Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Visigoth - Final Spell [EP]


Last year I came across a cool find in the state of Utah, in the form of traditional metallers Castleaxe. It was a breath of fresh air to hear music like they made as opposed to a lot of the other retro acts today, and it appears that Castleaxe has a new companion in Visigoth. A newer heavy metal act that I would definitely place in the "epic" department. Their latest EP "Final Spell" contains four tracks of solid heavy metal more in the vein of European power metal bands, in the sense that they place a lot of emphasis on clean vocals and a lot of melodies. Think of groups like Accept, Helloween, Blind Guardian, and the like, because Visigoth has a lot of resemblance to them, but they're not a complete ripoff that fails to find their own niche and the foundation for a great sound has been built in these four songs. 

Visigoth gets right down to business with the opening "Creature of Desire" which starts with a faint midpaced riff that quickly changes into a shredding assault and leads perfectly into the chugging of the riffs in the verse. This song, like the others, is mainly midpaced and rarely reaches any fast moments, and a lot of the riffs are effective, but there is a lot of focus placed on the vocals and melodies which isn't a bad thing, not when the guitarists' can shred with the best and the singer can wail like this one. Rogers' vocals really shine on the title track as it fronts the melodic riffs for some catchy moments that were made for a live audience to sing along to. "Seven Golden Ships" is a heavy song, and I do mean heavy, as the riffs are slow and plod along, making a terrific backdrop for Rogers' soaring vocals, before speeding up later on. The last track "Call of the Road" is actually more along the lines of an old-school Judas Priest or Maiden song, as it's very upbeat, rather than epic. Utah could very well be a new hotbed for aspiring heavy metal acts and with bands like Visigoth around, the state has a great base to build on. "Final Spell" is not only a fun listen, but it has a real "grower" factor and I'm sure I'll enjoy this EP a lot more by the end of the year, so don't sleep on these guys.

Be sure to check out and like Visigoth on Facebook!

Highlights
"Creature of Desire"
"Final Spell"
"Seven Golden Ships"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blizzard - Fuck the Universe


I'll start this review by stating that I'm not familiar with Blizzard and their previous work, but there was some buzz about the group and this record, so I figured I'd give it a shot. To sum things up, I wasn't overly impressed, but "Fuck the Universe" is still a quality listen, just not worthy of some of the over the top praise I've seen for it. The band's sound is one that they call "dirty heavy metal," and to be honest there isn't much of a "dirty" sound to the album. The production is pretty clean, actually, which doesn't take away from the music, but songs of this style probably would have sounded better with a similar production style to bands like Midnight or Witchtrap. Other than that, the music on this album is standard speed metal that fans of the genre should enjoy. 

The first two tracks "Beyond Live" and "My Name is Pain" are rather average affairs that didn't really convince me they were a great band, with mediocre riffs and bland vocals, but the album picks up after that. "Spit in the Devil's Eye" is a catchy tune sure to be stuck in the listener's head long after the album is over, with some decent riffage that varies between speed metal and metalpunk. "Into the Fires of Purgatory" is full of unashamed Sabbath influence, as the song consists of a few different, doomy powerchords that hail back to masterpieces like "Iron Man" and "War Pigs." "Satan in Her Soul" is sure to get your headbanging with some cool midpaced riffs and there's even some darker sounding riffage in there too, which conveys the title of the song perfectly. The title track is definitely the best one on "Fuck the Universe," as it's got the riffs, vocals and everything else working in its favor. Overall, Blizzard delivered a decent record with "Fuck the Universe." Sure, it could have been better and it probably won't be as revered as albums released by bands like Midnight and Witching Hour, but it's still a quality listen that fans of the old-school will probably happily embrace, plus it's got a kickass title. 

Be sure to check out and like Blizzard on Facebook!

Highlights
"Spit in the the Devil's Eye"
"Satan in Her Soul"
"Fuck the Universe"

Final Rating
4.2/5 or 84%. 


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Horrid - Kingdom of Decay (Demo)


I had really high expectations for this demo after hearing Horrid's amazing self-titled album last year. "Horrid" was an incredible piece of "blackened deathrash" that really stood out, especially because this band wasn't from Australia, Norway or Japan, where this kind of music is more common, but from Southern California. "Kingdom of Decay" follows where the predecessor left off, but there has been a noticeable "evolution" in sound. 

