Whatever constraints were slowing National Suicide between 2009 and 2016 are evidently gone. It was a long wait for the Italian thrash band’s sophomore release, but “Massacre Elite” comes just one year after the band’s previous album, “Anotheround”. Many know National Suicide as the band with the singer who sounds like Bobby Blitz (Overkill). Truthfully, one year later, not much has changed. National Suicide’s sound is still clearly built around their charismatic vocalist and his shrill, high-pitched voice. To the band’s credit, their songs are immediately more memorable than many of their peers, due largely in part to many of the vocal lines.
One element of “Anotheround” that was immediately noticeable was how intense the guitar solos were. Once again, these wild, out of control solos appear on the band’s new record, and make for an appropriately thrashy experience. The ending of “I’m Not A Zombie (Anymore)” even features a short solo as an outro, showing the band’s dedication to shred. “Massacre Elite” tends to feature a reasonable amount of variety in tempos, avoiding the record sounding monotonous. The band obviously tends towards higher speeds, but there is some mid-paced chugging kept alive by the hilarious vocals.
National Suicide may never really escape their one-dimensional label, but it isn’t such a bad thing. Musically, they don’t bear a lot of resemblance to Overkill, instead just being a more traditional thrash band. One thing that would be nice to see is a larger use of gang vocals. The chorus of the title track does an excellent job of this, with the band shouting “massacre” fairly often. It’s easy to see why this technique is a staple of most thrash bands, and National Suicide would benefit from using it more often. Overall, “Massacre Elite” is a serviceable record that offers exactly what you’d expect from an Italian thrash band. There aren’t any surprises, but that’s not a problem.
On a side note, PR companies need to get their act together. This is the second promo I’ve received where the order of the tracklisting doesn’t match what is on the CD. Even worse, there are major sound glitches on two songs on this record, cutting out almost the entirety of “Unfit For The Army” and “What D’you Mean By Metal”. Considering bands and labels put out big cash for promotion, they should be getting some decent service.
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3.8/5 or 76%