Faith or Fear

Ultra-Violence – Privilege to Overcome Review

Ultra-Violence – Privilege to Overcome Review

“Re-thrashers just keep coming through the floorboards and as with roaches, for every one you see, hundreds more lurk just out of sight. Ultra-Violence is a new bug and they hail from Italy of all places. Their Privilege to Overcome debut doesn’t completely reinvent the thrash wheel, but it does offer a dizzyingly schizoid blend of modern thrash, second wave Bay Area style thrash like Defiance and Faith or Fear, Germanic thrash, crossover hardcore like D.R.I. and modern stuff like Machine Head.” If that doesn’t sound like a thick re-thrash stew, nothing does! Join Steel Druhm as he examines if Ultra-Violence has what it takes to kick the requisite amount of buttcheek.

Degradation – Juggernaut Review

Degradation – Juggernaut Review

So here’s my first official review of 2012 and Steel Druhm must report that the retro-thrash wave has spilled over into another year. Whatever your opinion of such spillage may be, like every trend, some of that deluge is good, some is really bad, the majority floats in the middle. With their debut full length, Chicago toughs Degradation find themselves somewhere in that big middle, drifting toward the good side of the river but not quite able to reach the shore. Enough with the nautical metaphors. This is steady but mostly unexceptional thrash like they used to make in the second and the dreaded third wave (Gothic Slam, anybody?) of the original thrash explosion. Scattered across this fairly short, fly by album are traces of Slayer, Metallica, Testament and even mega-obscure Faith or Fear. It’s a Bay Area thrash revival with the odd piece of the germanic school sprinkled in for flavor (think old Deathrow). Despite the energy and enthusiasm the band brings to the material, I was never able to fully buy into Juggernaut and after repeated listens, some of the tracks just go by without registering in my thrash receptacle (located just under the spleen). I’m not sure if its thrash fatigue or what but this album just doesn’t resonate, though there are some quality moments.

Bonded by Blood – Exiled to Earth Review

Bonded by Blood – Exiled to Earth Review

Here comes another entry into the retro-thrash movement, for better or worse. Exiled to Earth is the second album by California thrashers Bonded by Blood and much like their debut, it’s firmly rooted in the 80’s thrash movement. Back in the days of the original thrash invasion, for every top-notch band like Slayer or Exodus, there were ten sub-par, generic clones like Atrophy, Devastation and Gothic Slam. Sadly, this release falls closer to the latter category.