CD Review: “Years Of Aggression” by Suicidal Angels

Greek thrashers Suicidal Angels aim to live up to the title of its seventh release, Years Of Aggression. The whiff of nostalgia is present throughout the album, with Eighties era guitar riffs meshed with stellar leads compliments of guitarist Gus Drax. Unfortunately, the album falls a bit flat as the aggression is somewhat repressed. Album opener “Endless War” commences with a swarming guitar riff that transitions in to a tight galloping riff. Front man and guitarist Nick Melissourgos provides sharp, raspy vocals that fit the gripping nature of the track. However, it is Drax’s blistering, neo-classical solo that is the highlight on this track. A strong opening, however, it leaves one with the impression that the band could play faster and heavier. This feeling is slightly diminished on “Born Of Hate” with its Swedish death metal vibe. The guitar work is superb as Melissourgos and Drax trade off swift guitar lines, but this track is still marred by a lack of pushing the envelope. The title track is dynamic and drummer Orpheas Tzortzopoulos pounds his kit like a madman. The quartet hit the nail on the head at the album’s halfway point on “D.I.V.A.” which is the shortest track on the album. The ripping riffs are supported by relentless yet technical drumming. It is just a shame that Suicidal finally finds its aggression when the album is halfway over. The main riff on “Order Of Death” hits like a mallet to the gut which is only exacerbated by the walloping drum beats. Drax unleashes a sweeping guitar lead that adds to the madness. “The Roof Of Rats” is pure, primal thrash with a encircling riff that will incite a mosh pit. The song’s midsection slows down for a breather before the band begins its second assault on this track. Album closer “The Sacred Dance With Chaos” begins with a disturbing clean guitar passage before the electric guitars take over, maintaining the same dissonant riff. The dark groove invokes a dance macabre that stops during the midsection for a somber acoustic lead. “Sacred Dance” ends Aggression on a sinister high note, and a much needed one at that.

The second half of Years Of Aggression is much superior to the first half. The songs are heavier, diverse and the band rips it up while taking risks. The same cannot be said for the first half as it is somewhat contrived and Suicidal dial it in at times. One knows the band is capable of playing high quality thrash and it is frustrating when the guys plays it safe. There is nothing wrong with paying homage to the old school, provided that you do it right. We see this on tracks like “The Roof Of Rats” with its maniacal riffing as the band moves full speed ahead.

Years of Aggression is saved by its second half. Suicidal Angels now has seven records under its belt so folks expect quality. Sure, every band slips up due to wanting to branch out with its music. However, when a band titles its record Years Of Aggression, one expects to hear fast paced, pummeling, take no prisoners thrash metal. This is especially true of a band that formed 18 years ago and has made a mark in the metal world. Now is not the time for the band to rest on its laurels. Metal heads still and will always need music to get out our aggression.

Check out the band’s official website: https://www.suicidalangels.net/

CD review: “Trapped In Chaos” by Dust Bolt

Dust Bolt expands its horizons on the band’s fourth album, Trapped In Chaos. There is greater depth to the songs, while the band retains its signature thrash sound.

Album opener “The Fourth” transitions between aggressive, blistering drums spliced with slower, grooving riffs. Frontman and guitarist Lenny Bruce’s vocals are a bit tepid, however it does not take away from the track.

“Dead Inside” the initial single commences with a crushing, plodding riffs and machine like drums, before speeding up after the first minute of the song. Guitarists Bruce and Flo Dehn play some colossal riffs while drummer Nico Rayman maintains a heavy groove with some impressive double bass.

A warped psychedelic riff opens “Rhythm To The Madness” before the band accelerates in to thrash mode. The track’s midsection slams like a caged animal before the tempo speeds up at the song’s conclusion. The tracks “Shed My Skin” and “Killing Time” are straight up thrash numbers with a pinch of hardcore that get the head banding. The latter has a couple of ripping guitar leads that reaffirm this band are not a one trick pony.

“Another Day In Hell” is the third single off Trapped and has a dark atmosphere punctuated with haunting clean guitars and a slow beat. This is certain to become a fan favorite and shows the band’s growth as songwriters. Album closer “Who I Am” ends things on an aggressive note with a sped up galloping riff that transitions to a slower bottom heavy groove that fades in to noise.

