Archive for Thrash metal

Vader – Solitude in Madness

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , on 2nd May 2020 by izaforestspirit

Vader
Solitude In Madness
Released 1st May 2020
Death Metal/Death-Thrash Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Vader - Solitude in Madness

My favorite death metal quartet, Vader are back with a new album. It’s been four years since their last full length ’The Empire’. Last year they released a teaser EP called ’Thy Messenger’ and now the wait is finally over. ’Solitude in Madness’ has been unleashed onto the world. What a fitting title given the present circumstances which many of us find ourselves in during this turbulent time…

Right from the moment you press the play button, you are greeted by a ferocious barrage of guitar riffs, relentless drum work along with Peter’s brutal growling. The opener Shock And Awe sets the tone for the rest of the album. What we have here are eleven tight-knit tracks of brutal death-thrash metal. The songs are short, fairly simple in structure and lacking the intricate atmospheric parts and intros featured on ‘Tibi et Igni’. They were already heading this direction with ‘The Empire’. However this change of style is not a new thing for Vader. In many ways this bears a lot of similarity to their earlier works, particularly their third release ‘Black To The Blind’, a personal favorite of mine.

For those who are not familiar with the band’s history, Vader started out as a thrash metal outfit and so this is a return to their roots. The thrash metal guitar riffs have always played a key role in what makes Vader stand out and this album is not an exception. Into Oblivion is a vicious beast packed with crushing guitar work and savage drumming. Ready or not, here it comes. You have just two options: either stand and fight it or run for your life! Emptiness and Despair were featured on the ‘Thy Messenger’ EP which I reviewed last year so I will not be discussing those songs. Then there is their cover of Acid Drinkers’ Dancing In The Slaughterhouse. No death metal here, this song is essentially speed-thrash. Full speed ahead, lots of shouting and vicious riffs.

In summary, ‘Solitude In Madness’ doesn’t offer too many surprises. For better or worse it is very straightforward, “textbook” Vader. More of the same death-thrash metal blend, the formula which they have stuck with for decades. For Vader fans like myself, it ticks all the right boxes. It sounds exactly like I was hoping that it would. It is a little short, clocking in at just under thirty minutes but there is not a single weak track on here.

8/10

Iza Raittila

Kill Ritual – The Opaque And The Divine

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , on 18th April 2020 by izaforestspirit

Kill Ritual
The Opaque And The Divine
Released 27th March 2020
Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal
Released via Dissonance Productions

Kill Ritual - The Opaque and the Divine

‘The Opaque And The Divine’ is the latest album from the American thrash metal band Kill Ritual. The band was set up a decade ago and they have gone through a number of line-up changes. This is their first album with new vocalist Chalice Blood a.k.a Brian Betterton (also of Dirt and Enchanter).

I was expecting this to be a straightforward old-school thrash metal album. It is that to some extent, but a little bit more complicated. It’s very guitar-driven and some of the songs have that aggressive thrash metal feel such as the opener Rest In Pain and World Gone Mad. In addition to these, there are songs which take on a more melodic tone such as Praise The Dead with acoustic guitars and ballad-style vocals in the intro. Yet do not let the intro fool you, this is very much in the thrash metal category; the guitar work bears a lot of resemblance to bands like Merciful Fate.

Veil of the Betrayer stands out as the longest, most complex and the only progressive type song on here. Personally I found it a little too ponderous at times but luckily it got better towards the end once they picked up the pace.

In summary, ‘The Opaque And The Divine’ turned out to be different than what I expected. The guitar work is good enough to please any thrash metal fan. There is enough variety to keep the listener interested until the end. I like some tracks more than others but it was a good effort overall.

7/10

Iza Raittila

Testament – Titans Of Creation

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 1st April 2020 by Pieni

Testament
“Titans Of Creation”
Thrash metal
Released: 3rd April 2020
Via Nuclear Blast

Testament - Titans Of Creation - Artwork copy

“Titans Of Creation” isn’t just a powerful title; it’s also the definition of its songwriters. Not that it took 13 albums to recognize their grandeur – in all honesty, none of Testament’s members has had anything else to prove to anyone for a long time – but the fact they could push the envelope just a bit further this time is impressive. From what I gathered reading the press release, it seems the writing process was more dynamic, hence the little tweaks that are making all the difference.

I’ve always admired Peterson’s and Skolnick’s classy guitar work, but now it sounds even more elaborate – check out the solos and general riffing in songs such as “Children Of The Next Level”, “WW III” or “Symptoms”… hell, check out those in ALL tracks and you’ll see what I mean. It’s more diverse, so you get a better sense of what they’re capable of doing with those strings.

