Warbringer

Psychosomatic – The Invisible Prison Review

Psychosomatic – The Invisible Prison Review

“It feels like only yesterday when you all hated me for giving such high praise to Crisix‘s 2018 release, Against the Odds. I understand that everyone thinks Power Trip is god and everyone is getting tired of the Havok/Warbringer sound, so thrash is getting more and more difficult to get into these days. Thrash, with a modern touch, is even harder as it all seems to sound rehashed and repetitive. I’m not sorry I love the fun and upbeat character of Crisix. I’m not sorry ‘Perseverance’ and ‘Xenomorph Blood’ make me lose my shit. I’m not sorry Against the Odds made my list that year. I’m not sorry for my love of thrash. I’m not sorry for having such an exquisite taste. I’m not sorry for anything. OK… I am sorry you’re so dead inside that you can’t enjoy fun things. I’m also sorry for this: thrash veterans Psychosomatic and their newest release, The Invisible Prison.” No regrats.

Warbringer – Weapons of Tomorrow Review

Warbringer – Weapons of Tomorrow Review

Warbringer has been bringing the war to thrash since 2006, breathing life back into the classic 80s sound with a powerhouse blend of Bay Area legends like Exodus, Death Angel and Testament. On 2017’s Woe to the Vanquished they expanded their sound outward, incorporating black metal influences into their thrash template with interesting if not always completely successful results.” Has Weapons of Tomorrow upped the ante once again and armed them for revolution?

Bones – Diseased Review

Bones – Diseased Review

“Everybody knows a local band like Chicago’s Bones. If you attend small scale metal shows in your vicinity with any sort of regularity, you know them well: a groove oriented death metal band, often fresh off work, that seems to open every show regardless of whether they fit the bill. This results in often hilarious pairings, including my recent bewilderment at Kansas City’s death/doomsters Pulchra Morte opening for Gloryhammer of all bands. Bones is the very embodiment of that same working class energy, but as they fall under the eclectic umbrella of Transcending Obscurity, curveballs are to be expected.” Boning it in.

Exumer – Hostile Defiance Review

Exumer – Hostile Defiance Review

“Germany’s Exumer has been around since the 80s themselves, and they have a pretty good grasp on what it takes to craft a successful slab o’ thrash. I still enjoy their Possessed By Fire debut all these years later, and 2016s The Raging Tides had it share of sweet aggression despite some shortcomings. Now they’ve come back to bludgeon with their fifth album, Hostile Defiance, and lo and behold, all the essentials rules are followed and their mosh ducks are in a neat row.” Hostile work environment.

Interview with John Kevill of Warbringer

Interview with John Kevill of Warbringer

“I tested my mettle (and my liver) on the famed 70,000 Tons of Metal this month and somehow convinced real metal PR folks that I was a real metal journalist. This may or may not have something to do with them thinking I was the Angry Metal Guy, despite my insistence otherwise. As fortune would have it, John Kevill, vocalist and founding member of thrash metal savants Warbringer (and a personal favorite since he was cool as hell to me in a venue bathroom in 2009 (wait, that sounds off (or does it?))), was willing to sit down for a bit. In true Warbringer fashion, John went right at it regarding his thoughts on metal journalism, context, and thrash metal writ large and was as thoughtful, forward, and unapologetic as his music.” Starting wars.

Crisix – Against the Odds Review

Crisix – Against the Odds Review

“While I like many of the rethrash bands currently in the scene (Warbringer, Power Trip, Reign of Fury—to name a few), few bands have the energy and in-your-face attitude of the original scene. Spain’s Crisix don’t appear to write the hefty stuff, with smirks on their faces and whoopie cushions under their asses, but these guys can fuck shit up. Two years ago, these sonsabitches fell from the sky and roundhouse-kicked me in the nuts. And now they’re back to sac-tap me once more with Against the Odds.” Tapping the (main) vein.

King Parrot – Ugly Produce Review

King Parrot – Ugly Produce Review

King Parrot make grindcore great again. At least that’s what I thought after first hearing the Australian quintet’s 2012 debut Bite Your Head Off, which bucked genre norms by fusing groovy aggression with honest-to-God vocal hooks and a “hip slumdog” attitude. In my review of 2015 follow-up Dead Set I referred to the band as the “Die Antwoord of grindcore,” and that remains one of my favorite analogies I’ve made at AMG to this day.” King for a day, grind for 12 minutes.

Dead Head – Swine Plague Review

Dead Head – Swine Plague Review

“I’ve liked Dead Head for nearly a decade, though I haven’t thought of them in nearly that long. During one youthful torrent rampage, I collected an album for every letter of the alphabet; 2009’s Depression Tank served as the D. Titillated by the delightful mix of Panzer riffs and bullet belts, I patiently anticipated a follow-up, my naive exuberance skating right over Dead Head’s spotty release pattern.” Plagues before Swine.

Distillator – Summoning the Malicious Review

Distillator – Summoning the Malicious Review

“Thrash has deflowered many a metal virgin over the years, myself included. As such, regardless of the modern state of the thrash metal scene, it’s easy to fall back into cozy nostalgia, despite my belief that the majority of thrash bands are caught in a perpetual loop of attempting to rehash the genre’s past glories and ’80s heyday rather than forging their own path of destruction. Pulling strands from the much pillaged Bay Area thrash scene of the ’80s, spiked with whiffs of old school Slayer and Destruction, Distillator go about their business with minimum fuss and plenty of throwback thrash attitude and tightly executed chops.” Distillation was never this heavy.