d also like to give a special mention to “Beer Run.” This is a track that we can all relate to when we open the esky only to find nothing, and feel anguish determining who the hell is sober enough to venture out to grab more. A good fun track that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and brings back memories of drunken parties with plenty of mates. Good times!
All in all, “Burning in Exile” won’t change the world however if you need some good old school classic Thrash in your life (and let’s face it who doesn’t), then do yourselves a favour and get yourself a copy of this because you’ll be walking around with a shit eating grin on your face, and everyone will be wondering what you’re smiling at which is always a good thing, right?
Rating – 3.5\5
Godslave – “Positive Aggressive”
Oh, look! Get out the crayons and colour me pink, another tremendous German Thrash Metal band and although they may not have the same name recognition as some of the other Teutonic bands, this five piece have been playing for around ten years releasing a mixture of EP’s and albums for a total of sixteen releases. This has allowed Godslave to hone their colossal Thrash skills and provide an album that enhances and delivers to us the listeners these talents in spades.
Just a quick side note, doing my history check I noticed that they had released a six-track tribute to Status Quo in 2015. So, in the name of research I headed off to YouTube and was lucky enough to find a couple of the tracks. Holy crap, how much fun they were. Status Quo with a Thrash bent to them. Brilliant!
Anyway, I digress: What I found here on “Positive Aggressive” was ten tracks of pure unadulterated Thrash played with all the gusto and enthusiasm that someone could muster and will have all you thrashers out there cranking your neck muscles and raising the horns in dreamland. If you need proof of what Godslave can deliver I can heartily and thoroughly recommend “Positive Aggressive,” “Flap of a Wing” and “Show Me Your Scars.” These tracks provide everything we all desire and crave by delivering plenty of riffs, well-structured melody and lead work, pummelling drums, and clean, powerful vocals that serve up some first-rate singalong choruses.
“Positive Aggressive” is loud, noisy and riotous Thrash Metal played by a group that have been paying their dues and working hard for a very long time, and I think should have a lot more recognition given the excellence that is provided on this album… which simply means that it’s a must have for your assemblage of Thrash albums.
Rating – 4/5
Korrosive – “Kaustic Hordes“
Is there nothing better than trolling through Band camp on a lazy lockdown day and coming across a hidden gem – or should I say a piece of jagged iron that will rip the flesh off your face and shred your hands to bare bones? Well Canadian thrashers Korrosive have provided such a beauty with their debut album “Kaustic Hordes” which was released on Friday the 13th of August. Coincidence? I think not.
What we have here are eight tracks of compelling and powerful heavy based Thrash if that makes sense. Nothing here but brutal and impressive riffs and solos, anger infused vocals and blast beats that will pound you to within an inch of your life. Combined with clear production and great musicianship, this all adds up to a debut album that deserves plenty of accolades.
Initially starting with some acoustic bars, “Slaughter the Preacher” jumps down your throat, grabs your innards with skeletal hands and drags them back through your gullet with all the precision and finesse of a sledgehammer. If that wasn’t ferocious enough “Terminal Violence” has a driving riff to die for and punishing melody that will mosh you till you sweat bullets of blood. Not to be outdone “Vitriolism” is just stupid-hard, fast and manic.
“Hijo de Puta” and “Acidized” have a bit of a punk feel to them with all the anger and mayhem associated, however they still will make you mosh till there aren’t no more to be had and you fall to the ground smashed with savage satisfaction.
The last track on the album “Septik Messiah” is more of an opus than just another Thrash track. Nine-odd minutes in length, it has everything: Spoken word, heavy riffs, indignant vocals and dynamic drum work make the time just rocket by.
”Kaustic Hordes” is an album done superbly well. I’m so so glad I stumbled across it. You really do need to go check it out as this album deserves masses of people to listen and be entertained.
Rating – 4.5/5
Flotsam and Jetsam – Blood in the Water
So, what can I say about Flotsam and Jetsam that hasn’t already been said? Ripping it up since 1986, fourteen albums and still providing enthralling and captivating Thrash that any student of the genre, or young band just making their way should sit back and listen to the musicianship, melodies, song writing and production to show how expertly and skilfully music should be done.
“Blood in the Water” is an undeniably epic album and shows that longevity doesn’t mean rehashing the same old same old just to get a sale. Although the album is distinctly Flotsam and Jetsam there’s enough fluctuations and transformations in colour and sound to keep you engaged through the whole fifty-plus minutes: which is pretty long for any album now but particularly a Thrash/Power based album which is typically wrapped up in 30-40 minutes.
Frontman AK shows, particularly in “Cry for the Dead,” “A Place to Die” and “Grey Dragon,” that he has lost none of his range or power which may be due more to the style of his vocal sound than anything else. No guttural approach required here to get the purpose and meaning of the lyrics across, just pure singing talent. His impressive voice and tones soar through the album and provide to us the challenge to sing along to hit the same high points.
Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley, who re-joined in 2010 and 2013 respectively provide the rollicking riffs, hectic soloing and forceful hooks, and Ken Mary provides the pulsating drumming, all culminating in the aggression, melody and catchy choruses that make “Blood in the Water” come to life. Need proof? Listen to the title track then “A Place to Die,” “Wicked Hour” and “7 Seconds” and you’ll understand and appreciate what I’m talking about.
Icon is a word that gets thrown around quite a bit, however Flotsam and Jetsam more than fit this moniker and “Blood in the Water” demonstrates that they can still deliver fast paced kick arse metal combining awesome lead work and rhythms, vocal expertise and dexterity, and high tempo arrangements for our consumption and gratification. Fits in and sits right up there with their back catalogue.
Rating – 5/5
Moon Machine – “Moon Machine”
For those of you that reside in Oz, I’m sure that you remember Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect. Their brand of prog and alternative metal brought joy to thousands of us, and I still treasure the memories of seeing them live and rejoicing in the treasures that they delivered.
Now, the reason I mentioned them is because Moon Machine have constructed and released a beautifully conceived and skilfully thought-out collection of tracks in their self-titled album that will put you in mind of the aforementioned bands, although with a more orchestral and melodic soundscape and atmosphere.
Moon Machine was formed in early 2018 by three friends initially jamming in their Boston apartment after leaving another band, and after a couple of years deciding on roles within the project started the process of writing, recording and producing this debut experience of the aural senses which was released in July 21.
For me, there’s 3 parts to this seven-track album. The first two tracks “The Cave” and “Reckoning” bring the Prog Metal/Rock side of the album. There’s classic guitar work and riffage combined with some towering vocals, percussion and synth which showcase the significant proficiency and gifts the band members have. “Demon.05” and “Left to Wander” could put you in mind of Radiohead with hints of Tool however they are so mesmerizing as they radiate a brilliant distribution of light and dark dancing together.
The last three tracks are one song in three parts with each part complimenting each other. As a result, what we get is around fifteen minutes of captivating musicianship that pulses and dances from menacing to glorious and back again.
It should be pretty obvious that I was taken by this album even though it’s so far from my usual fare. Moon Machine have undoubtedly produced something extraordinary and the more I listen to it the further I get sucked in, and with that in mind I hope they keep recording and producing this sort of high-quality music to start to consolidate their place amongst the upper echelon of bands.
Rating – 4/5
And NOW, you may see why that poor kid thought that a gassy dog may have died. Enough sonic violence already? And here they are just getting started hahahaha. Wait till the next instalment hits ya!