Horrid's newest two songs are much darker than anything they've previously released, but they didn't have to forfeit much of the crazier, faster thrashing parts either, which is definitely a good thing. The first track "Resurrectionist" starts with a clean guitar tone, but it quickly turns into a heavy and doomy melody that masks some heavy powerchords. The rest of the song features plenty of headbanging riffage, sinister tremolos and awesome, harsh vocals. The drumming on this song (and the demo as a whole) is solid, and the bass is plenty audible and heavy, so there's no complaints about the band's rhythm section. "Ravaged Flesh Liturgy" is the other song and this one isn't as fast as the first one, but it's got a very dark atmosphere that comes from the great tremolo riffage and the same savage vocals, making for another worthwhile song. "Kingdom of Decay" is definitely a legit follow up to the masterful "Horrid," and it makes me (and I'm sure all of their fans) anxious for the next full-length. 

Be sure to check out and like Horrid on Facebook!

Highlights
"Resurrectionist"
"Ravaged Flesh Liturgy"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%.

Okkulta - Witch (Demo)


What a surprise. A talented young band full of potential from Sweden has delivered another quality listen. Okkulta are a new band who are making their debut in the metal underground with this two-song demo "Witch." They play traditional metal, but unlike a lot of the Maiden/Priest worshiping bands, these guys play a much darker and more evil sounding metal that couldn't really be thought of as upbeat. They're not even that comparable to newer acts like In Solitude or Portrait, who excel in the evil, gloomy and dark department, as those bands possessed some really great energy that took them over the top. I would say that this band is like a much slower version of Venom, with an almost doom-like vibe. 

The first track "Devil's Truth" has your typical galloping riff, before it morphs into a plodding chord progression mixed with some tremolos. The vocals are not like your usual heavy metal singer, as it would be a stretch to call them clean. They're very rough, and at times they add a heavier feel to the music, as well some evil vibes. There's also a lack of solos, which was another key thing that set them apart from today's bands who all shred with the greatest of ease. The next track "Witch" is similar, as it's just a solid mix of galloping riffs and tremolos, mixed with a decent rhythm section and the haunting vocals. There is a lot potential in Okkulta, based on these two tracks, but a little variation could help them out. Overall, though, this demo serves as a great starting point for the band to move on in the future and join the ranks of Sweden's other terrific new bands. 

Be sure to check out Okkulta on Myspace!

Highlights
"Devil's Truth"
"Witch"

Final Rating
4.1/5 or 82%. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Screamer - Adrenaline Distractions



Underneath a small bar in a shady part of Toronto, a crowd of a dozen or so people gathered to see Montreal thrashers, Alcoholator. The opener, coming all the way from Sweden, was the heavy metal band Screamer! Despite the limited turnout, these guys rocked like they were playing a huge festival. Their set was filled with plenty of headbanging, guitar solos, and screaming metal vocals. I picked up their debut, and it turned out to be a great choice.

Out of all of the more recent traditional heavy metal bands, Screamer definitely has the most rock and roll influence.  Their songs take a lot of influence from Motorhead, but are definitely less punk-influenced. Early Riot (Fire Down Under) would be another similar comparison. On the one hand, there are definitely moments that aren’t very polished: the vocals miss a note here or there, but it’s that genuine approach that makes their songs so enjoyable.  In fact, the vocals might be the highlight of the whole album. Bassist and singer Christoffer Svensson puts forth a fantastic effort as he goes on about all of the classic heavy metal topics; namely, rocking as hard as possible. If he doesn’t have you screaming out “sometimes life is just pure rock’n’roll”, nobody will. Those lyrics are pulled from the strongest track, “Can You Hear Me”, but might as well have been from any of them. Every single song has a couple of catchy moments, especially in the choruses. The other major highlight of this record is the sheer number of guitar solos. Tracks like “Screamer”, which is a total speed metal affair, seem like they were made for shredding, and both guitarists are more than capable. While they aren’t playing any Malmsteen-esque licks, there is plenty of tapping and fast scalar runs. The drumming is competent; I’m sure Henrik Petersson is a great drummer, but he doesn’t standout here, and that doesn’t hurt the album at all.

Screamer may only be at the beginning of their career, but their enthusiasm for hard rock and metal shines through on “Adrenaline Distractions”. In the same way that sloppy blackened thrash is appealing because of its reliance on energetic riffs, this album is focused on creating metal for the love of it. Having just been added to a tour with fellow Swedish band Bullet, it seems that Screamer is on the path to success, and hopefully they can crank out another album soon!

Be sure to check out and like Screamer on Facebook!
http://www.facebook.com/wearescreamer

Highlights
"Can You Hear Me"
"Rock Bottom"
"Screamer"
"Keep On Walking"

Final Rating
4.4/5 or 88%. 

