Sunday, June 25, 2017

Corpsia – Genocides In The Name of God

The thrash metal-rich country of Brazil delivered more than its fair share of classic artists 30 years ago, and while there are some decent newer groups around (Violator in particular), there is always room for more. Corpsia is among the more obscure examples, having just recently released their debut record “Genocides In The Name of God”. Relative to their forefathers, Corpsia takes a different approach to thrashing. Rather than playing a sloppy, primitive brand of thrash, Corpsia aims for something a little closer to what some of the German bands were doing in the 1980s. Groups like Exumer, Assassin, or Darkness come to mind as good reference points because, much like Corpsia, they had a raw, high-speed sound that wasn’t sloppy, but also didn’t hit with 100% precision.

Genocides In The Name of God” is also interesting because it doesn’t have a definitive gimmick or theme. Whereas many modern bands are focused on being as fast or as heavy as possible, Corpsia simply puts their attention towards creating faithful, albeit unoriginal thrash metal. They have a number of fast songs, but none approach breakneck speed. Where they really excel, however, is with huge rhythm shifts. Quite a few tracks will have a heavy mid-paced riff in the verse, which then changes to a faster, power chord driven pre-chorus. This almost feels like an homage to punk with the consistent eighth note strumming, and is a surefire way to rile up crowds in a live setting.

Corpsia does succeed in more than just one way though. The title track, for example, gets by on buzzing alternate picking for much of its runtime. In other instances, they make use of slightly off-kilter rhythms to great effect (see the verse of “Violence” for one example). “Holochrist” shows the band bringing in some death metal influences with the use of brooding tremolo-picked lines, as well as blast beats (admittedly, they’re considerably slower than in most death metal, but they are still effective). Corpsia even offers the occasional moment of groove on “Execution”. It’s a bit risky to bring up that word in the context of a thrash record, but Corpsia pulls it off without resorting to boring riffs. 

Genocides In The Name of God” is a very pleasant surprise for a thrash album in 2017. It feels much purer to the roots of the subgenre, and is devoid of experimentation. While this may turn many off from listening to it, it is these differences that make the band stand out from other modern groups. It would be hard to see a fan of Slayer or Exodus not enjoying this release, and the more thrash bands I hear with death metal vocals, the more I appreciate a release such as this one.

Be sure to check out and like Corpsia on Facebook!

Highlights
"Purgatory Scum"
"Genocides In The Name of God"
"Violence"

Final Rating
4.1/5 or 82%. 

Written by Scott

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Entrench – Through The Walls of Flesh

Sweden’s Entrench first garnered significant attention with their debut full-length “Inevitable Decay” over half a decade ago. Though they put out another record a few years later, it seems like people didn’t latch quite as tightly to that one, to the point where people are still discussing “Inevitable Decay” today. Yet another 3 years later, the band returns with “Through The Walls of Flesh”, their third studio record. This album is exactly what fans should expect from Entrench at this point. It’s a pure thrash effort, taking significant influence from Slayer’s “Show No Mercy” and the NWOBHM that preceded it. The riffs stay in a fairly comfortable zone, and while they may be a bit predictable, the songs themselves are anything but predictable. This is due to the addition of a couple of lengthier pieces that feature extended instrumental sections.

By taking this extremely old-school approach to thrash, it means that “Through The Walls of Flesh” doesn’t just contain riff after riff. The band makes a conscious effort to put an occasional melodic lead in their music to go alongside the flurry of riffs. Some of the riffs also extend beyond just using power chords, instead opting for slightly more thoughtful compositions. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily translate into memorable tracks, and that would be the biggest criticism of this record. But fans of the band, and really of this style of thrash don’t necessarily look for those gang vocal-type choruses that are easy to shout along to. 

While “Through The Walls of Flesh” is a 2017 release, it would sound much more at home in the late 1980s. The production has a lot of open space, making both the bass guitars and bass drums punchy. Entrench is very clearly a one-guitarist band. Even though it’s likely the guitars are double-tracked, they don’t fill out the entire sound, which lets the rest of the band breathe. The guitar tone is sharp (though not as much of a buzzsaw tone as groups like Destruction or Razor). Vocally, Entrench’s singer leans heavily towards a rough, death/thrash screaming voice. A slightly more aggressive Blood Feast (“Kill For Pleasure” era) would be a good point of comparison, which complements the rest of the music well. Overall, Entrench has crafted another record that is probably exactly what you’d expect from them. This is one of those albums where it was pretty clear what it would sound like before even hearing it, and while it wouldn’t rank amongst my favourite thrash records, it is very serviceable.

Be sure to check out and like Entrench on Facebook!

Highlights
"The Coming Storm / Dawn of War"
"The Warmonger Sacrament"

Final Rating
3.7/5 or 74%. 

Written by Scott