Trapped In Chaos is Dust Bolt’s experimental record, which will draw detractors because the band plays softer, slower tracks. There are some thrashing tracks on here, but the slower, acoustic parts provide depth the songs and a contrast to the faster songs. This is expected as the band does not want to release the same record over and again. However, there is the concern that Dust Bolt would all but abandon its thrash roots in favor of short, mainstream songs. Fortunately the band does not do that here. The vocals are a bit shaky and at times the band seems a little reluctant to move too far. However, this record may be the turning point for Dust Bolt as it melds its sound in to something more cohesive. Slayer did it with Seasons In The Abyss as it combined the best elements of South Of Heaven and Reign in Blood. It seems Dust Bolt wants to do the same thing.

Trapped In Chaos is a nice dose of thrash metal to ring in 2019. It is a mix of old and new that should satisfy most of the band’s fans. This is not the band’s Turbo album, but some fans may be let down by the softer tracks on the album. Still, bands progress and Dust Bolt want to add more panache to its music. This is good, or else the band would be trapped.

Check out the Dust Bolt’s official website for more information.

Slayer Final World Tour

Fifteen thousand metal-heads, ninety degrees of Georgia heat, five thrash bands, and one dixie storm was the formula for the Atlanta stop of Slayer’s current tour on Friday, August 10. Luckily the rain ceased before the beginning of the show, but an early afternoon downpour made sure Cellairis Amphitheater at Lakewood was a steamy cauldron of blood, sweat, beer, and metal for what could be Slayer fans’ last chance to see the band live. Slayer has announced they will be retiring following the conclusion on this tour.

No one would expect to Slayer to end their career quietly and they certainly lived up to expectations enlisting Lamb of God, Anthrax, Testament, and Napalm Death as opening acts to give the thrash kings a proper send off. All the bands date back to the early eighties and the origins of thrash with the exception of Lamb of God, who formed in the mid nineties.

British extreme metal band Napalm Death opened the show working the early crowd into a frenzy while still in the hottest part a Georgia August day. Bay Area thrashers Testament followed. Like most of the bands, they concentrated on fan favorites including “Over the Wall” and “Practice What You Preach,” but also worked some newer tracks into the set. Guitarist Alex Skolnick upheld his reputation as one the premiere guitar players in metal.

Somewhat surprisingly Anthrax was next on the bill. Certainly Lamb of God has been one of the most popular metal bands of the new millennium and many credit them with ushering in a new era of thrash, but as one of the original Big Four (the Big Four of thrash include the original four thrash bands: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax) many assumed Anthrax would play directly before Slayer. Some fans voiced their opinions that this was disrespectful to Anthrax, but it didn’t dampen their enthusiasm once they took the stage. With original singer Joey Belladonna back in the lineup, they ran down a list of greatest hits from that era including “Caught in the Mosh,” “ Madhouse,” “Antisocial,” “Indians,” and of course the Joe Jackson cover of “Got the Time.” It’s easy to forget that most of the musicians playing Friday are well into their fifties, but Anthrax still performs with the energy they did thirty years ago and Scott Ian is one of metal’s most iconic musicians and personalities. Anthrax has always seemed to be a band that could balance the seriousness and darkness of the music while remembering that ultimately it’s supposed to be fun. It’s good to see that hasn’t changed.

I admittedly have never followed Lamb of God closely but was told to reserve judgment until seeing them live. That was good advice. The band sounded great, but vocalist Randy Blythe commanded the stage with an intensity that could rival any. Pacing back and forth across the front of the stage like a caged lion, Blythe had the pit-faithful in full mosh mode. The front seven rows of seats were removed to make room for a general admission pit directly in front of the stage and the fans put this space to use during Lamb of God’s set.

My indifference to Lamb of God probably stems from an attitude that thrash was not just a style but an era and therefore not seeing any room for something new in genre. I may have to give their music a closer listen to see if I still feel the same way. I would recommend seeing them live and will definitely make an effort to see them perform again.

After four hours of music, the fans were primed for Slayer. They opened with “Repentless” off their most recent album. During the set, flames shot across the stage forming the shapes of pentagrams and inverted crosses. The heat could be felt from at least a hundred out from the stage. They played songs from their entire thirty-eight year career, but the latter half of their set concentrated more on the classics such “Chemical Warfare,” Seasons in the Abyss,” and “South of Heaven,” and the stadium erupted when the opening riff of  “Raining Blood” began. Slayer also paid tribute to founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in 2013.  A curtain was dropped with the words “Hanneman Angel of Death Still Reigning” written in the design of a Heineken logo, similar to the limited edition beer logo Heineken printed after his death. Knowing the set was coming to a close, Lakewood burst into a deafening roar when “Angel of Death” began. It’s a rare thing to see a band knowing it may be the last time and this was apparent to the fans as few left before the end of the show. It was clear they wanted all the Slayer they could get and Slayer gave them exactly what they wanted.

