Wargasm

Retro-spective Review: Powermad – Absolute Power

Retro-spective Review: Powermad – Absolute Power

“The third and fourth waves of thrash washing ashore in the late 80s and early 90s saw their share of dead fish and used condoms. But even amongst that flotsam were a few hidden gems that had they arrived a few years earlier might have been regarded as genre classics. Powermad‘s sole full-length was one of those ill-timed pieces of precious driftwood. Absolute Power was a slick, surprisingly mature debut loaded with high level progressive playing and even higher writing standards.” Avoid Coney Island whitefish, but don’t avoid this forgotten treasure.

Retro-spective Review: Cities – Annihilation Absolute

Retro-spective Review: Cities – Annihilation Absolute

“With these retro reviews, I’ve balanced albums from bands that had a decent following at one time and then fell off the map (Riot, Holy Terror) with those that had virtually no following at all despite a quality release (Hall Aflame, Damn the Machine). Count Cities as one of the latter…for sure. As a side band for Twisted Sister‘s drummer A.J. Pero, Cities spent the 80s toiling in extreme obscurity, with only a small, but loyal fanclub in and around the New York area. With numerous line-up changes and breakups, they only managed one album; the excellent Annihilation Absolute and then promptly sank into nothingness.” If you were about to stop reading because you saw a mention of Twisted Sister, hold your horses! Steel Druhm wants to introduce you to the New York band that SHOULD HAVE been the 80s sensation!

Evile – Skull Review

Evile – Skull Review

Evile has always occupied a strange space in the re-thrash movement. They seem to be one of the big wigs in the scene, yet I hear far less buzz about them than many other retro acts. They are also one of the few bands to eschew the common Slayer, Exodus and Testament mimicking in favor of a much more traditional Metallica influence. Their sound generally exists in the phantom zone between the Master of Puppets and And Justice for All eras and the later works of long overlooked Wargasm.” That combo sounds like a can’t miss, right? When you’re talking about skull tank music, you can never be too sure, so you better find out where Steel Druhm stands on the Skull.

Mortillery – Origin of Extinction Review

Mortillery – Origin of Extinction Review

“In the sea of mediocre re-thrash that was 2012, the unheralded debut by Canadian upstarts Mortillery was one of the few life rafts of quality. Murder, Death, Kill was tongue-in-cheek fun and had all the flavor of the second wave of ’80s thrash while incorporating just enough traditional metal and punk elements to keep things interesting. You could feel the youthful exuberance and hunger in the band’s music and they greatly benefited from the exception vocals of Cara McCutchen and the axe slinging acumen of Alex Scott and Alex Guitierrez.” Steel Druhm happily trotted out the skull tank of rethrash for 2012s Mortillery debut, and now they’re back with a follow-up! Will that tank start up again after sitting all year?

Retro-spective Review: Wargasm – Ugly

Retro-spective Review: Wargasm – Ugly

Welcome to the first ever Retro-spective review! Why is Steel Druhm reviewing old stuff you ask? Well, because I’m old! Old enough to attend shows during the NWOBHM without wearing diapers (though it would have helped in a few cases). Since I’m such a geezer, it only made sense that I start doing reviews of older albums that deserve a look back by new generations of the metal mongering masses. First up on the Angry Metal Chopping Block is Boston’s own Wargasm. A power trio in every sense of the word, these unsung thrashers put out three albums and an EP’s worth of meat and potatoes, tough guy thrash and their sophmore release Ugly was their enduring statement. Originally available via Massacre Records, it didn’t get nearly as much love as it should have which means its out of print and finding it might be a challenge. However, word on the street has it that there may be a live DVD coming soon, so a well deserved re-issue of their back catalog may not be far behind.

Dawnbringer – Nucleus Review

Dawnbringer – Nucleus Review

Interesting release we have right here folks. For those unaware, Dawnbringer is a project band of sorts for Chris Black (Pharaoh, Nachtmystium, Superchrist) and his guitar playing buddies and together they create something like a mix of NWOBHM, straight up American metal, black metal, thrash and doom (there’s even moments of quasi-southern rock). Tell me that doesn’t sound intriguing, I dare you! Nucleus is their fourth full-length and yep, it’s one humdinger of a rickety metal contraption. At times sounding like a weird mash-up of Iron Maiden, Slough Feg, Motorhead and Black Sabbath, this thing rumbles and rambles all over the place and always seems ready to come unhinged but it just screams METAL! From the production, riffs and vocals, there’s an ever present rough and tough vibe and despite the myriad of styles and influences Dawnbringer tries to squish together, they somehow managed to craft some great metal songs that will stick in your head for a long time.