Written by Scott

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sunken Colony - Animus




The modern era of technical death metal is a far cry from the bands that ruled the early 90’s. While today’s scene is dominated by mechanical rhythms and furious fretwork, the genre’s forefathers were a bit more creative. Whether it was the insane basswork of players like Steve Digiorgio (Death) and Roger Patterson (Atheist, RIP), or just the catchy songwriting that infected their albums, technical death metal used to something great. With the debut release by Sunken Colony, this once lost era is now returning to form. Appropriately, this project was written by former bass player for Atheist, Travis Morgan, who also played nearly everything on the album.

The most noticeable feature of this demo is the loud, melodic bass playing. While the other instruments are playing quality riffs, the bass is creating unique lines that sound like lost parts from “Individual Thought Patterns”. This is the first release I’ve ever heard where the bass is the highlight, and that’s not saying anything bad about the other instruments. The vocals are lower-pitched, but fairly easy to understand. While there is nobody that sounds quite like Chuck Schuldiner, Travis Morgan could definitely do justice to those songs. The drums are a little bit stiff sounding, which is understandable because they’re programmed. It’s not too troublesome, because he avoids extensive use of blastbeats, but the drums are probably the weak point. Out of the four songs, two of them are mind-blowing. Both “Imminent” and “Animus” display the kind of songwriting that takes you back a couple of decades. The Gorguts cover, “Dormant Misery”, fits in perfectly, which shows just how skillfully the other three songs are composed. “Rite of Passage” is a solid song, but doesn’t really have anything to draw you back. Ultimately, “Animus” is one demo that should create some buzz in the metal underground. The instruments are well played, and the style hasn’t been done very successfully by anyone in the last 10 years.

PS: When a band sings about Starcraft, you know they are awesome!

Get your free download over at Bandcamp!
http://sunkencolony.bandcamp.com/

Highlights
"Imminent"
"Animus"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%. 


Written by Scott

Ashencult - Black Flame Gnosis


When a band that I've never heard of comes to my attention, it's mandatory for me to look 'em up on M-A or see if I can find any buzz about 'em on the web. Well, these guys are not on M-A and they seem to have come out of nowhere, but am I fucking glad that they were brought to my attention, because Ashencult are the real deal. Most bands release a demo or an EP for their first release just to get their names out there, but not with this group. Ashencult went all in and released their debut record "Black Flame Gnosis" and it's some of the best black metal I've heard in a while. What's even more stunning is that this band is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, yet they sound like they could be shredding it up in Sweden with Dissection, Watain, and Sacramentum. Yes, they're that damn good. 

Like I said earlier, the easiest groups to compare Ashencult to would be melodic black metal heavyweights such as Dissection and the like. This sound is made as clear as day once the first track "A Glorious Elegy" comes on and the razor-sharp, yet melodic tremolos start slicing away. "Awakening of the Sunset" and "The Whore and the Failure of Light" follow suit and deliver with some crazy tremolo sections that are sure to mesmerize the listener. There's also some great thrashy moments to be found throughout "Black Flame Gnosis" that add some more variety to the music, as well as cause the listener's neck to ache from the headbanging that is sure to ensue. "The Isolate" and "Race of the Blood Insane" are two monster tracks that embrace the faster, heavier thrashy riffs along with the terrific black metal tremolo bursts, which is precisely why these two songs stand out as some of the best on the record. 

In addition to the abrasive riffage and melodies, Ashencult uses plenty of eerie chords and progressions to evoke a darker atmosphere ("Awakening the Sunset") and they even whip out their acoustics for the intro to "Dark Law/Black Fires of Chaos." The rhythm section honestly doesn't stand out too much to warrant a lot of praise, but the drumming provides the intensity and speed that one would hope for and the bass does its job fine as well, so there aren't any complaints that can be made either. The vocals here are vicious at points and evil at others, which is precisely what I want in my black metal, so again, these guys score high marks all around. Overall, Ashencult and their debut full-length "Black Flame Gnosis" will be on the receiving end of a lot of praise this coming year and they deserve every bit because they're an amazing addition to the current black metal scene (especially in America). 

Be sure to check out and like Ashencult on Facebook!

Highlights
"A Glorious Elegy"
"The Isolate"
"Race of the Blood Insane"

Final Rating
4.4/5 or 88%. 