The tour continues through the end of the year. There are some European festival dates booked for 2019 and rumors of possible Big Four shows in the future, after which Slayer states they will retire. It’s difficult to imagine a metal world without Slayer. Even in my forties it seems like they’ve always been one of the defining bands in metal. Whether this will be the first on many “final” tours or the actual final tour we’ll have to wait and see. I suspect (and hope) that Slayer will continue showing professional dignity and end their career when it’s time without dragging the end out for several years. Either way, a final chance to see them live could be slipping away!

Lamb of God Photo Gallery

Naplam Death Photo Gallery

Testament Photo Gallery

Anthrax Photo Gallery

Slayer Photo Gallery

‘For The Demented’ by Annihilator

Canada’s thrash mastermind, Jeff Waters, is back again with Annihilator’s 16th studio album, For The Demented. Without attempting to imitate past work, but with a desire to recapture the “thrash-meets-melody” aspect that die-hard Annihilator fans love, Waters brought bassist Rich Hinks to the writing table. Hinks, a long-time Annihilator fan himself, was able to weigh in on riffs and song ideas, helping Jeff discard those that just didn’t belong. This resulted in 10 tracks, focused around the theme of the human mind and “all of its glory, complexity, diversity, weaknesses and insanity!”

Following up their last studio album, 2015’s Suicide Society, the new album continues the trend of Waters role as vocalist, which began on that previous album following the departure of long-time singer, Dave Padden. However, unlike the last LP, Waters has made an effort to avoid letting too much of his metal fandom show through in his vocals, noting in interviews that Suicide Society saw him displaying quite a few Hetfield- and Mustaine-isms. The new album, he says, harkens back to the 1995 release, King Of The Kill (which saw him as lead vocalist), as he once again tries to bring his own voice to the music. I suppose your enjoyment of this release (and the last one), will largely depend on whether you like his voice. While certainly not possessing a range akin to a Halford or a Dickinson, Waters carries himself admirably, with the ability to handle the spectrum of soft to aggressive, as well as Annihilator’s tendency to fluctuate from serious to silly, without missing a beat. I mean, it’s not often you hear a song about cannibalism which provides you condiment recommendations.

You may also be interested in our 2015 interview with Jeff Waters:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

While one of the key selling points on any album is the vocal performance, I find most fans are more concerned with what’s going on musically. In this case: “Is it thrash?” After all, the trailer that came out for the album in late September had that word plastered all over it. And the answer to that is by and large, yes. Tracks like, “Twisted Lobotomy,” with its rapid fire riffs; “One To Kill,” which has a pace greatly reminiscent of “King Of The Kill”; and “For The Demented,” a mid-tempo rallying cry for metalhead culture, are great examples of what people can expect from this album – though by no means an exhaustive list. “Pieces Of You,” the cannibal’s ballad; “The Way,” a thrash-punk-12-bar-blues amalgamation; and the bi-polar thrash-funk closer, “Not All There,” show Annihilator going out on a limb. But I feel this plays excellently with the theme of the album, the human mind in all of its diversity and insanity, and the fact that this group of individuals are talented enough to pull each of these added styles off so convincingly is a testament to the band.

I was reading a fan review of a separate Annihilator release not too long ago, and he pointed out that you either love their music, or you don’t. With 16 studio albums under their belt, unless you’re only just discovering them, you’ve probably already made up your mind whether this album is worth your time or not. So this review is really for those who are just now discovering the band. If you like thrash metal, and you can appreciate a little diversity thrown into an otherwise hard-hitting release, you should absolutely pick up this album. I really loved Suicide Society, and I believe I love For The Demented even more. In the words of the title track: “highly recommended.”

Purchase For The Demented.

