Testament

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.

Siniestro – Vortexx Review

Siniestro – Vortexx Review

“Thrash was my first true introduction to all things metal. Like many of the morally derelict denizens who write for this site or haunt the comment section, I dipped my toe in the swamp with Sabbath, but it wasn’t until I took a deep dive into the likes of Testament, Kreator, Slayer and Anthrax that I knew I was more than willing to drown in this sea of riffs n’ roars. Though now I now prefer my metal far more fetid, thrash still holds a special place in my heart. This led me to pluck the latest from blackened thrash outfit Siniestro from the oft-mentioned but rarely-survived primordial promo sump.” Cloudy with a chance of thrash attack.

Mister Misery – A Brighter Side of Death Review

Mister Misery – A Brighter Side of Death Review

“‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ so the saying goes. But in our modern metal landscape, where a single look at an album cover or a song name can hook us or repel us forever, it’s damn hard to do otherwise. Mister Misery (strike one) are dying for your attention, as illustrated by that album cover (strike two). Their so-called brand of “horror metal” should be strike three, good morning, good afternoon, good night. And yet… maybe read the first page.” Twisted Mister.

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Heathen. I’ve got three shirts that say it and nine people that call me that. I liken it to a word like ‘dickhead.’ It’s got great pop and works in all situations. Though it’s maybe more fun to call my mom a ‘dickhead’ rather than a ‘heathen.’ But, I suppose it depends on the day. Speaking of fun, let’s talk about that other Heathen. The one that released Empire of the Blind, and we never got it.” Blind fury.

Harlott – Detritus of the Final Age Review

Harlott – Detritus of the Final Age Review

“As I mentioned when I wrote 2017’s Extinction review, Harlott isn’t afraid to show love to their influences. Some might say Harlott isn’t afraid of reaching into that box of thrash classics and taking what they like, as well. At any given time, the riffs transition from Exodus to Slayer to Testament, and the vocals mimic Araya, Petrozza, and Dukes/Souza. The guitars can be acoustic at times but prefer to be heavy. The drums blast and fill with no regard for concrete floors, and the bass rattles hardware off the garage door. Harlott may not have a whole lot in the way of originality, but that doesn’t make their fourth album, Detritus of the Final Age, any less solid and nothing short of nostalgic.” Ramming speed.

Wreck-Defy – Powers That Be Review

Wreck-Defy – Powers That Be Review

“Sometimes quality material can slip through the cracks in a busy month and fall into oblivion. Wreck-Defy‘s third album Powers That Be almost suffered that ignoble fate. This Canadian super group has flown under my radar up to now despite featuring Greg Christian (ex-Testament), Aaron Randall (ex-Annihilator) and Alex Marquez (ex-Malevolent Creation) in its ranks. Having overlooked the promo entirely, I only circled back to it because I had some extra time on my hands and decided to cram in another review. Lucky I was too, as Powers is one of the most entertaining thrash albums I’ve heard this year.” Wrecking crew.

Napalm Death – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism Review

Napalm Death – Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism Review

“It’s genuinely hard for me to comprehend someone taking a strong dislike to Napalm Death because, above all else, they represent a seal of quality. At this point in their career the band have managed to command their blast-happy frenzy and deathly breakdowns with the kind of fluidity most acts can only imagine. But experimentation has never been far from their arsenal, and new album Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism¬†is no exception. In a career that spans excellent to reliable, the only real question is: which category does this sixteenth record belong to?” Death throes.