Corpsessed - Corpsessed [EP]


It's become increasingly difficult to weed through the mediocre and the terrible bands out these days, but luckily record labels like Dark Descent make things much simpler for myself and plenty of other metalheads by signing only the best. Corpsessed is one such band on the label's impressive roster, and they've made a solid amount of noise in the metal underground with only two EPs to their name. Their debut from last year "The Dagger & The Chalice" and their self-titled this year. While it only has two songs that total eight and a half minutes, it's clear that these Finns know exactly what they're doing, and that's creating some very heavy death metal (No surprise, they're from fucking Finland). 

Once "Demoniacal Subjugation" blares through the listener's speakers, eardrums will be ruptured. The tremolo riffage throughout the track is seriously heavy and it shows that there's plenty of Incantation influence going on here, but these guys would probably never be grouped with any of the other bands out today who worship at the cavernous altar of John McEntee. There's a nice melody that manages to catch the listener's attention behind the wall of sound that are the bellowing vocals and the crushing riffs. Corpsessed even threw in a nice Bolt Thrower-like riff, showing their versatility, and I love it. The other song "Of Desolation" is a bit faster at points, but it also takes a more doomy route later on in the song, showing off their Finnish roots. "Corpsessed" did exactly what this 2-song EP was supposed to do, and that was please fans old and new to the band, and to leave you waiting anxiously for a full-length. 

Be sure to check out and like Corpsessed on Facebook!

Highlights
"Demoniacal Subjugation"
"Of Desolation"

Final Rating
4.1/5 or 82%. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Municipal Waste/Toxic Holocaust - Toxic Waste [Split]


While many believe that this whole "thrash revival" has begun to die down, there's still no denying that the fanbases for both Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust are both very much alive, and that has resulted in this long-awaited split between the two biggest bands in the NWOTM movement. "Toxic Waste" consists of four tracks total, two from each band, and while I don't usually try and weigh each band against the other in terms of quality, there is a clear superior on "Toxic Waste."

Municipal Waste
Unfortunately for the Waste, I haven't been able to enjoy much of their post-"Hazardous Mutation" material. That album was exactly what I love about the NWOTM, it was fucking fast, catchy and intense, however their last three efforts have declined in quality quite a bit. Their last effort "Fatal Feast" was mediocre at best, so I approached the two songs that they have on here with quite a bit of skepticism. Well, these two songs "Trapped in the Sites" and "Mourning Sex" both mirror my opinions of their other recent efforts. There's a mix of decent and generic riffage with subpar vocals and everything in between. Municipal Waste just doesn't have the excitement or insane energy that they had on incredible tracks like "Unleash the Bastards" and "The Thrashin' of the Christ" anymore.

Final Rating - 3.75/5 or 75%.

Toxic Holocaust
Unlike Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust has delivered yet again, and that's mainly due to the genius of Joel Grind. Many people complain that these guys are repetitive, generic, stale, etc, but there isn't a single new thrash band (other than Warbringer) that is consistently this good with everything that they do. "We Bring Em Hell" is nothing more than some derivative metalpunk riffage, midpaced headbangers and a catchy chorus, but it will be stuck in your head. "Altar-ed States" is a fast, thrashy track that was actually a bit better than some of the songs on the band's most recent modern masterpiece "Conjure and Command." Long story short, if you're a fan of Toxic Holocaust's previous works, then there's no reason you won't thoroughly enjoy this. 

Final Rating - 4.25/5 or 85%. 

Get your free download over at Tankcrimes!

Be sure to check out and like both bands on Facebook!



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Black Absinthe - Augusta [EP]


I've been a huge proponent of the recent explosion of more and more heavy metal bands who emulated the traditional style pioneered years and years ago, as there are several bands out today who continue to create genuine and fantastic albums whether their preferred style of choice is the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest worshiping, or the darker sounds of the Mercyful Fate/King Diamond rendition. But, then we have Black Absinthe, a new band from Canada who prefers the heavier and more aggressive side of heavy metal, as their debut five-track EP "Augusta" has plenty of Motorhead influence, as well as plenty of inspiration from their Canadian forefathers in Anvil and Exciter. 