Peterson shows another side of him as he voices some parts of “Night Of The Witch” and “Curse Of Osiris”, in a demon-like pitch. The contrast between his and Billy’s tone is just perfect for the songs in question.

You’ll recognize the catchy chorus of “Dream Deceiver” as pure Testament, but the ominous vibe of “City Of Angels”, enhanced by its slower tempo and somber bass line, that will be new. But then again, as the lyrics refer to serial killer Richard Ramirez, it had to be something dark…

“The Healers” also sound somewhat different, with a more intense approach rather than a feisty one, its beat prone to become an earworm as well. It talks about Billy’s personal experience with his past cancer, but given the Corona pandemic situation the world is going through at the moment, it will probably become a hymn of hope to many metalheads.

8/10

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Sepultura – Quadra

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 3rd February 2020 by mickbirchy

Sepultura

Quadra

Thrash Metal, Groove Metal

Released: 7th February 2020

via Nuclear Blast Records

The Brazillian purveyors of heavy-ass thrash metal return to the limelight in 2020. I’ve been excited for this album for quite some time now. I have always appreciated Sepultura. They are by far my favourite thrash metal band. Their unique blend of groovy riffs and sharp, hard-hitting rhythms make them a true powerhouse of a band. The way they inject their music with interesting ideas and concepts always makes them an enjoyable act to listen to. They are now back with their fifteenth record, Quadra, their follow up to 2017’s Machine Messiah. I have to say that this album is quite good.

Once again, this album was produced in Sweden with Jens Bogren at the helm. As with the previous record, there’s some really great production here. Especially considering the concept of the album. The album itself is based on numerology, the number four and its significance as depicted on Quadrivium (the four subjects, or arts namely arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy). So, as you could probably tell this is quite a heavy-handed record. The album is broken into different pieces and each part is a representation of the different teachings of Quadrivium. Making this an album that you can listen to one so many different levels. It’s an album that I have been playing all week and I am still hearing it in new ways.

I love the way this album grooves. The bass and rhythm work is outstanding with lots of great moments throughout the album that just caught me and I was engrossed for a while just listening to certain parts of the record. From the clever acoustic moments to the slower ballads type moments and, of course, the all-out brutal heavy moments. Sepultura just knows how to keep a listener’s interest for hours on end.  Also, you have to appreciate the amazing guitar work of Andreas Kisser. He is simply incredible on the album bringing the energy where needed but also giving moments of the atmosphere. All of that is backing the powerful performance of Derrick Green, who really brings it on this record and sounds like he’s having fun with the record.

An absolute powerhouse of an album. A well-thought-out concept, excellent performances and great production… It all adds up to something powerful that can keep hardcore fans and casual listeners interested for a while. I genuinely enjoyed this album and I know it’s early but this is one of the best records of the year so far.

10/10

Mick Birchall

Rytmihäiriö live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , on 19th October 2019 by izaforestspirit

I Revolt, Rytmihäiriö
Jack The Rooster, Tampere, Finland
18th October 2019

Autumn is here. The leaves are falling, the nights are getting longer and Halloween is only weeks away… I haven’t been to a live show since the Rammstein performance back in the summer. There have been a few gigs that caught my attention but I simply did not have the time. Last night I decided to take a gamble and try something new. This was one of those occasions when I knew very little about either of the bands. Rytmihäiriö is a band that I have heard of but I am not too familiar with their music. Someone claimed that they are similar to Turmion Kätilöt, whom I like, so I decided to check them out.

The event took place at rock pub called Jack The Rooster. The pub serves food in the day time then it is transformed into a small live show venue at night.

First up was I Revolt. This is an up and coming Finnish band which was established two years ago. Their style is pretty difficult to classify. It sounded like an amalgamation of thrash metal, metalcore and Entombed-esque melodic death metal. I wasn’t super keen on their cover of a Slipknot song but the show had its good moments.

Someone told me once that there is a thin line between what is hardcore punk and what is thrash metal. Well, Rytmihäiriö is somewhere around the boundary zone. The guitar riff patterns bear some resemblance to thrash metal but the vocals and the overall attitude is decisively more hardcore punk. Perhaps a little too punk for my liking. They have their fans and they drew in a sizable crowd. Sadly the music was not something that I enjoy.

Overall, it was a decent night out. Now I know what Rytmihäiriö are all about. I like thrash metal but hardcore punk has never really been my thing. I Revolt put on a good show and it would be interesting to see how their sound develops.