For more on Annihilator, visit:
Official Website
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Testament / Sepultura / Prong in Baltimore

“Are you going to the Testament show on April 24?” a friend asked me casually.  “I wouldn’t miss it,” I replied.  And what reason could I have to not come out to see such a stellar line-up, featuring not only Testament, but supporting bands, Sepultura and Prong.  Each of these groups have released albums that I’ve cherished as part of my music collection, and I certainly wasn’t going to skip a chance at enjoying those songs live.  Despite some miscommunication that delayed my entry to Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore until after the opening band had come and gone, I entered to provide you with these photos.

Prong: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

An Italian musician and friend, Max Usai of Confrontational, turned me on to a number of bands years ago, including Prong, Sepultura, and Sadus (whose bassist, Steve DiGiorgio, now plays with Testament).  I thank him a great deal for sharing his musical joys with me and allowing me to make them my own.  I’ve enjoyed Tommy Victor and each incarnation of Prong that I’ve heard through the years, and he and the boys were kind enough to come out swinging last Monday.  Though only a three-piece, Tommy ripped on the guitar, backed up nicely by Mike Longworth on bass, and Art Cruz, whose energy erupted from behind the drumset.  And while only having time for a six-song set, they made the most of it, unleashing several tracks from their new album, X (No Absolutes), then digging back into their catalog for a few classic tunes from Prove You Wrong and Cleansing.   The set ended with “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck,” and chants from fans continued for Prong even as roadies took apart the equipment.

 

Sepultura: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

I remember walking through a record store in the outskirts of Dallas, TX years ago and taking home a treasure trove of heavy metal albums.  Two of those albums were Sepultura’s Chaos A.D. and Roots.  The Brazilian metaller’s style of music has evolved throughout the years, beginning with thrash and diverging into more groove-oriented metal when they reached the two aforementioned works.  Now, as the band tours behind its newest release, Machine Messiah, they are rousing audiences with a large collection of songs going all the way back to 1989’s “Beneath The Remains,” but focusing heavily on the new material.  They did a great job of keeping the crowd engaged, as fists jutted into the air in time with the rhythm of the drums (with vocalist Derrick Green joining drummer Eloy Casagrande at one point on a separate snare).  Bassist Paulo Jr. kept the songs tight with Eloy (who was an absolute beast behind the kit), while guitarist Andreas Kisser sank into his riffs, to the joy of those in attendance.  They ended with a 1-2-3 punch of “Refuse/Resist,” “Ratamahatta,” and “Roots Bloody Roots,” which lead the crowd into a frenzy of thrashing delight.

 

Testament: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Finally, the band at the top of the docket.  Testament has been celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the release of their debut album, The Legacy, which appeared in 1987.  That being said, the majority of their set isn’t pulled from that album, but rather their latest release, Brotherhood Of The Snake.  But they did state that they were trying to change up the setlist they usually play on this tour, and dug down for some tracks that may not get as much love as they should.  Thus, fans heard songs that ranged over nine different releases from throughout the group’s career, and were ecstatic at them all.  Perhaps the most unusual part of their set was not the song choices, but rather the inclusion of a solo performance by every member of the ensemble.  The exception, of course, was vocalist Chuck Billy, but the rest of them took to their instruments in the most impressive of ways.  Bassist Steve DiGiorgio finished his solo by flowing directly into “Urotsukidôji,” joined by the rest of the cast, which served as something of an extended solo performance for those involved.  What particularly stands out in my mind, however, is the band’s song called “Into The Pit,” which resulted in a lot of moshing and quite a few crowd surfers.  If I recall correctly, this venue had signs up threatening expulsion if crowd surfing occurred, but dedicated fans ignored those warnings as they floated blissfully over a sea of hands and into the waiting arms of security guards…who immediately let them right back out into the thick of it.

I had so much fun at this show, and I’m sure you will too.  The musicians are all very humbled to have such a warm welcome, and pour their souls into the performances.  You will not be disappointed.

Live photos: Testament, Sepultura and Prong at Center Stage in Atlanta GA

Testament, live at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA, April 15, 2017

Images of the thrash metal Testament, along with Sepultura and Prong, from the threesome’s Saturday, April 15 concert at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA. Testament is touring to promote their latest album, titled Brotherhood of the Snake.

This is the third album in a row to feature founding member and guitarist Eric Peterson, singer Chuck Billy, guitarist Alex Skolnick and drummer Gene Hoglan. Returning for his second stint in the band is bassist Steve Di Giorgio.

