Shortly after death metal first arrived on the scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s, something very strange happened to thrash. A select number of bands set out to prove that thrash was, and will always be the most brutal genre of metal. As far as I’m concerned, Demolition Hammer and Solstice (US) among others have set the bar for sheer intensity. Both bands literally sound like they have a hammer in hand ready to fracture your skull. Many of the thrash bands of recent years have abandoned this approach, but luckily, Unspeakable Axe Record’s newest band, Besieged, are here to continue making this great style of thrash!
Over the course of 31 minutes, the speed on “Victims Beyond All Help” rarely lets up. The breakneck tempos are emphasized by the relentless punk drum beats and shouting vocals. Vocalist Nolan Smit sounds like he is tearing apart his vocal chords as he barks an insane amount of words at you. While he is doing this, he is also playing some of the fastest riffs in existence, alternating between tremolo-picking riffs, and more traditional thrash riffs. Perhaps even more impressive is the vicious drumming. As mentioned, it is the punk/thrash beats that are in use here, meaning that blastbeats are not a constant. Even the double bass is used pretty sparingly for a modern thrash record. It isn’t so much the type of drumming that makes the rhythm work intense, but rather, the sheer speed and ferocity of it. There are only 7 songs on “Victims Beyond All Help”, but they go by in a blur. Seriously, when this album finishes, you are left thinking: "what just happened?"; however, with erratic solos and endless riffage, there is always something going on to keep your attention. With that said, it does make it a bit hard to follow along sometimes, but that just means it takes a few more listens to really understand the song structures. Even at the moment, I can’t confess to knowing exactly what’s going on throughout this record; I just know that it is a rhythm attack unlike no other at the moment.
Besieged have done something that few, if any, of their peers have managed: to create a record so brutal that it is on par with Demolition Hammer. I always considered Laceration (US) to have been the closest anybody has come in recent years, but Besieged have managed to surpass them in sheer ripping thrash madness!
Be sure to check out and like Besieged on Facebook!
4.3/5 or 86%.
Written by Scott