Iza Raittila

Metallica live in Hämeenlinna

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 17th July 2019 by izaforestspirit

Bokassa, Ghost, Metallica
Kantolan Tapahtumapuisto, Hämeenlinna, Finland
16th July 2019

Metallica, it’s been a while… The last time I was at a Metallica show was back in 2007 when I still lived in The U.K. They were and, in many ways, still are one of my favourite bands. I have always hoped that some day I will get to see them live again and this year I finally got that opportunity. This was one of the main events that I was looking forward to. This time the venue was Kantolan Tapahtumapuisto (Kantola Event Park) near the city centre of Hämeenlinna. I do not normally travel to Hämeenlinna and this was my very first time at the venue so I planned my trip well in advance.

Everything went as planned. The one thing that I cannot predict too well however is the weather. It was sunny when I arrived, then there was some heavy rain and thunder just I approached to the entrance. Luckily it did not last long and it had mostly cleared up by the time Bokassa took to the stage. I’m not really into stoner-punk but I have to admit that they were entertaining to watch. It was far more energetic than your average stoner rock, so not a bad start to the night. 3/5

I never really understood the hype surrounding the Swedish hard rock band Ghost. I keep hearing their songs on the radio and seeing their videos on Youtube. Yet I find it hard to fathom why they are so well regarded. I mean if you ignore the elaborate outfits and the imagery, the music itself is good but nothing ground-breaking. This was the first time that I have seen them live and I actually liked the performance. Their singer, Cardinal Copia, as he now calls himself, has a very charismatic stage presence. 4/5

Then it was time for the main event. The Metallica show was absolutely spectacular. They played most of the classic hits including: ‘Master of Puppets’, ‘Enter Sandman’, ‘One’, For Whom The Bell Tolls’, ‘Nothing Else Matters’, ‘Seek and Destroy’. The set also featured some songs from the mid-career period and several from the latest release ‘Hardwired to Self-Destruct’. There was pyrotechnics, lots of visual displays and even fireworks at the end. One of my favourite moments was the Rob and Kirk guitar medley when the performed a cover a Finnish rock classic – Popeda’s ‘Kuuma Kesä’. I could have done without ‘Frantic’ from the dreaded ‘St. Anger’ album and perhaps played more songs from ‘Death Magnetic’ instead, but that is the only extremely minor fault with what was otherwise a flawless performance. 6/5

Overall, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to see Metallica live again. Twelve years is a very long time to wait but it was totally worth it. The show was an experience that I will cherish for many years to come.

Iza Raittila

Vader – Thy Messenger

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 18th May 2019 by izaforestspirit

Vader
Thy Messenger
Released 31st May 2019
Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Vader - Thy Messenger

Polish death metal titans Vader are back with a new EP called ‘Thy Messenger’. For those who are not aware, Vader is a band that I have been following since my early teens. So needless to say as soon as I heard about this new release I simply couldn’t resist listening to it. These guys have a habit of releasing at least one EP before a new album. So just as the ‘Iron Times’ EP acted as a teaser for ‘The Empire’ I’m guessing that there will be a new Vader album coming in due course. ‘Thy Messenger’ clocks in at little over thirteen minutes and it includes one Judas Priest cover and a re-recorded version of ‘Litany’.

For those who are familiar with Vader, the band originally started out as a thrash metal act. Despite changing their style to death metal later on, they have always maintained a thrash metal tinge in the guitars. That is one of the main things that makes them unique. This EP is no exception. Kicking it off is Grand Deceiver, a short but ferocious beast of thrash guitar driven death metal. It’s full speed ahead from there until the very end. Emptiness is classic Vader doing what they do best; thrashing guitar riffs, powerful growling and relentless death metal drumming. I also enjoyed their cover of Judas Priest’s Steeler. That track is probably the closest they have come to returning to their old thrash metal style. It is also the catchiest song on here.

Overall, the only issue I have with this EP is the length. It’s way too short. I want more!! Come on Vader, when is the new album coming?

4/5

Iza Raittila

Indestructible Noise Commando – Terrible Things

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 3rd May 2019 by izaforestspirit

Indestructible Noise Command
Terrible Things
Released 8th March 2019
Thrash Metal
Self-Released

I.N.C. - Terrible Things

‘Terrible Things’ is the latest album from the American thrash metal band I.N.C. as known as Indestructible Noise Command. The band was originally formed back in 1986. They released two albums in the 1980s before going on a long hiatus from 1990 to 2010. This release is the follow up to ‘Black Hearse Serenade’ which came out in 2014.

This is my first encounter of I.N.C. and I really did not know what to expect. All I knew was that their style has been described as thrash metal. With a name like “Indestructible Noise Command’ it is already pretty clear clue as to what you could expect the music to sound like. If you want melodic guitar and ballads then this is definitely not the album for you. Speed and aggression is clearly what these guys are going for here. Each song offers a barrage of fast guitar riffs, pummeling drums and ferocious shouting. Some of the tracks are so fast-paced that they actually come close to speed-thrash metal. It’s full speed ahead right from the start and these guys are not going to slow down.