The band pulled out all the stops production-wise, filling the stage with saturated color, smoke canons and strobes. Musically, they never sounded better, and ripped into cuts from the new album like “The Pale King,” “Centuries of Suffering” and the title track “Brotherhood of the Snake.”

Full gallery of Testament

 

Full gallery of Sepultura

 

Full gallery of Prong

CD Review: “Woe To The Vanquished” by Warbringer

Warbringer return with a new album and line-up after a four year absence. Woe To The Vanquished is eight tracks of thrash with a slight progressive influence. The initial single “Silhouettes” is based on a pounding mid-tempo beat and swirling guitar riff that speeds up during the chorus. The song has several rhythm changes and some thrashing riffs, but it sounds juvenile and a bit forced. Things improve on the title track which sounds like vintage Warbringer. It is dynamic thrash metal with manic drumming and guitarists Adam Carroll and Chase Becker throwing out some solid leads. The song’s lyrics delve in to the savagery of war as civilians are abused and killed and nations are conquered. “Remain Violent” touches on police brutality which is a hot topic in America. The song maintains a mid-tempo beat focusing on the lyrics more so than the music. One should commend the band for tackling controversial subjects and not sugar coating them. “Descending Blade” has an intense build-up that bursts into a thrash-fest. This song wades towards Exodus worship with its composition and riffing. The grooving mid-section will incite a mosh pit during the band’s shows and the track concludes in heavy fashion. “Divinity Of Flesh” is a mash of blastbeats and choppy guitar riffs. Somehow, the band keeps it together. The ethereal guitar lead during the mid-section and intertwining riffs are the track’s highlight. The final track “When The Guns Fell Silent” is a morose and dowtrodden 11-minute affair broken up in to five parts. The lyrical themes are inspired by English poets Siegfried Sassoon and Gilbert Frankau, giving an aura of authenticity to the music. It is a fitting end to an album centered on war.

Woe To The Vanquished shows the band has matured with its lyrical content. John Kevill is a doctoral student in history and it is obvious that his love for history influenced this record. War is an extremely popular subject in heavy metal, but few bands have written songs on it that standout. While Warbringer have not written a “One” or “War Ensemble,” Woe To The Vanquished as a whole is a strong concept record about war. The band has improved musically as well, although Warbringer is no Heathen or Exodus. It is good for a band to expand its sound, although some bands can do it quicker than others. Warbringer stumbles when it attempts to play complex progressive metal. However, it sounds good in increments and integrated in to the band’s signature sound.

Warbringer does it right on Woe To The Vanquished. The album may grab listeners instantly or it may grow on you. Still, the quintet has matured as a band and with this record are sure to increase their stock in heavy metal. The band’s devil-may-care approach to metal is still present and it is not a bad thing. In fact, Warbringer’s may be on its way to crafting its masterpiece.

For news and tour dates, check out Warbringer’s official website:

https://www.warbringermusic.com/

CD Review: “In His Infernal Majesty’s Service” by Witchery

Blackened thrash metal supergroup Witchery return after a six year absence with its sixth hellish offering, In His Infernal Majesty’s Service. “Lavey-athan” storms from the abyss like a demon ready to devour innocent souls. The track is full on thrash with chainsaw guitars and punkish drumming. The stomping midsection gives way to an eerie clean guitar and a whispered verse before ending on a heavy note. The chaotic “Netherworld Emperor” is a pugilistic track that strikes from all angles. New drummer Chris Barkensjo showcases his skills here as the track has several time changes but maintains a consistent groove. “Nosferatu” is the initial single and one can see why with its galloping riffs and frontman Angus Norder’s shrieking vocals. The band’s black metal roots show on this track with its dissonant riffs and the atonal guitar lead. Things speed up on “The Burning of Salem” which recalls early Slayer. The suffocating riffs sound like a fiery whirlwind while the drums manage to keep up. The apex of the song is during the middle when we hear a man identifying himself as Salem’s magistrate sentence several defendants to death by hanging. History certainly comes alive on this track. A haunting organ opens up “Escape From Dunwich Valley”which grooves from start to finish. Guitarists Jensen and Rikard Rimfalt put their stamps on this track, as this track as a major Black Sabbath vibe.

