Portugal isn't exactly a hotbed for thrash, in today's scene or even during the '80s, but the country has begun to undergo a little thrash movement of its own lately. There are an assortment of young thrash acts from the country, not many worth bragging about, but two of Portugal's newest bands are two of its finest. Earlier this year Nuklear Infektion released their debut demo and it was definitely a sign of things to come for the band. The newest band to release some thrashing material upon the masses is Terror Empire. Their debut EP "Face the Terror" is a very solid collection of tracks, as the six songs on here are fast, heavy and violent.
The overall sound of Terror Empire would have to be described as a blend of Slayer, Sepultura, Kreator, Artillery and some Exodus thrown in for good measure. Unlike a vast majority of the newer thrash groups that overpopulate the metal underground today, these guys can create some quality riffs. These riffs range from all out blitzkriegs of speed and relentlessness like on "Dirty Bomb" and "Last Fire," to crushing riffs made to snap necks like the ones found on "Element" and "The Brave." There are also some cool riffs that show off some more technical skill. "Submission By Fear" kicks off with a terrific riff that would even impress Michael Stutzer, as the guitarist's fingers are flying all over the fretboard, rather than maintaining a monotonous e-string chug. The vocals on "Face the Terror" are a little groove metal like, but they're not terrible and they suit the aggressive music fine. The rhythm section is also incredibly solid. There weren't any extraordinary moments that had me in awe, but the music is brutal because of the sheer intensity of the double-bass onslaughts and the heavy bass that plods along the riffs and vocals. Overall, Terror Empire definitely impressed me with this EP, and they give me hope for this thrash movement that has seemingly halted on quality production. This release won't compete with bands like Nekromantheon and Deathhammer who have released some of the best thrash this year, but in due time these Portuguese thrashers very well can.
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4.25/5 or 85%.