Pledge of Legions follows the same pattern as most of the other tracks but it features some good guitar work midway through the song, which makes it a bit more memorable.  Identifier also has a few good guitar parts. The one thing that I wasn’t expecting was the melodic and somewhat technical-sounding instrumental intro to Nemesis. If there is one song on here that stands out, it is definitely this one mostly thanks to the intro. Oddly that intro features some of the best guitar work on the album and that is what makes it memorable. As soon as the shouting vocals begin, the atmosphere changes and it’s back to another onslaught of thrashing guitars and shouting. Don’t get me wrong though, the guitars are good, it’s the vocals that I find a little irritating at times.

Overall, the main issue I have with ‘Terrible Things’ is that a lot of the songs sound very similar. It is all about the speed and aggression with limited variety in terms of style.

3/5

Iza Raittila

Omicida – Defrauded Reign

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 19th February 2019 by izaforestspirit

Omicida
Defrauded Reign
Released 15th March 2019
Thrash Metal
Self-Released

Omicida - Defrauded Reign

‘Defrauded Reign’ is the debut album from the thrash metal band Omicida. The band was originally formed in Los Angeles, US in 2014 by drummer Giovanni Durst (ex-White Wizzard). They relocated to The UK in 2018, a few years after the release of their first EP ‘Certain Death’.

This is one of cases where the content is an exact match to its description. If it is classic thrash metal you are after then you have come to the right place. Most of the focus is on the guitars, with powerful and fast riffs dominating the album. The vocals are what you would expect to hear from your average thrash metal band, in other words aggressive shouting to match to overall pace of the music. These guys rarely slow down and they do not play any ballads. Most of the tracks are either medium or fast paced with the exception of the ambient, instrumental intermission Burn The Cross and melodic guitar parts in the intro to Divide Uncertainty.

If you like the fast and ferocious side of thrash metal, then State of Terror is the song for you. I reckon that Slayer fans would enjoy this one. It follows a fairly straightforward formula of aggressive vocals, a barrage of guitar riffs and fast drumming. It’s full steam ahead right from the start so you better hold on tight… Then there are a few songs with a more complex structure such as the aforementioned Divine Uncertainty with its deceptively melodic instrumental intro and the more technical-sounding guitars on The Supremacist. So there is more to this than just Slayer worship. It would appear though these guys have been listening not just Slayer but a whole range of old-school thrash metal bands including Kreator and Testament, all of which have left a mark on their signature sound.

Overall, ‘Defrauded Reign’ offers eleven solid works of uncompromising modern thrash metal. It maintains the right balance of aggression, speed and melody without becoming too fast or overly complex.

4/5

Iza Raittila

 

Blood Times – On A Mission

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on 26th January 2019 by izaforestspirit

Bloody Times
On A Mission
Released 11th January 2019
Heavy Metal
Self-Released

Bloody Times - On a Mission

‘On A Mission’ is the second album from the German heavy metal band Bloody Times. The band started as a solo project of bassist Simon Pfundstein back in 2014. He was later joined by two former members of Iced Earth, drummer Raphael Saini and vocalist John Greedy. This album also features guest performances from various heavy metal musicians including Ross Friedman aka Ross the Boss (ex-Manowar).

The first thing that struck me when listening to this album was how much it reminded me of old Iced Earth. Luckily I happen to like old Iced Earth, so it’s good to hear John Greedy behind the mike again. The mid-paced opening track Alliance is one of the more melodic songs on here. I guess that this was meant to be some sort of classic metal ballad and as such it works reasonably well. I just wish that they would have omitted the progressive, ponderous and slow guitar parts mid-way through the song. It’s not the best start to the album but luckily what follows is the energetic, thrash metal style Fort Sumter– easily my favourite song on here due to excellent guitar work and powerful vocals. Now that’s more like it! If only this track was the first one….

Die In A Hole also has that thrash metal vibe to it; it is more varied in pace, not quite as fast ‘Fort Sumter’ but not too slow either. There is a good range of guitar riffs and Mr. Greedy manages to find the right balance between low pitched shouting and clean vocals to match the tone of the music. I also like the reworked version of Curse of Genevieve. What lets this album down is a short track called The Warning (Until Blood Boils pt.1) which falls under the category of what I commonly refer to as “filler”. I honestly do not know what I found more irritating, the strange vocal effects or the ultra dull-sounding, doom metal style guitar riffs plodding along in the background. Time to skip this. Next! Luckily the part 2 marks a return to the fast and aggressive heavy metal.

Overall, despite its flaws, ‘On A Mission’ is a good heavy metal album which I would recommend to fans of old Iced Earth.

