My tolerance for re-thrash is about as low as my stores of thrash intro paragraphs. If you ever wanted to hear nineteen-eighty-pick-a-year aped by some little shits who never lived through Cliff Burton-‘tallica, 2017 delivered in spades. Barcelona’s young bucks No Amnesty should have been getting their braces off at 15, not hitting the stage. Their 2013 freshman EP A New Order for Attack beat their balls to the drop. Now older, wiser, and still ineligible for a beer in the US, the world is their öyster. Though it could use a little polish, debut album Psychopathy is the pearl.

For better or worse, retro thrash lives and dies by how comfortable it makes the listener. Many modern luminaries expand the familiar with personal flair and aplomb, but obvious connections persist between acts like Power Trip and Metallica or Havok and Megadeth. No Amnesty is no different. “NOTLD” slips on like a well-worn slipper, gliding between galloping rhythms, chunky neck-breakers, and furious solos with the ease you would expect from a bunch of crusty farts trying to reclaim the glory of the 80’s, not some young whipper snappers on their first try. Though their name may suggest a stronger Havok influence, Psychopathy services the classics. “Among the Blind” and “Evil Priest” choose Overkill as their muse, while the obligatory Exodus and Testament name-drops come assembled out of the box. Fortunately, the songs are deceptively effective, embodying the quintessential thrash spirit of head-banging first, questions later.

No Amnesty stretch homage to its limits with the quizzically-titled “Fight Below the Fire,” because playground rules apparently prohibit jumping in and/or fighting with fire. However, the riff is a mighty one and makes for one of the few instances where it’s not completely obvious what No Amnesty are going for. If there’s a drawback to the album, it is the Spaniards’ tendency to make plain their idolization of their influences. From the lack of subtlety in song titles like 1“Snake Eyes” and “Toxic World”2 to the near-constant reminder that most elements are only original in arrangement and presentation, not in conception, it makes Psychopathy tough to judge. At its core, the thrash is fun and light from top to bottom, with songs like “Eternal Night” and “The Prophecy” slowing down for some Metallica mid-tempo done right. However, instances like the still-good “Snake Eyes” cut too close to mimicry but for its soulful interlude, suffering from a sense that it’s a mere rearrangement of classic riffs rather than anything new. “Fight Below the Fire” itself falls prey to a lack of development, as No Amnesty let that mighty riff stagnate thanks to overuse.

Despite this, Psychopathy remains engaging throughout. When each spin ends, it seems as if it could tack on another track or two, regardless of run time. Much of this relies on the axework of Jonny and Xavi, who demonstrate acute sensitivity to the ways of the riff. Fast or slow, thick or razor-thin, the duo delivers. Yet for all of their effort, Psychopathy depends heavily on the vocals of elder statesman Albert (Fuck Off, Setge). His rasps draw heavily on Bobby Blitz’s sneering shrills and excess charisma, but his abilities include a range of influences that keep his performance from growing stale. His heavy falsetto mitigates the effect of his accent, though it makes his performance an acquired taste. In the early-going, his histrionics remind me of an even more over-the-top Nils Patrik Johanssen, but by finishers “Toxic World” and “Time to Bleed,” he sounds as natural as the delightful double bass rolls. If anything, No Amnesty should expand his performance. For Psychopathy to meet the same standards as The Years of Decay or Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?, an infusion of romping choruses and straight-talk lyrics would be a good place to start.

For a debut album, Psychopathy already sounds remarkably well-rounded and fully-formed. Accounting for the ages of its participants, that should be more than enough to put No Amnesty on many a watch list. This album isn’t perfect, leaving room to grow in the catchiness and composition department. However, Psychopathy easily beats out a lot of the thrash I’ve sat through this year. That, if only that, makes it worthy of recommendation.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Xtreem Music
Websites: noamnestythrash.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/noamnestyband
Releases Worldwide: November 14th, 2017

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  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I just realized no one expects/demands originality from new Black or Death Metal bands the way most of us do from Thrash Metal bands. The nagging question now is: Why?

    • GoudhaBuddha

      WARNING: PERSONAL OPINION

      I think Thrash stays “fresh” a lot longer than death or black metal does. I can only listen to the same Death/Black tropes for so long before it becomes fatiguing (and this is coming from an Atmo Black fan). Good thrash, on the other hand, tends to be purely addicting.

      • Eli Valcik

        I do agree with that, in a way Thrash is regraded as the poster child for metal and one of the scenes most accessible genres so it achieved widespread appeal. So if I were to show a friend of mine a song from Testament’s Legacy they would probably like it more than a song from Bathory’s Born Under the Sign of the Black Mark, Thrash is less of an acquired taste, it’s catchy, and it captures the nostalgia of the 80s and 90s.
        Edit: There’s a reason Metallica is (one of) the most successful bands out there

      • Tofu muncher

        Yep. Can never get enough of the old guards thrashers.

      • herrschobel

        really ? i can listen to Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Entombed, Carcass or what not once a week for the past 20 years…and they still sound as fresh and juicy as a recently decomposed corpse….and there is so many more Death Metal bands that kick ass…Black Dahlia, Disma, Immolation…and on and on we could go…wuth Black Metal i don´t know…has never been my favourite style…tough there is really good stuff out there

    • Antorus

      I think almost every Death Metal review here talks about it “adding up to the genre” or “innovating” in some manner. I remember that one month or couple of months where we had a new old school death record every couple of days…

    • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

      Because there are a lot of innovative death and black metal bands, so they are an option if you want.

