Testament

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.

Bear Mace – Charred Field of Slaughter Review

Bear Mace – Charred Field of Slaughter Review

“Yet, the success of a musician is only measured by one’s support and their growth in the field. Green Carnation‘s Tchort has proved his worth and Bear Mace‘s Sugar has done the same. Bear Mace‘s newest release, Charred Field of Slaughter, is that proof. You want to know what a man can do with a guitar, with killer bass and solo partners, with one of the genre’s nastiest vocalists, and nearly forty years of death metal boiling through one’s head? Witness.” Bears, beets, burly death metal.

Onslaught – Generation Antichrist Review

Onslaught – Generation Antichrist Review

“When I selected the promo for Onslaught‘s Generation Antichrist, I initially thought that I was grabbing the latest platter from a relatively modern thrash outfit. But there was something about the British band’s logo that gave me the nagging feeling that I had seen it before. And then it came to me: Onslaught is a band that I’ve often seen listed on those “Best Thrash Albums of All Time” lists. No, not the “Top 10 Thrash Albums of All Time” lists, but the “Top 50 or Top 100 Thrash Albums of All Time” lists.” Generations clash.

Scars – Predatory Review

Scars – Predatory Review

“Thrash albums should be an hour long. FALSE. Why do bands think that? The latest from Testament is a great example of a recent thrash album that would have been excellent if twenty minutes had been shaved off it. In fact, just last week as the AMG crew hurled insults across the six-foot barriers at each other, one thing we agreed on was that thrash albums need to aim for the 29-minute sweet spot. Also known as the Reign in Blood theorem, it is seemingly impossible for bands to get close to.” Lowering the Scar(s).

Pessimist – Holdout Review

Pessimist – Holdout Review

Pessimist. How about that for a band name in the year of our demise that is 2020? While originally slated to cover some German power metal this week in the form of Goblins Blade, I handed that apostropheless, potential 4.0 off to Huck so I could cover some German thrash with a grouchy name.” Holdenout.

Lamb of God – Lamb of God Review

Lamb of God – Lamb of God Review

“Through impressive early career highs to the middling mehs of some of their later material, Lamb of God have remained committed to their craft amidst tides of turmoil, persevering through some sizable obstacles. Now following a five-year gap between albums, Lamb of God return with their anticipated eighth LP, a self-titled effort.” Lamb-fisted.