3.5/5
Iza Raittila

Igniter and Lost Society live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 29th December 2018 by izaforestspirit

Igniter, Lost Society
Olympia, Tampere, Finland
28th December 2018

Last gig of 2018! The Christmas holidays are over and the New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. The days in between these two holidays tend to be rather dull and there is not a hell of a lot do. So I had a look to see what metal shows were on. Mortiis was in town but since this was part of their Era 1 tour (the dark ambient albums) I decided to give it a miss. I am not that much into dark ambient and it is not something that I would like to hear live. Then I spotted an advert for a thrash metal night at Olympia. I’ve seen Lost Society live at South Park Festival back in the summer but I did not know anything about the other band Igniter other than that they also play thrash metal.

After some research I discovered that Igniter are a local band with only one self-released EP. Luckily that did not stop them from putting on one hell of a show. They played some solid, old-school thrash metal, fast and full of energy just like it should be. I was really impressed with their performance and I hope to hear more from them soon. 4.5/5

Lost Society is one of those bands who command a sizable fan-base though I honestly cannot comprehend why. It is not so much that their music is bad. It is fairly decent-sounding thrash metal but I simply could not get into it. All the songs sounded similar and it felt as though the band were trying too hard to act like some major rock stars on stage. For example the singer was often switching from Finnish (his native tongue) to Americanized English while addressing the crowd. There were only a handful of memorable moments during the show: the part when they got a running mosh-pit going and a guitar solo towards the end of their set. 2.5/5

Overall it was a fun night out. Igniter far exceeded my expectations and their show was the better one of the night. Lost Society have their fans but after watching another mediocre performance by them I do not count myself among them.

Iza Raittila

Green Death – Hallowmass

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 31st October 2018 by izaforestspirit

Green Death
Hallowmass
Released 19th October 2018
Thrash Metal
Released via Combat Records

Green Death - Hallowmass

It’s been two years since I reviewed Green Death’s last album. Now the Iowa-based American thrash metal band is back with a new album called ‘Hallowmass’. I like the title, very well timed for this year’s Halloween…

The horror themes are difficult to miss as evidenced not only from the cover art but also from the song titles. Oh yes, Halloween is upon us. Get ready for your annual onslaught of werewolves, ghosts, witches and other spooky things. As far as the music goes, this is not far from where they left off with the previous album. They still remind me of mid-career Iced Earth. The predominant style is thrash metal but some tracks have a droning doom metal feel to them such as the slow and eerie-sounding She Couldn’t Live. The guitar work on that song actually made me think of Black Sabbath. They also occasionally incorporate elements of melodic death metal like the semi-growling vocals and the shredding guitars on The Betrayed – one of the more aggressive tracks on here.

The short instrumental Messis Diaboli is a beautiful, melodic piece which highlights the skill of the guitarists. Then it’s back to an unholy brew of thrash, doom and melodic death metal for the remainder of the album. It is not an easy mix for the listener to process. The vocals vary from howling to semi-growling. Personally I prefer the latter.

In summary, I had a hard time getting into ‘Hallowmass’. I was really hoping that this would be like Iced Earth’s ‘Horror Show’ album. Instead what we have here is an amalgamation of various styles which do not really work so well together. Some of the songs sound as though they were performed by a completely different band.

2.5/5

Iza Raittila

Artillery join Onslaught on their European tour this autumn

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 31st August 2018 by izaforestspirit

Get ready for the thrash metal assault in Europe this autumn…

The Danish thrashers Artillery have recently announced that will be co-headlining ‘Thrash Til Death’ European tour along with Onslaught starting in Oberhausen, Germany next month. They will be joined by their Greek brethren Exarsis and Chronosphere.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of their ‘Terror Squad’ album so their fans can expect to hear some of the classics from the band’s early days along with new material from their last opus ‘Penalty By Perception’.

For the full schedule see the list and the poster below:

23/09 – Helvete Club – Oberhausen (DE)
24/09 – Hedon Club – Zwolle (NL)
25/09 – De Verlichte Geest – Roeselare (BE)
26/09 – Roxy Concerts – Flensburg (DE)
27/09 – Garage Deluxe – München (DE)
28/09 – Moonlight Music Hall – Diest (BE)
29/09 – Fuizenfest – Riel (NL) (ONSLAUGHT)
30/09 – Kiehool Burgum – Burgum (NL)
01/10 – OFF DAY
02/10 – Schwarzer Adler – Tannheim-Egelsee (DE)
03/10 – Escape Metalcorner – Vienna (AT)
04/10 – 7er-Club – Mannheim (DE)
05/10 – Musigburg – Aarburg (CH)
06/10 – Dada Live Club – Pavia (IT)
07/10 – Revolver Music Hall – Venice (IT)
08/10 – Borderline – Pisa (IT)
09/10 – Sala Utopia – Zaragoza (SP)
10/10 – OFF DAY
11/10 – SMAC de La Gespe – Tarbes (FR)
12/10 – Sala Upload – Barcelona (SP)

Artillery are currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on their new album ‘The Face of Fear’ which will be out later this year.

