Friday, 13 May 2016

Metal Bounty Hunter: Volume 7 - THRASH EDITION

Lars Ulrich is in no way affiliated to Metantoine's Magickal Realm.

Vektor – Terminal Redux (2016) / 90%
Earache Records

These guys definitely ate their cereal this morning

Vektor are possibly the best thrash band on Earth (and in the universe) and while I think this new album of theirs isn’t better than Black Future, it’s still a top notch affair. The 5 years it took them to finish this album were worth it since it’s a tremendous trip into space. Not a lot of bands can pull of a long album like this one, with its seventy-three minutes, it takes a lot of time and energy to full absorb all the kinetic energy that those four Americans deliver. Keeping the listener interested througout he whole record is a grand feat by itself but Vektor also has the ability to bludgeon them with their pristine skills.

While Vektor hasn’t changed its formula (you don’t change a winning one), there’s a lot of surprises to enjoy on Terminal Redux like those clean Lion King-esque chanting on the superb opener “Charging the Void”, the clean vocals of Disanto on the phenomenal semi ballad “Collapse” and also, the fact, that well... they did a “To live is to Die”-esque ballad. This shows that like Metallica, they have the balls and the vision to try new things. The clean break on “Recharging the Void” is probably the nearest a thrash band has come to including cheesy 90s pop influences in their music with those soulful female back vocals reminding me of the ones in Dream Theater’s Scenes from a Memory. This is possibly their best track ever.

Nevertheless, their greatest strength is those extended, rich and completely bonkers tracks and this album is pretty much just that.
They’re able to convey emotions with the help of their precise and chirurgical technical musicianship and it’s extremely rare to hear a thrash band do something like that.

While I think there’s absolutely no bad or simply “ok” moment
(t’s all pretty damn great), god it is exhausting. I mean, it starts with three seven minutes tracks before giving us a short atmospheric interlude. Still, I’ll never skip any parts since I want to hear the whole sci fi savagery in all its glory. Vektor deserves their fanboyism. They rule the cosmos.


The Paolo Girardi thrash duo!

Division Speed – Division Speed (2015) / 77%
High Roller Records

Bombing the shit out of London

This quartet from Saxony evolves in a particular thrash style pionnered by their legendary compatriots of Sodom, this genre is called “War Metal”, no it’s not raw black/death played by heroin addicts former bodybuilders, it’s super fast barbaric thrash metal about war, in this case the infamous World War II. The fourteen songs albums (including 2 short interludes) is all about dropping bombs on everyone for like forty minutes and that’s a great thing in their case. They mix the raw intensity of Motorhead and Uncle Tom’s band with a fair share of proto black/thrash goodness (think Desaster, Aura Noir) and it’s pretty damn cool. 
The sole guitar of Venomessiah (lol) is thick, greasy and alternates between those insane fast riffs and those more mid paced ones and he has those solos of the purest Slayer quality, just unfiltered aggression played with the guitar.

Their vocals are raw croaks with all the necessary venom to make Churchill trembles with fear. Their music, unlike the Normandy landings, is just freaking fun. I’m starting to dig thrash again after a long break, there’s a primal quality to this kind of stuff that you just don’t find elsewhere. It's present here.


Wildhunt – Descending (2016) / 82%
Metal On Metal Records

Classy Austrian thrash power trio

This Austrian trio’s debut album is definitely some top notch thrash metal. Combining the epic side of Metallica or Heathen and the complex power trio attitude of Coroner, Wildhunt were able to write compelling songs showcasing all the extent of their skills and their versatility.

The 1 hour album has many different moods and is quite varied, the band shines on the long tracks such “Crystal Deth (U.M.D.A.)”
or the eight minutes opener “Age of Torment” but they’re also delivering the goods with their shorter ones. I personally think mid paced thrash is the best since it doesn’t only rely on blistering speed to be effective, it relies on subtle (as far as possible for the genre) songwriting.

Wolfgang Elwitschger (Austrian names are awesome) is super talented and plays the sole guitar while handling the mic duty as well. His vocals are very good too, clean and not so high pitched, they add to this classy and distinguished flair the band has. His solos are also on the proggy/power metal side and he simply delivers on that front too. There’s also a huge bass presence, the lines are pretty groovy in“Death Spares (N)one”. All in all, their musicianship is intense, well calculated but it never overshadows their epic songs. Smart thrash, guys.

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