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  1. Metallica's thrash-tastic "Fight fire with Fire" played at roughly the speed performed in 1986. Tempo was inconsistent in the performance, but the song is a good 20-40bpm faster. https://youtu.be/1sF_-ELgc2E
  2. Potential | Slash & Burn | 2020 | https://youtu.be/Po0CwUcDJQc
  3. @Cavewolfsoul I agree. solid performances, well produced, but just lacking that special bit of shine.
  4. haha, your welcome! Glad it was in the ballpark of what you were looking for!
  5. Denver Colorado based thrash band Havok is back with their aptly titled fifth studio album, “V”. Perhaps the forerunner of the thrash resurgence of the late 2000s/early 2010s, Havok made a name for themselves early on, quickly gaining a following with their first two records, “Burn” and “Time is Up.” “V” has been a highly anticipated release for Havok, as it marks an important moment in their discography. Its no secret to the metal community that Havok has been somewhat in the shadow of their 2011 album “Time is Up”. By far their most popular record, their live set still consists of 3-5 songs from that album - almost 10 years and 2-3 releases later - with albums like “Burn” and “Unnatural Selection” at most seeing a single song of representation (which is a shame, “Burn” had a very distinct style, great song structures, and a plethora of unique moments; its a vastly underrated album). “Time is Up” was a brutally fast, tightly crafted, expertly performed thrash release that had a “Havok” flair. In roughly 40-45 minutes they covered a large amount of ground in the thrash territory, and had established their dominance in the scene as one of the tightest and most talented groups. However, it left little room for a follow up in that space - Havok needed to try new ideas and elements, and push more into their own voice. Unfortunately, “Unnatural Selection” featured very little experimentation, and “Conformicide” - while it did try new things on certain songs like “Ingsoc” - largely fell into the same space, with songs like “Claiming Certainty”, “Circling the Drain”, and “Wake Up.” Enter “V” - an album that both hits and misses the mark. The good news is that the band is trying many new ideas, while still delivering them in the Havok way. For starters, the song structures have been broken out of their typical formula, featuring a range from shorter, to longer and more narrative in format. David Sanchez’s vocals are simultaneously more shrill and more melodic, with sections of screams and singing being overlaid together. Songs have been extremely slowed down, featuring heavy grooves rather than intense speed. There are funky slap bass riffs again, and passages of melodic harmonies and acoustic guitars. Progressive elements - similar to those that, before, appeared solely on the track “Ingsoc” - are mixed in throughout. Some of the lyrics have moved towards a more thoughtful writing style, and are less “on the nose” as previous albums. The mix has is different as well; there is extra space between the instruments, and as a result each one now has more room to breathe, bringing the bass and drums to be the forefront. The musicianship as well is spot on. Reece Scruggs’ solos are fast, feature cleanly executed taps and picking runs, and are catchier than usual. And as always, Pete Webber’s drumming is fantastic; precise, powerful, and with lots of flair, Pete is one of the best drummers of our time. The fact that he doesn’t use triggers makes it all just that much more enjoyable. The biggest downside of the album, is that even though there are these great ideas bouncing around, the band just struggles to pull them together cohesively. Many ideas feel unpolished, as if they ran with the first draft of a song, not stopping to fully refine or polish it. And overall the majority of the tracks lack a hook; they fail to hit the moment that truly grabs you, that will get stuck in your head and keep you coming back. The end result is a collection of songs that meld together rather than feeling distinct. If the riffs had been pushed further, and the song structures tweaked to deliver more clarity, the record could have been much more impactful. All that being said, there is still a strong and unique voice here. Elements are starting to feel unique to Havok; if you were to hear a song out of context you wouldn’t say, “that sounds like a Slayer riff”, you’d say “that sounds like a Havok riff.” Even if this isn’t their most polished release, it does indicate their footing is secure and that they intend to push themselves moving forward.
  6. Dunno if you're into more atmospheric black metal as well, but Guardians by Saor, and Griseus by Aquilus are both great albums and have that "saga" feel you're looking for.