For more details on the tour and more updates go to:

https://www.facebook.com/ARTILLERY.DK

https://www.powerfromhell.com/

https://www.facebook.com/onslaughtuk

 

Trauma – As The World Dies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 20th August 2018 by izaforestspirit

Trauma
As The World Dies
Released 11th May 2018
Thrash Metal/Heavy Metal
Released via The Orchard

Trauma - As the World Dies
‘As The World Dies’ is the third album from the American thrash metal band Trauma. The band was originally formed by vocalist Donny Hillier in 1980 during the Bay Area Thrash Metal movement. The original line-up featured bassist Cliff Burton who then went on to join Metallica. Following the release of their debut album in 1984, the band went on a long hiatus before reforming again in 2013. The current line-up includes Greg Christian (ex-Testament) and former Danzig guitarist Joe Fraulob.

At first I thought that this was going to be one of those straightforward, classic thrash metal albums with fast, aggressive songs and shouting vocals. It turns out that’s not actually the case, there’s more to it than just that. The unmistakable Bay Area thrash metal sound is definitely present, audible in opening riffs and the drums on tracks such as the guitar-driven From Here to Hell. However, in addition to that there are also some more classic heavy metal elements such as melodic vocals, which reminded me a little of early Iron Maiden and to some extent Ozzy Osbourne. The guitar style and pace varies depending on the song ranging from the fast and furious to the melodic and more technical such as the title track.

Last Rites caught my attention as one of the slower tracks on here and probably the closest thing to a ballad. This time the guitars take a backseat and the song highlights Mr. Hillier’s impressive vocal range. Great vocals and an emotional performance. But, if you’re not a fan of ballads have no fear for there’s more ferocious thrash metal to come.

Overall ‘As World The World Dies’ turned out to be more complex than I originally thought. It’s a good mix of Bay Area thrash metal and classic heavy metal with enough variety to please fans of both genres.

4/5

Iza Raittila


 

Speed Metal Party

Posted in Festival, Gig, Live with tags , , , , , on 11th August 2018 by izaforestspirit

Dethrone, Prestige, Razor
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
10th August 2018

Speed Metal Party is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It was originally held in Tampere back in 1988 with local thrash metal legends Dethrone and Prestige. Now thirty years on, they decided to re-create the same line-up as it was back then with some new additions in the form of death-thrashers Dead Samaritan and Canadian speed-metal band Razor. For the Canadians, this was their very first show in Finland.

First up was Dead Samaritan, a female-fronted death-thrash metal band. They reminded me of mid-career Arch Enemy, a good mix of melodic death metal and thrash metal. It was good performance even if it started out a bit slow. 3.5/5

Next up was a local thrash metal band Menticide who haven’t played a live show since 1992. They were brought in from retirement specially for this occasion. I couldn’t really get into their show. The music sounded a bit demo-esque at times. The vocalist didn’t have much of a stage presence. 2/5

Dethrone have been around since the late 1980s. They keen to share some stories from the past and pay to their fallen brother, bassist Jouni Rinta. I really enjoyed their show, especially their cover of The Misfits ‘Last Caress’.5/5

Prestige was originally formed about the same time as Dethrone, then had a long-ish break but they are nowadays very much active again. They are one of the more established bands in the local thrash metal scene. By the time they came on stage the venue was packed and there was a mosh-pit forming. These guys don’t take themselves too seriously.They clearly like to add humour to their lyrics and crack a few jokes during the show. Maybe a bit too many jokes at times. I can’t fault the music though. It was a good show. 4/5

Then it was time for the night’s main headliners – Razor. As mentioned earlier, this was their very first time in Finland and I sincerely hope that it will not be their last. This was my favorite performance of the night. Top class speed metal. The highlight for me was when they played ‘Evil Invaders’. 5/5

 

 

In summary I had a great time at Speed Metal Party. I’m not that well versed in Finnish thrash metal but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Prestige and Dead Samaritan. Razor were excellent live. Happy Anniversary Speedy Metal Party! 30 years and still going strong…

Iza Raittila

 

Hatchet – Dying to Exist

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 24th June 2018 by izaforestspirit

Hatchet
Dying to Exist
Released 22nd June (USA) / 29th June 2018 (Europe)
Thrash Metal
Released via Combat Records/EMP Label Group (SPV)

Hatchet - Dying to Exist

‘Dying to Exist’ is the latest album from the American thrash metal band Hatchet. These guys have been around since 2006 and they are from The Bay Area, California – the same place where many world-renowned thrash metal bands started out back in the ‘80s.

