Album Review: Trial by Chaos – Raider

Artist: Raider

Album: Trial by Chaos

Label: Independent

Release Date: April 7, 2023

Genre: Thrash/Death Metal

Location: Ontario, Canada

When thrash is played at its best it’s like being inside a maelstrom of lightning and thunder. It completely consumes the listener. Each blistering riff shreds away pieces of skin while aggressively bombarding you all in about a 40-minute window. This is what was presented when Raider released their first critically acclaimed full-length album Guardian of the Fire which was initially reviewed by TMW in March of 2020. 

Well, here I am nearly 3 years later, listening to their new release Trial by Chaos and I’m just blown away! A superb release that now caresses and embraces my inner thrash demon. He’s so happy right now, but I know I only have a short time before he starts scratching at my innards for another morsel. Thank goodness for the repeat button. 

Raider formed in 2017 in Ontario, Canada, and released the three-track Urged to Kill demo in 2018. As previously mentioned, they released their first full-length album Guardian of the Fire in 2020. Trial by Chaos is set to be released in April 2023 and what you will get is eight tracks of energetic, bruising thrash with hints of death and blackened vocals. If this were a wine, it would sell for a few grand a bottle. That’s how fuckin’ good it is.

The first track to invade your ear canals is “Title by Chaos.” This track punches harder than Iron Mike Tyson before he developed a penchant for raw ear lobes without the chianti. “New Dominion” pulverizes with its battering double kicks, scorching riffs, and abrasively barked vocals that have me jumping, banshee-like, ‘round the room. “Fearless” and “Labyrinth” provide even more savage razor-sharp riffs delivered with a dynamic speed that showcases the energy Raider has. 

On top of this thrashing mayhem, you will hear gems of lyrical wisdom like this…

“Under the gun, I’ll never bend –

I’m a thorn in the flesh of doom’s evil hand 

Fearless to the end.” 

Something I’m sure your boss and all those other corporate fuckers will love hearing as you wander down their corridors of supposed power singing as loud as possible.

Along with all this cleanly produced frenetic anarchy you get a definite party starter of an album set ready for the inevitable pit of brutality that will ensue at live shows. 

Raider has released a monument to modern thrash metal and if there’s ever a new “Big Four, ” they have my vote. Ontario should be very proud.

Rating: 5/5


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