      Not so much with thrash, it’s pretty stagnant. In my opinion the only active thrash bands anyone needs right now is Vector and Power Trip. Everything else is like “oh neat, this is clearly thrash and I couldn’t tell them apart to save my life.”

      • John Mosley

        Vektor is not active. Called it quits. Sad.

        • The Akerstache

          Uh, no. Vektor is David DiSanto’s project, the other members just quit is all. Vektor is very much so still an active band.

          • Eli Valcik

            As long as the guitar work is as impressive I’m ok with the other member’s leaving.

          • John Mosley

            Fair point. I hope the next album lives up to the last one.

    • Eli Valcik

      I agree with that. I don’t know too much about Death Metal but as a self described Black Metal specialist I can say that most of the fans for the genera have the keep it Trve mindset so most of them don’t want originality, they just want clones of old Mayhem, Bathory, Dark Throne ect. Also progressive Black Metal is hit or miss, you could get the sweet spot like Mistur did last year or you could end up with a failure like Deafhaven. The trick to progressive/original Black Metal is that you gotta keep the badass and evil feel of the genera while integrating a lot of a little small details that make it better, like a cleaner production, varying vocals (vocals you can understand,) instrumental breaks and distinguishable riffs. Again that being said I do love my classic sounding stuff, Ende’s Eman Etan being my favorite album of the year so far, but most BM bands have to figure out their own sound and style rather than just coping the Old School greats. Go listen to the new Rimfrost song and have fun.

      • welyyt

        It’s Ende – Emën Etan for anyone who may have trouble googling it like I did.

        • Eli Valcik

          oops, bit misspelled. Thanks!

    • Dr. Wvrm

      Low standards.

      • Eli Valcik

        That’s actually a fantastic point.

    • Unwanted Guest

      It’s like the relation between almost the same recipe and various restaurants. When eating something, do you think about who is its originator? Generally, I don’t. After just tasting and enjoying it, I consider whether the chef is good or bad and whether I need to go there again or not.

    • manimal

      Originality is the plot in a porn movie.

  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    Can we just ban the words “Blind” and “Ignorant” from the thrash genre? I’m so tired of hearing “Everyone that isn’t listening to this is BLIND AND IGNORANT!!”… it’s exasperatingly childish.

    • Nukenado

      Tropes, man. It’s the same with power metal and black metal.
      Search up the Manowar lyrics generator.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        You mean the Manowar lyrics generator of Steel?

        • Nukenado

          Yes, sorry. I didn’t feel the master today.

    • Eli Valcik

      Everyone thinks that they have the best taste in music, that’s just how it is. Also can we ban Sellout(for most bands)?

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        Actually. …I DO have the best taste in music.
        Been clinically proven.

        • Nukenado

          Well, I have been clinically and mathematically proven to not only have the WORST taste in metal, but also suffer from an extreme lack of metal-ness! So take that!

          • Iain Gleasure

            So you listen to Alestorm and Gloryhammer, yes?

          • Nukenado

            Yes…

  • HeavyMetalHamster

    Should’ve used a Bic

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I’m waiting for someone to make a mock advertising poster with the album cover, a Bic razor and the “Should’ve used a Bic” slogan.

      • HeavyMetalHamster

        This is me when my wife uses my razor to do her legs and doesn’t tell me….

  • Eli Valcik

    Maybe I’m just in a good mood but this gets a 4.0/5.0 from me.

  • Gena Gorin

    The way the vocalist sings the word “beast” makes me angry.

    • Tofu muncher

      Agree. If anything, the vocals will be the factor that stirs me away from this one. Everything else is great imo.

  • Mark Z

    Xtreem Music has been putting out some good stuff in these last couple years, need to check this one out.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Agreed.

  • sir_c

    For a lot of thrash bands, the first ‘h’ has become silent.
    The embedded clip sounds promising, I’m gonna see how this one will age. Cheers!

  • Peter Rabbit

    Listening to the embedded track, I can´t help but seeing them as Angelus Apatrida, only with the singer’s dick caught in a zipper.
    That being said, they sound fun and more than capable of scratching that thrash itch, and sometimes that’s the only thing you need

    • h_f_m

      I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • GardensTale

    That might be one of the most condescending opening paragraphs I’ve read on AMG, and it wasn’t even written by Steel!

  • herrschobel

    wow….i think the vocals are amazing…something totally different…especially with the accent and all…over the top and very well executed…bravo !

    • Bryan Stroup

      I’m all for *good* falsetto where applicable, but this sounds like fourth-rate Agent Steel. Either vocalist. Plus, when he says “beast”, he may as well be blowing through a kazoo.

      The lead guitarist however seems to really like Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner. Nowhere near as good mind you.

      • herrschobel

        well, it´s a debut, so let´s try to be positive about it. And for a debut it´s actually very good. So i full agree to the rating. The Falsetto or whatever THIS is just sounds freaky an fun…i appreciate that attitude…. If i want good falsetto i listen to Coldplay.

  • PanzerFistDominatrix

    Decent riffage ruined by a singer that sounds like a joke but probably isn’t meant to. Shame.

  • Bill Böhlen

    That Blitz style falsetto sells it to me. Love it!!