It’s pretty clear that these guys like their ‘80s thrash metal. The influences are hard to miss; with Testament being the most prominent influence, combined with the speed and aggression of Slayer. Oh yes, speed and aggression rules the day here. Throw in some Testament-style guitar harmonies to the mix and you will have a fairly good idea of what Hatchet sounds like.

At their fastest, their music is bordering on speed metal, with songs such as the Desire For Oppression offering more than enough energy and aggression to get a mosh-pit going. On the other end of the spectrum you get the more technical tracks like Where Futures Regress, which starts fast before mellowing down towards a more melodic, yet still very guitar-centric part mid-way through the song. Illusions of Hope reminded me of Kreator mostly due to the similarities in both the vocal style and the twin guitar harmonies.

In summary, ‘Dying to Exist’ is proof that old school thrash metal is having a revival. Had I not known that Hatchet have only been around since 2006 I would have assumed that they were from the ‘80s themselves. They are continuing the tradition introducing a new generation of metal fans to the Bay Area Thrash Metal.

4/5
Iza Raittila

South Park Festival 2018

Posted in Festival, Live with tags , , , , , , on 10th June 2018 by izaforestspirit

Helloween, Accept, Amorphis
Eteläpuisto, Tampere, Finland
8th-9th June 2018

Tampere’s prime metal festival South Park was back on this year after a brief hiatus in 2017. It’s a two day event but I only attended the Saturday. This year marked the return of the band that I discovered at the same festival three years ago – the one and only German power metal legend Helloween.

I arrived a little later so I missed the first two bands but just in time to see some of Amorphis. They’re one of the most recognizable bands within the Finnish metal scene and they seem to feature in most of the country’s festivals. I’ve seen them live a bunch of times before so I pretty much knew what to expect. I like their old albums though I lost track of them after ‘Silent Waters’. This was another solid performance, well executed melodic death metal. It’s always good to hear ‘House of Sleep’ and other favourites. So a good start to the night. 4/5

Next up was the Finnish thrash metal quartet Lost Society. They played some fairly decent-sounding thrash metal; sadly I’m not too familiar with their music so I could not appreciate it fully. 3/5

I did enjoy watching the Swedish heavy metal outfit Mustasch though. Their music is a mixture of Motörhead-style heavy metal with some elements of stoner metal. It’s probably not the kind of thing that I would listen to at home but it was fun to watch at a summer festival. 3.5/5

This was the second time that I’ve seen S-Tool live. For those who haven’t heard of them before, it’s a new band from Ville Laihiala (ex-Sentenced, Poisonblack). As a big a fan Mr. Laihiala’s other bands, particularly Sentenced, I was looking forward to seeing S-Tool. Music-wise, it’s essentially picking up from where Poisonblack left off only without the Gothic elements. Good show! I enjoyed it a bit more than the last time. 4/5

German heavy metal legends Accept were one of the day’s headliners and one of the main bands that I wanted to see. They put on one hell of a show. I’m not familiar with their recent material but it was great to hear some of the old classics such as ‘Balls to The Wall’, ‘Fast as a Shark’ and my personal favourite ‘Metal Heart’. 5/5

There’s not an awful lot I can say about Mokoma. They have a sizeable following here in their home country. Their performance was good but I’m not familiar with their music. 3.5/5

Then it was time for the night’s main headlining act Helloween. This show was special because it featured all three of the band’s vocalists from past to present together on stage. That’s right, all of them – Kai Hansen (the original founder of the band), Michael Kiske and their current vocalist Andi Deris performed together as part of the Pumpkins United tour. It was really good to hear some of the old classics such as ‘Heavy Metal (Is the Law) and ‘Halloween’ along with some of the more recent hits such as ‘Are You Metal?’ They also played one of my personal favorites ‘If I Could Fly’ from ‘The Dark Ride’ album. Fantastic show! 5/5

 

In summary I had a great time at South Park even if it was just for one day. It was worth it especially for Accept and Helloween. Amorphis and S-Tool were pretty good too. If the line-up is this good next year I will definitely come back again.
Iza Raittila

Dew-Scented call it a day

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 22nd May 2018 by izaforestspirit

Sad news for fans of Dew-Scented. The German thrash metal quintet have announced that they will be splitting up this autumn. Here’s an extract from an official statement from the band:

DEW-SCENTED are no more!

A message from the band themselves…

DEW-SCENTED are no more!

All good things must come to an end…

And it’s now been 26 (!) intense years of sacrifices for the thrash metal cause for us. Despite numerous setbacks, DEW-SCENTED never split up or even stopped for any significant amount of time. We were always blessed with great opportunities and a strong will to soldier onwards.

