Do you smell that? No? Breath deeper? Now do you smell it? Nope, it wasn’t me or the dog. That is the flatulence of another year. Forced out the sphincter of 2016, 2017 promises to be better than the worm-ridden large intestine it was shat from. Actually, twenty-seventeen doesn’t promise shit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m with everyone when I say, “here’s hopin,” but only time will tell. Twelve-long months of time, to be exact. But, if I were to judge the new year by the first promo to hit my desk, we might be in trouble. Here’s Metal Still Means Danger. And here’s hopin’…
With a 2013 debut album, and a variety of demos and compilations under their bullet belts, Spain’s Insulters are back with their follow-up and it sounds pretty much like a Part II of We Are the Plague. Metal Still Means Danger is a speedy, thrashy, black ‘n’ roll catheter, dribbling the dark-colored piss of Venom and Toxic Holocaust. Unfortunately, it has everything and nothing you want from a black/thrash outfit. It’s a straightforward bruiser packed with nine tracks of black bloodletting. It’s got speed, rasping Nattefrost-like vox, and a relentless pace and groove. A pace that the album rarely deviates from for forty minutes and a groove as simple as it gets. I mean, look at that cover art. Did you expect anything else?
On top of that, each song includes the typical “choruses” you’d expect from your local black thrashers. And by chorus, I mean just the song title shouted over and over again. Still, this hookiness works well for “Age of Terror,” “Bang Your Fucking Skull,” “Forged in Hell’s Fire,” and the title track. With hooking lyrics, Blasphemic Vomitor’s rasping throat, and an approach just a touch blacker than Toxic Holocaust, these songs go straight for the gonads. But, the two tracks that attack with the greatest amount of gusto would have to be “Bang Your Fucking Skull” and “Bastard Soldiers.” You ain’t gonna find any tangents on these songs, but the headbangeable riffage and Nattefrost-like spewings make for a damn good time.
The only songs on the disc that offer a speed other than fast are “Icons & Symbols,” “Forged in Hell’s Fire,” and “Metal Still Means Danger.” You shouldn’t expect orchestration or acoustic guitars, but the mid-paced chugs of “Icons & Symbols” allow for some decent neck stretching and the shifting gears of the title track make it the most diverse (and longest) track on the record. The highlight of these “slower” tracks is the plethora of bass and drums. Guitarist-turned-drummer Bourbon Devastator has a good mix throughout the album, but the bass has a tendency to get washed away by the nasty guitars. So, when “Icons & Symbols” and “Forged in Hell’s Fire” round their individual corners, Nuclear Cummer’s (yeah, powerful stuff) bass takes the lead and rumbles up simple builds for the songs’ conclusions.
At the end of the day, Metal Still Means Danger is about as typical black/thrash as it gets. The dynamics are there, the production is nice and raw, and the mix is quite decent, but the songs wrap around each other like a cake roll. So much so that the less-than-memorable “Burn with the Witch” and “Here Falls the Hammer” get lost on the album. An issue that falls on the album’s pace and Insulters‘ all-too-similar riffs from track-to-track. Thankfully, the short runtime and three-to-five-minute song lengths keep it from being a chore. Just the same, this has been done many times before and I might as well just stick with my Aura Noir collection. But, if you like your balls against the wall, and your head split open from banging said wall, you might actually enjoy Metal Still Means Danger.