The EP kicks off with the track "Disgraced" which is a decent song that shows off the basic sound of the band, but the next track "Twisted Past" is definitely a step up from the derivative riffage on the preceding song. There are plenty of cool riffs on this song that range from melodic, yet thrashy sections that are entirely reminiscent of early power metal bands like Omen or Jag Panzer to catchy midpaced riffs that sound more akin to Maiden. The singer's gruff vocals are also a nice touch as they add some aggression to the gritty, demo quality production that suits the band's style perfectly. "Gangster" and "Keeps Me Rolling" are both fun tracks that are more or less similar to the first song. They're not incredible, but they're good enough to not be skipped or dismissed. The real ear-catcher for this EP, though, is the spectacular "Rivers," a song that is full of stellar riffs and some punk-inspired passages that are a lot more violent than your typical heavy metal band. Overall, Black Absinthe appears to have a bright future ahead of them and "Augusta" serves as a great building block for these guys to join the ranks of Canada's finest. 

Be sure to check out and like Black Absinthe on Facebook!

Highlights
"Twisted Past"
"Gangster"
"Rivers"

Final Rating
4.3/5 or 86%. 

Purtenance - Sacrifice the King [EP]


Purtenance was always one of the better bands in the '90s Finnish death metal scene and their sole full-length "Member of Immortal Damnation" is still a standout for the country and a stellar album to have in any metalhead's collection, so when I learned that they returned with a new EP, I had to get it. I don't want to say that I was disappointed, because I wasn't, as "Sacrifice the King" is a great collection of songs and definitely a worthy comeback, but the band's trademark sound has been diminished just a little. The brooding and evil, doom-tinged sound that the band had on their debut is all but a distant memory to be contained on that record, because the four tracks here possess only a fraction of that sinister sound. But, once we move past that and get to the music that Purtenance made for this EP, there's still some quality death metal. 

The opening track "So Many Years of Fear" wastes no time and starts with a heavy riff and the same deep vocals (though, it is a different singer) that crushed the band's fans before. The rest of the song is made up of some decent tremolo sections and cool bass lines, but it's the ending that really grabs the listener's attention as the track enters a break that is masked by a morbid melody which dominated the band's previous work, and is sure to please the longtime fans. "Demon Gods" is a fucking intense song that pummels while also taking the time to incorporate some top-notch soloing, and the track "Maniac" is a fantastic mix of catchy riffs, blistering tremolos and terrific drumming. "Sacrifice the King" is definitely a solid release that hopefully satisfies Purtenance's diehard fans, as well as introduces some new metalheads to the band's music. In the meantime, I'll be anxiously awaiting another full-length from these old-timers who clearly still have what it takes to hang in today's metal landscape. 

Be sure to check out and like Purtenance on Facebook!

Highlights
"So Many Years of Fear"
"Demon Gods"
"Maniac"

Final Rating
4.2/5 or 84%. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pseudogod - Deathwomb Catechesis


Once you get past the very awesome artwork for Pseudogod's debut album "Deathwomb Catechesis" and get to the music, you'll realize that both share that same quality of excellence. This Russian horde's brand of black/death metal is not new at all as it takes influences from the usual suspects in the extreme metal spectrum in Blasphemy, Angelcorpse, Mayhem, (early) Impiety and Bathory. The main aspect of Pseudogod's music that makes it so damn good, is the dark atmosphere that is always present no matter how hard-hitting the riffs and drums are or how slow and doomy it is. The dark, bleak aura is the absolute perfect backdrop for the amount of insane riffs that come and go throughout these eight songs. "Saturnalia (The Night of the Return)" is one of the more evil tracks on here and it takes a lot of influence from the early Norwegian bands, mainly in the sinister riffage that is nothing more than simple, yet effective chord progressions. "The Antichrist Victory" is a doom-laden anthem that provides plenty of relief from the blitzkrieg early on, and "Azazel" pulls out some morbid sounding melodies and solos that creep along to raise the hair on the back of the listener's neck. 

But the majority of this album revolves around the violence and destruction that you would expect from a band like Pseudogod. The opening track "Vehement Decimation" is exactly what the title says. This music is fucking intense and will pummel the listener in a similar manner to bands like Angelcorpse and Impiety. "Necromancy of the Iron Darkness" and "Malignant Spears" both follow suit while also weaving in some plodding chord progressions that provide a nice balance to the constant blasts and tremolos. The closing track "The Triangular Phosphorescence" is just epic and evil, with its terrific Bathory-like structuring and riffing at points. There really isn't a complaint that can be made about "Deathwomb Catechesis." This is just some brilliant and violent black/death of the highest caliber, so don't be surprised to see Pseudogod topping many end of the year lists with this beast. 

Highlights
"Vehement Decimation"
"Malignant Spears"
"Azazel"

Final Rating
4.4/5 or 88%. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Skull Fracturing Playlist #2

Skull Fracturing Playlist #2


To make up for my lack of activity I decided to enlighten you all on the insane amount of amazing death metal that's already been released this year, and I'm sure the waves aren't through yet. So take out your notepad and get to taking notes, for death metal (the 2012 edition) class is in session!