All in all, we have had an amazing ride with this music we love and not only played countless great shows across the globe, but released ten (!) albums and most importantly, we made tons of life-long friendships along the way because of the band.

But it’s time to realize that we won’t be able to forge ahead much further because DEW-SCENTED just won’t work without complete and constant dedication. And giving such a full-time commitment simply isn’t possible anymore because of how life otherwise evolved throughout the years.”

 

Before they call it a day they will complete one final tour in Germany. This will include the last show in their hometown of Walsrode.

Here is the schedule:
SA 23.06.2018 Protzen (Germany) – Protzen Open Air / Sold Out!
FR 24.08.2018 Nucknitz/Bautzen (Germany) – Nukstock Open Air
SA 25.08.2018 Wiernsheim (Germany) – Riedler Open Air
FR 05.10.2018 Paderborn (Germany) – Metal Inferno Festival
SA 06.10.2018 Walsrode (Germany) – JZ Mittendrin / Final Show!

 

For more details visit:

http://www.dew-scented.de/

https://www.facebook.com/dewscented

Straight Terror – Between The Lies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 7th April 2018 by izaforestspirit

Straight Terror
Between The Lies
Released 16th February 2018 (Europe)
Thrash Metal
Self-Released

Straight Terror - Between the Lies

‘Between the Lies’ is the debut album from the Chilean thrash metal band Straight Terror. They have been around since 2012 and they have toured with bands such as Kreator.

Thrash metal is having a revival and there’s been lots of new bands appearing especially from Latin American countries. Last year I discovered the Brazilian all-female thrash metal trio Nervosa when the supported Destruction. Now it’s Straight Terror’s turn…

I’m guessing that these guys are big fans of Slayer since some of their songs sound a lot like old Slayer. That’s by no means a bad thing though. If you are looking for Slayer-esque shouting vocals and aggressive guitar riffs, then you have come to the right place. These guys aren’t quite as fast but they sure know how to deliver the punches, hitting where it hurts. Take Metal Madness for instance, it’s one big shout fest with the guitars and the drums adding to the aggressive stance. It’s angry and a little chaotic at times, in other words the ideal track to play to get a mosh-pit going.

This album does contain one wild card, though, As I Claim For Resurrection. It is the longest track on the record as well as one of the most complex. Not only are there changes in pace but also in general style and structure. This song is more melodic than the others and it features some progressive style guitar riffs which reminded me of mid-career Megadeth. Great for those who enjoy that type of thrash metal; personally I prefer the faster songs such as the aforementioned Metal Madness and the Slayer-style aggressive thrash metal of Hallowed Destruction.

In summary, ‘Between The Lies’ isn’t flawless but it is a good effort for a debut album. If you’re into thrash metal then there is a good chance that you will enjoy it. What Straight Terror still need is something distinctive that will make that them stand out within the scene but that will hopefully come with time.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

 

 

 

Vader, Annihilator and Testament live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , on 22nd March 2018 by izaforestspirit

Vader, Annihilator, Testament

Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland

21st March 2018

It’s very rare that I go to a concert where I’m actually more interested in the opening act than the actual headliner. American thrashers Testament were the headlining act but for me it was all about Vader. I’ve been a fan of their music since my early teens and the last time I saw them live was at Hellfest in France back in 2009.

Vader were on first and they put on a hell of a show. They are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut ‘The Ultimate Incantation’ so their set included some songs from that album along with some new stuff such as ‘Send Me Back to Hell’ from the latest record. The venue wasn’t quite full yet at this point since they were the opening act but there was more than enough people to get a mosh-pit going. I really enjoyed it. Sadly their show was rather short, only half an hour. I would have loved to hear more. 5/5

I’ve never seen Annihilator live before but I recognized a few of their hit tracks including ‘Welcome to Your Death’, ‘Alison Hell’ and ‘Phantasmagoria’. This time the audience was much larger as was the mosh-pit. It was a highly entertaining show. Annihilator play exactly the kind of thrash metal that I like and I’m now tempted to check out some of their music. 4/5

Then the main headliners Testament took to the stage. Their music can be best summed up as optimized thrash metal, big riffs, complex harmonies and good vocals. I am just not too familiar with their music and didn’t recognize any of the songs so I didn’t really enjoy the show as much as the others. That guitar solo midway through their set was impressive though. Good stuff. 4/5

In summary, it was a really good night of thrash metal. Well mostly thrash metal that is, I tend to class Vader as more of a death metal/death thrash metal act these days. I loved Vader, they were the number one show for me, Annihilator were really good. As for Testament, they have a massive following and they put on a good show but I’m not that much into their music. 4/5

Iza Raittila