Nietzsche and metal. It’s a match made in Hell! A hasty glance at either by the uninitiated (or sometimes even the intimately familiar) will reveal themes of nihilism, misanthropy, power, and hatred of religion. Most people familiar with metal know that while these themes are indeed to be found in our favorite music. There is an entire world of nuance and diversity of thought to be found by those willing to take the time to dive down below the surface. Much the same with Nietzsche, I suppose. I was recently picking the brain of the mighty Diabolus in Muzaka and he brought up the idea of Nietzsche’s writings being a type of mental Rorschach test, a mirror, revealing more about the reader than about the outside world. I know that heavy metal and its taboo themes have played this role in my life, helping this quiet and mild kid get in touch with his own aggression and power in a fun and harmless way.
Enter Poland’s Bloodthirst and their fourth full-length album I Am Part of That Power Which Eternally Wills Evil and Eternally Works Wrong. At just under 37 minutes, this is the first record that I’ve encountered whose name is longer than its runtime. Bloodthirst play an aggressive version of blackened thrash, and IAPoTPWEWEaEWW pulls its lyrical themes from Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Twilight of the Idols, and The Antichrist. After two good if standard tracks, things really heat up on “The Invincible Eagle’s Power” when a melodic tremolo ushers in a blackened thrash anthem complete with oodles of epic grooving riffs and a traditional metal solo. “Sons of Fire” follows, bringing a Deströyer 666 vibe with its speed metal intro, melodious leads, and classic metal attitude.
Guitarist and vocalist Rambo has a blackened thrash approach that works perfectly here, sounding as if he has just the right amount of phlegm coating his throat. “Beyond the Concept of Reason” shows him in top form, roaring above the song’s fantastic thrash riffs. Check with your chiropractor before playing embedded track “The Golden Cages of Sin” as its opening chug will entice your head to bang before the blasty speed metal arrives to fully induce whiplash. “A Man Should Be Defeated” is a blackened NWoBHM song on speed, and “Ubóstwiona Nicość” closes out the album with power by dialing up the black metal, adding a dash of Immortal to the D666 recipe.
Bloodthirst have been playing together for 20 years, and this experience shows. They move in and out of riffs with skill and incorporate elements from other styles to create a diverse and exciting set of tracks. The first two tracks were overshadowed on each listen by the seven that followed, but they’re far from bad. The production is clear and has a great old school feel to it that really allows the style to feel authentic and powerful. While there are ripping leads and riffs from Rambo and Gregor to be found everywhere, and Rambo’s vocals are fantastic, the drumming by Urpin gets the nod for best performance. This guy beats the hell out of his kit, nailing the album’s punk, thrash, and black rhythms and filling the voids with skillful fills.
This mixture of Nietzsche and blackened thrash turned out to be a fun and fabulous surprise. While the lyrics focus on a pretty standard tough guy individualist interpretation of Nietzsche’s work, like the aforementioned mirror, they allow me to take a peek into myself. Even if I can’t buy into the overall message, the themes encourage me to question what I know, face my insecurities, and find the power within. The music is bold and fierce, a perfect match for such an empowering quest, and thrash fans — especially those that enjoy D666 — are sure to find a lot to like here.