Testament

Trauma – Awakening Review

Trauma – Awakening Review

“Founding drummer Kris Gustofson is back with the band’s recent guitar duo, ex-Testament powerhouse Greg Christian, and little-known Brian Allen (ex-Vicious Rumors and the like). And together, these old boys bring the heat. More than any other album in their catalog, Awakening is a true thrasher. While Allen still sports classic high-ends made popular by Hillier, Anthrax, Heretic, and Metal Church, he can also throw down some Zetro Souza-isms and monstrous growls. Awakening sees the band traverse unfamiliar waters that might or might not fracture their fanbase. But this new record feels like the comeback we’ve always longed to hear.” Past Trauma present.

Toxik – Dis Morta Review

Toxik – Dis Morta Review

“Founded in 1985, New York thrashers Toxik released two albums before vanishing into obscurity. 1987’s World Circus (think Anthrax meets Sanctuary) and 1989’s Think This (think Cowboys-era Pantera meets Megadeth) have enjoyed cult-classic status ever since thanks to the band’s phenomenally technical playing, insane vocals, and bizarre songwriting. The band broke up in the early 90’s and briefly reformed in 2007 and again in 2013, and is ready to unleash Toxik’s first full-length in over twenty years.” Toxik thrashculinity.

Prosper or Perish – Shroud of Serpents Review

Prosper or Perish – Shroud of Serpents Review

“It’s been a good, long time since I’ve reviewed a melodic death metal album. Once upon a time, it was the only genre of music I would listen to, as it acted as a gateway portal between the classic style of heavy metal we all know and love, and the heavier, more extreme sounds that most of us flock to in droves after a while. Just like both extremes of the spectrum, the genre I’m focusing on definitely has its place, but unlike those extremes, it paints itself into a corner after a while, not looking to branch out or adapt without catastrophic results. Philadelphia’s Prosper or Perish hope to break out of that comfort zone with their third album, Shroud of Serpents.” Snake or swim.

Demiricous – Chaotic Lethal Review

Demiricous – Chaotic Lethal Review

“When you listen to Demiricous’ first two records, they clearly didn’t know what sound, style, or production they wanted. One is more At the Gatesy and relatively dynamic in the mix. The other is a Hatesphere punishment that makes your ears scream in pain. Back in the saddle, Demiricous has brought all their death/thrash influences together on Chaotic Lethal.” Chaotic good or chaotic bad?

Wachenfeldt – Faustian Reawakening Review

Wachenfeldt – Faustian Reawakening Review

“Just over three years ago, I lost my damn mind over Wachenfeldt’s debut album The Interpreter. I gushed so mightily over its symphonic, thrashened, blackened death metal that hazardous material mitigation crews are still working around the clock to clean up the contamination. That record executed its dark mission so well that it eventually became my Album ‘o the Year for 2019, so if I said that its successor was my most anticipated album of 2022, it would be a gargantuan understatement.” Fanboys awaken.

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

Abbath – Dread Reaver Review

“As you can see from the atrocious cover art, Abbath continues to prove this is his band. And he’s starting to show that with the same absurd vigor that garners album covers from Yngwie Malmsteen. And when I saw that Abbath chose to mix Dread Reaver himself, my fear factor increased double-fold. And on first listen, I knew Dread Reaver was in trouble.” Bob and reave.

Embryonic Autopsy – Prophecies of the Conjoined Review

Embryonic Autopsy – Prophecies of the Conjoined Review

“Listen to this record and it might just put a baby in you. Not by the traditional means, interesting though it might be to imagine those mechanics. Instead, Arizona’s Embryonic Autopsy debut with a concept album about the experiments, designed to birth human/alien hybrids, that may or may not have been performed at Area 51. With songs like “Telekinetic Insemination” and “Craving of the Mutated Fetus,” these gentlemen have a very specific kind of breeding on the brain. The sci-fi milieu, and some elements of the music, put this offering of brutal death metal squarely in Artificial Brain territory.” Newgenics.

Black Swamp Water – Awakening Review

Black Swamp Water – Awakening Review

“I grabbed this promo from the rattlesnake and scorpion-infested bin at AMG’s Southwest office because I thought it was thrash. See, I’ve been on a thrash kick lately and I had no qualms grabbing another thrash release to review. The band name didn’t exactly strike me as a band that played thrash. But, who am I to judge? Maybe they’re swampy thrashers from the South, like Pantera and Exhorder. But, this is no thrash band. Everything I know about life is a lie.” Swamp romps.

Infex – Burning in Exile Review

Infex – Burning in Exile Review

“I’ve spent the better part of 2021 trying to figure out if I’m tired of thrash or if there’s just been a drought of speed worth getting excited about. Whichever the case may be, I keep poking the thrash/speed promos looking for something that speaks to my inner thrashard and makes me want to slam like it’s 1985 again. California’s Infex have been lurking around since 2012, billing themselves as crossover thrash. They’ve released two album already but I never heard of them until we received the promo for third platter, Burning in Exile.” Sound of the times.

Crypt Crawler – Future Usurper Review

Crypt Crawler – Future Usurper Review

“Hailing from the same death metal scene as Depravity, Perth Australia’s Crypt Crawler are another interesting act seeking worldwide exposure. Their 2019 To the Grave debut was a simplistic, raw affair and offered some good, deathy fun. Future Usurper sees more polish and progressive tendencies worming into focus, blending  the early days of Death’s proggy experimentation and more straight forward 90s death/thrash acts like Cancer and Malevolent Creation with modern sensibilities. Such an endeavor requires a significant talent pool and luckily, the members of Crypt Crawler have the requisite chops.” Crawlers in the throne room.