Band - Ectovoid [USA]
Album - Fractured in the Timeless Abyss
Genre - Death Metal

Even though I'm a sucker for some Swedeath worshiping done right, this record was a breath of fresh air. Ectovoid's brand of dark and brooding death metal is some of the best around and this album has grown on me a lot since I reviewed it. Definitely a must for fans of Autopsy, Death, Creepmime, etc. 

Here's my favorite track off "Fractured in the Timeless Abyss"


Buy it here - http://hellthrasher.com/


Band - Horrendous [USA]
Album - The Chills
Genre - Death Metal

I received my advance promo for this release at the end of 2011 and it still gets regular play from me every now and then which alone should tell you that Horrendous is the real deal. Their brand of death metal is an eclectic, yet brilliant mix of Swedeath, American death metal and even takes pieces from bands like Asphyx and Bolt Thrower. For fans of death metal, period. 

Death metal excellence...




Band - Terminate [USA]
EP - Thirst For the Obscene
Genre - Death Metal

Here's a band that knows how to make catchy and memorable music in the vein of the Swedish masters, and they're not even from Sweden. Check out Chicago's Terminate and pick up their new EP, you won't regret it!

Headbang until your neck is numb!




Band - Undergang [Denmark]
Album - Til Doden Os Skiller
Genre - Death Metal

I'm still not sure what the album title or the song titles translate to, but it doesn't really matter because this music is groovy and heavy as fuck. Think Bolt Thrower meets Incantation. Undergang also has a very awesome split with Funebrarum entitled "In the Dead of Winter" that is worth checking out. 

The title track for "Til Doden Os Skiller!"




Band - Resurgency [Greece]
Album - False Enlightenment
Genre - Death Metal

No surprise here that another band on the incredible Hellthrasher roster made the list. Resurgency is a great band that mixes plenty of influences from just about every scene, with the most prominent influence being the almighty Vader! Don't sleep on this, you'll love it. 

Fast, heavy and dark. What more do you want?!


Buy it here - http://hellthrasher.com/


Band - Necrovation [Sweden]
Album - Necrovation
Genre - Death Metal

And here we have my current favorite death metal album of 2012, Necrovation's self-titled. This album is just stellar from beginning to end and I'm gonna stop here because this might turn into a long rant about how great this album is. For fans of Autospy, Bolt Thrower, Dismember, Gorguts, Asphyx, Morbus Chron, etc.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a youtube video, but take my word for it, this album is amazing. 


















Monday, July 9, 2012

Fastkill - Bestial Thrashing Bulldozer



If the name doesn’t give it away, this album is about only two things: playing really fast and playing thrash. These maniacs from Japan are obsessed with pushing the boundaries of speed, and interestingly enough, they chose thrash rather than death or black metal. I've always felt that, when done properly, thrash can be the most intense subgenre of metal, and this album definitely proves that. Across the entire album, there is not a single moment that isn’t fast. Either the guitars or drums (or often, both) are a flurry of notes that are difficult to decipher. The only moment that can be called slow is the intro of the final track, where you hear the sound of a bulldozer. It’s almost as if they took Dark Angel’s claim of having 246 riffs on an album as a challenge, except that Fastkill decided to do it in less than half the time. Speaking of Dark Angel, there is even a reference to “Darkness Descends” on the track “Guillotine Attack”. There is one riff that is almost identical, though it is faster than the original. Sadly, that is probably the most memorable riff on the entire thing. There are no bad riffs, but when there is so little variation, it’s impossible to pick favourites. The vocals are nothing more than short, high-pitched screams that appropriately fit the madness of the music. The other two instruments are designed to compliment the massacre of guitar-work and do nothing more than that.

The only real conclusion I can give to you is that this is one record you have to hear to believe. Never before have I heard any band have such a disregard for interesting songwriting in favour of an all-out assault of riffs. To some extent, it works. When I’m looking for something that I don’t have to get too invested in, “Bestial Thrashing Bulldozer” gets the job done.  But it also means that this is a difficult record to get into. Even after several listens, it’s difficult to think of any of the songs. If you love records like “Darkness Descends”, “Disturbing the Noise” (Attomica), and “Impact Is Imminent”, Fastkill is the band for you.

Be sure to check out and like Fastkill on Facebook!

Highlights:
The whole thing!

Final Rating:
3.75/5 or 75%

Written by Scott