Attacker

Warbringer – IV: Empires Collapse Review

Warbringer – IV: Empires Collapse Review

“With Hallow’s Eve in the air and the holiday season just around the corner, I feel safe looking back on 2013 and saying it wasn’t the greatest year for metal. It’s certainly true that the better stuff seems to be coming out on the back-end, but overall, it has been a lean time for top-notch albums. This is especially true for the rethrash/thrash genre, with very few albums jumping out and smacking me in the gob. Keeping true to form, the better stuff is seeping out now, with solid releases from Death Angel and Toxic Holocaust and now, a winner from Warbringer. IV: Empires Collapse sees these California rethrashers take a big step from the effective, but somewhat generic Bay Area Thrash sound exhibited on Worlds Torn Asunder by adding a host of classic metal influences along with punk and blackened twists.” October was a good month for rethrash and it looks like Warbringer wanted to end things on a high note with their latest slice of speed.

Mortillery – Origin of Extinction Review

Mortillery – Origin of Extinction Review

“In the sea of mediocre re-thrash that was 2012, the unheralded debut by Canadian upstarts Mortillery was one of the few life rafts of quality. Murder, Death, Kill was tongue-in-cheek fun and had all the flavor of the second wave of ’80s thrash while incorporating just enough traditional metal and punk elements to keep things interesting. You could feel the youthful exuberance and hunger in the band’s music and they greatly benefited from the exception vocals of Cara McCutchen and the axe slinging acumen of Alex Scott and Alex Guitierrez.” Steel Druhm happily trotted out the skull tank of rethrash for 2012s Mortillery debut, and now they’re back with a follow-up! Will that tank start up again after sitting all year?

Enforcer – Death By Fire Review

Enforcer – Death By Fire Review

Enforcer is an easy band to poke fun at. Though from Sweden, they play a retro style that seeks to hit the sweet spot between NWOBHM and early American speed metal acts like Abattoir, Jag Panzer and Attacker, with the occasional dose of hair metal/cock rock tossed in for shits and giggles. This style calls for a fair amount of skin-tight white jeans, hairspray, bullet belts and overall silliness pasted on a rickety frame of Iron Maiden and Saxon riffs. How that strikes you is a very personal matter and I’m not one to judge (that’s a lie. I’ve been silently judging you all for years).

Angrily Unreviewed: Split Heaven – Street Law

Angrily Unreviewed: Split Heaven – Street Law

Our first entry in the Angrily Unreviewed sweepstakes is Street Law, the third release by Mexican retro metallers Split Heaven (available on Pure Steel Records). Following in the footsteps of other 80’s style retro rockers like Steelwing, Enforcer and Wolf, Split Heaven serves up old school metal with a patina of hard rock and more than a little cheese (the album cover alone is worth fifty pounds of Velveeta). Now, before you turn up your elitist metal nose, this is some powerful, authentic stuff from a bunch of hungry youngins and it rocks harder than Thor at a Manowar concert. Songs like “Time Warrior,” “Street Law,” “Lonewolf” and especially “Night of the Jaguar” overflow with unrestrained enthusiasm and exuberance and manage to hit that 80’s style dead on. Closest in sound to Enforcer, they actually remind me a lot of Theatre of Fate-era Viper, old Obsession and Attacker, these guys play fast, loud and with real urgency. Great riffs are everywhere and while there’s that typical Maiden style here and there, they do their own thing as well. The vocals by Eligio Valenzuela are high pitched and a bit shrill but go along quite well with the vintage riffing and soloing style.