 In His Infernal Majesty’s Service main strength is the diverse songwriting. The band draws from death, black, death and even doom metal to forge some unpredictable but dynamic songs. Witchery refuses to play within any parameters, but can play in the pocket when necessary as seen on “Escape From Dunwich Valley.” Musically, the band members all hail from some of metal’s most revered bands. Bassist Sharlee D’Angelo plays in Arch Enemy, guitarist Jensen plays in The Haunted and lead guitarist Rikard Rimfalt played in Seance. These guys can play melodic metal or straight thrash at the drop of a coin. We see this throughout Majesty and it gives the record an extra kick.

The six year absence certainly has not dulled Witchery. In His Infernal Majesty’s Service would please the Dark One as only Witchery can do. It is pure blasphemous heavy metal that rarely lets up. Fans of the band member’s main bands should pick this up as should fans of extreme metal. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and this is the soundtrack for the journey.

For news and tour dates, check out the band’s official Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/officialwitchery/

CD Review: “Creatures Watching Over The Dead” by Charred Walls Of The Damned

Heavy metal supergroup Charred Walls Of The Damned returns with its third record, Creatures Watching Over The Dead. Creatures is the band’s first record in five years, which is understandable considering the busy schedule of its members. Bassist Steve DiGiorgio currently plays in Testament and guitarist Jason Suecof is one of the busiest music producers in the metal genre. Suecof produced records for Battlecross, Deicide and Death Angel these past five years so his plate was full. Creatures is not a serious record, and the guys are having fun. The vibe on the album is laid back, but still carries a degree of intensity. The initial single “The Soulless” combines thrash with 80s power metal resulting in a catchy metal anthem. Richard Christy’s double bass drumming is lockstep with Suecof’s jackhammer riffing. Vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens’ operatic vocals soar like a falcon and do not seem out of step with the music. “As I Catch My Breath” is an interesting blend of clean guitars and a dissonant main riff. Musically, the track recalls Fates Warning and Megadeth due to the progressiveness of the music. The technical thrash of “Reach Into The Light” hits with the precision of a guided missile. Owens’ high pitched vocals are again in top form, but do not take away from the music.

Creatures is not an exhuastive record and that is a plus. The band does not waste time playing eight minute opuses, opting instead to play shorter songs. This keeps the songs interesting and the listener will not drift off or reach for the “skip” button. As I mentioned earlier, the band is having fun on this record. There is no need to make a 70 minute long album with long, drawn out epics for the sake of pretentiousness. Suecof produced the record and it is loud and clear. There is not much to pick out except that Steve’s bass should be higher in the mix.

Creatures Watching Over The Dead is a good metal record. It should satisfy fans of technical death metal or progressive metal that are not looking for something too deep. This record may get lost in the shuffle due to the other high profile albums coming out this year. However, one should not overlook Creatures as it definitely holds its own.

For news check out the band’s website at http://www.metalblade.com/cwotd/

CD Review: ‘Mass Confusion’ by Dust Bolt

German thrash outfit Dust Bolt cut to the chase on Mass Confusion. The opening track, “Sick X Brain” is one minute of full on crossover thrash. The blitzkrieg rages on with the title track which starts with chugging riffs before the band launches a thrash onslaught. There are strains of Metallica, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, and Destruction on this track, showing the versatility of the band. The pummeling breakdown in the middle of this song is gold. The initial single, “Allergy” is a frantic riff tornado that that gives the listener little room to breathe. Things get a hectic on “Mind The Gap” with its time signature changes, but drummer Nico Remann keeps it all together. It is one of the more interesting tracks on the record especially with its shredding lead. “Exit” is a somber semi-acoustic number that breaks up the ferocity of the record. It is not filler and prevents the record from sounding monotonous.

Mass Confusion is thrash metal played right. The Teutonic quartet has done its homework, drawing influence from the thrash and hardcore groups of the 80s. Mass Confusion is not too crossover or too thrash and finds a solid median. The musicianship is top notch as guitarists Lenny Breuss and Flo Dehn play well with each other. The duo seamlessly trade riffs and keep a tight rhythm. The album is produced well as there is no clipping and the instruments do not bleed in to one another.

Dust Bolt were not confused when recording Mass Confusion. The band has all its marbles on this, its third record, and plays them well. Mass Confusion is a great thrash/crossover record that is a cut above the current but stale thrash revival scene. The band puts its own unique spin on an older subgenre to good results. Fans of The Haunted, Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust should pick up this record. Dust Bolt bring the speed.

For news and tour dates, check out Dust Bolt’s website: http://dustbolt.com/