Amongst the wild thrash explosion a few years ago, it was easy for bands to get lost. Italy’s National Suicide never quite had that problem, as their vocalist was often lauded for his ability to sound like Blitz. Admittedly, this was one band I never had a chance to get around to back then, but after 7 long years, they’ve popped up again with another record, appropriately titled “Anotheround”. And while popular interest in thrash may have died out again in recent years, National Suicide wouldn’t make you think that. The band sounds inspired on this release, offering up 9 tracks of high-speed, aggressive thrash.
To set the record straight on their vocalist, he’s not quite a Blitz clone. That is definitely the most prevalent influence, but National Suicide’s singer is a bit shriller and higher-pitched (which one wouldn’t even think is possible!), but he also has some Zetro in his sound. The best way to describe his voice is that it has character, something which a lot of modern thrash singers lack. Even if there are some similarities to other singers, you will still know a National Suicide song the second you hear it, largely because of his voice.
There is another defining factor to this record, however. The guitar playing is simply on another level. Both of the band’s shredders consistently offer up mind-bending solos that are incredibly virtuosic. Many of these shred sessions are done in harmony, making them all the more potent. Whether tapping, or sweeping, or whatever other impressive technique you can imagine, National Suicide’s shredders do it all, and often with unique patterns. The real value of this soloing is the fact that it always amps up the energy level in the song. Even if the band was firing off some mid-paced riffs in a song, as soon as a solo hits, things immediately get more interesting (“Scene of the Crime” having a good example of this effect).
Even more uncharacteristic of this style is the fact that National Suicide has mastered the ins and outs of songwriting. “I Refuse to Cry”, for example, has an actual chorus that shows the band holding onto huge power chords, which ring out as the singer belts out some catchy melodies. It sounds like such a ridiculous thing to latch onto, but there aren’t a lot of thrash bands doing this kind of thing these days. This isn’t the only instance of memorable songwriting either. The shrill cries of the title track, “Anotheround”, will remain in your head long after this record stops spinning. “Nobody’s Coming” manages to be another highlight largely because of the unique vocal lines. Every lyric on this song is delivered with a punkish sneer and has so much attitude that it brings back classic songs like Overkill’s “I Hate”, even if the sound itself is quite different.
For all of the reasons noted above, National Suicide stands above most of the current thrash crowd. It’s easy to dismiss them as a simple Overkill clone, but one listen to “Anotheround” will quickly change your mind. The band still has their own style and approach, they just take a lot of influence from one particular band. It’s no different from the fact that most modern thrash records worship Slayer, Exodus, and Kreator, other than that National Suicide is able to move beyond simply cloning another band.
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"I Refuse To Cry"
4.4/5 or 88%.
Written by Scott