  7. California based thrash band Warbringer is back with their 6th studio album; “Weapons of Tomorrow”, the first to feature new bass player, Chase Bryant. Warbringer hails from the thrash resurgence era, during which time it had become temporarily trendy to be in a thrash band. However, unlike other bands in the scene, Warbringer was far more than just a torch-bearer of the past, as they brought an new hyper-aggressive approach to thrash, with a plethora of groove and brutality. Warbringer, along with bands such as Havok and Revocation took the genre in a new direction, one that feels distinct from the 80’s scenes. Overall, “Weapons of tomorrow” is a strong but rather “expected” Warbringer release. The band does try things - and while there is a core of impactful songs- much of the record feels like an extension of 2017’s “Woe to the Vanquished”. One piece of the puzzle that falls flat on this album are the shorter and more typical “thrashy” songs, such as “Unraveling” or “Power Unsurpassed”. These stay much within the Warbringer “box”; very typical of their riff style, very safe song structure, and not many new elements being experimented with. While the performances are good, the overall compositions lack energy and feel a bit uninspired when compared to previous works such as “Woe to the Vanquished”, “Worlds Torn Asunder” or “Waking into Nightmares.” Perhaps one of the best things about the aforementioned “Woe to the Vanquished” was the closer “When the Guns Fell Silent”. Long and theatrical were new aspects for Warbinger, who up until that point, had mostly stuck with the short and fast thrash bangers; however the band pulled it off flawlessly, delivering a fantastic and captivating tale that built up tension till the grand finale. Coming in at 11:11, the song barely felt its length and was enjoyable the whole time. Their songwriting style translated surprisingly well into a more winding and narrative format, featuring lots of emotional harmonies and reflective mid tempo riffs. This ability to be diverse helped separate themselves from other thrash acts. On “Weapons of Tomorrow” fortunately, this element is back in full force. Heard in songs such as “Defiance of Fate” where once again we get the epic lament of war, featuring longer passages of clean guitars and lots of catchy and melancholy riffs. “Glorious End” is another song that partially borrows this structure, entering with reflective and inspiring harmonies, hitting hard with faster thrash riffs in the middle, and finally building up into an epic and trudging climax where our protagonist falls, bringing the album to a thematically close. Perhaps the most standout feature of the performances on “Weapons of Tomorrow” are the vocals. John Kevill’s vocals are always strikingly intense; however this time they are back with a bit of a twist, as there is now a very palpable black metal influence. John conjures up a raspy, grasping, and aggressive screech, with lots of high screams, gritty snarls and even some deranged laughter. The vocals fit the ongoing themes of the “glory” and brutality of war perfectly, delivered almost as if someone was barking commands on a battlefield. While the production here is not as heavy as some of their previous albums, it is still quite good. On the bad side; the guitars and drums do feel a tad thin, and the bass could stand to be more audible. On the good side; the mix does put a spotlight on the vocals, which have been brought quite prominently to the front. This, when combined with the expressive performances of John Kevill, helps to personalize and emphasize the themes of the human experience of war and death. A solid thrash album; although some of the traditional style elements may have worn out their welcome at this point, there are still new ideas mixed that keep it fresh and exciting.
  8. Igorrr is a band that hails from France, and although they really can’t be associated with any singular genre, broadly speaking they are considered an experimental metal. “Spirituality and Distortion” is Igorrr’s 4th full length studio album to date, their last being 2017’s “Savage Sinusoid”. - Its hard to describe, to pin-point this album. Raw and bursting with emotion, “Spirituality and Distortion” is 14 tracks of absolutely no compromises. In the space of a little under an hour, Igorrr has successfully crossed the expansive seas of genres, and crafted a perfectly blended sampler of seemingly every genre to have ever existed. Truly its all in this one package; from European classical arrangements, to electronic breakdowns, to more Middle Eastern inspired themes, to polka, to a cappella interludes, and then of course back to extreme metal. In a time where music is so heavily categorized (looking at you death metal, with your technical, progressive, slam, melodic, brutal and other such sub genres), its great to have an experience that truly throws that notion of categorization to the wind and takes so many risks. There are very few “safe” moments to be found here. Metal bands commonly work non-metal elements into their albums, typically seen as distinct intros or interludes, but almost always return to a focus of metal at their core. Igorrr have instead decided to treat each element with equal weight, an approach not often heard. What is perhaps most impressive, is how easy of an album this could have been to mess up. Without careful songwriting and structuring each piece could have fallen victim to over-saturation, and have confused and frustrated the listener. Especially since the songs follow a more linear approach, each one sharing a separate glimpse into this distorted universe Igorrr paints, not relying on the verse/chorus formula as often. However, Igorrr pulls it off seamlessly, writing simple yet effective melodies that weave all of the vastly diverse instruments together; melodies that often culminate in a plethora of impactful pays offs and engaging moments. All of this is tied thematically back to the song titles, album artwork, and album title, providing a subtle commentary on the religions and beliefs found throughout the world. Referenced by the inclusion of so many distinct genres, each one a twisted or distorted version of what it would be on its own, there is an underlying stance of things not always being what they appear to be, or rather, that things are not always black and white. Some highlights of the album would include the gorgeous vocal harmonies in “Polyphonic Rust”, the groove-laden “Camel Dancefloor, which continues to layer upon a simple yet catchy foundation, and the build up in “Himalaya Massive Ritual” featuring acoustic instrumentation, bells, and intense vocal harmonies, all which descend into powerful guitar riffs. This final touch that seals the deal is the fantastic production. Intense and with crystal clarity, the precision of the production amplifies the very tight performances of all the musicians involved. The guitar tones are crushing without being over-gained, the bass is punchy and audible, the drums sound like cannons, and the vocals are robust and soaring. Really, there are no criticisms here. This album is a breathe of fresh air, and a testament to any who claim “there isn’t any good new music”, or that metal died in the 80s. Give this album a listen. Or a few. 10/10
  9. Fantastic Album! Still provides brutal riffage, while also conveying such raw and powerful emotions.
  10. Late to the party on this one, but some good ones: Lazarus AD Revocation Evile Warbringer Havok Municipal Waste Power Trip Morbid Saint
  11. Decided to cover this the way they played it in the early 90s. Its more fun this way! Thanks for watching!
  12. Looking for a metal drummer. Blast beats, double bass, fast tempos, etc. Influences include Death, Nile, Havok, Gojira, etc. NY/NJ area. The band: https://youtu.be/y5KETyjZbNk https://youtu.be/2dEYigmRTr4 Thanks!
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