Trastorned – Into the Void Review

Wheat dies fast; chaff lives on forever. What that means for thrash, I don’t know, because that genre will relive the good ole days until the barn burns down. I also don’t know what that means for Trastorned. The Chilean quartet have spent 15 years working out the perfect homage to the genre with their debut, Into the Void. It’s mean. It’s fast. It sounds exactly how you want it to sound. But those three points mean little these days, and it will take so much more for these thrashers to survive the thresher.

Into the Void may spit out smoke and dust and chunks of animal, but under its hood its engine runs smooth on a diet of everything from Exodus to Demolition Hammer to Power Trip. Opener “Witch Hunt” proves that years of writing haven’t bogged down the record one bit. The riffs are sinister, the direction and production spot-on, and the band’s performances sling the casual looseness and flair the genre so desperately needs to be successful. When you shut your eyes and turn off your brain, Fist Banger Lonza’s echoing barks and maniacal cackles and the slight squeal in Felipe González’s guitar licks have you partying like you’re 13 and you’ve never heard any of this material before. Though the sound is worn to the point of beaten up, you’ll find no clunkers on the tracklist. Every lick Trastorned puts on the wax is in service of tearing shit up. Thrash thrives on the edge of chaos, flirting with too fast, too wild, too far. Into the Void rides that line, but a subtle yet core cohesion holds the whole ride together. This is in part due to the tautness of the record, just a hair under 30 minutes. In, slam dance, out before a good time becomes a long time.

The catch here—stop me if you’ve heard this criticism before—is that you never feel like you’re listening to Trastorned, per se. You’re listening to Vio-lence, Overkill, take your pick. At its most potent, you’re either a. overcome with a distracting sense of déjà vu (It’s eating me alive that “Miasma of Death” sounds just like a song I can’t place), or b. inclined to flip over to the source material, as I did on more than one occasion. That’s not to say that Into the Void is entirely unoriginal, but little stands out. It’s yet another float in the parade of the genre’s greatest hits. Aside from a few admittedly very strong moments on the highlight title track (that spiral riff in the mid-track is awesome) and on the generic-yet-aptly-named “Insanity”, Trastorned offer little off-the-beaten path.

Enjoying thrash in 2023 is a weird bag. It’s less that it requires an overly critical piece of shit like moi to shut up and accept the metal as it metals, though that it does. It’s that you can’t enjoy thrash in 2023 if you’re still enjoying thrash in [Insert 1986/1990/1997/2006]. Nothing roots this album in the current zeitgeist. Into the Void would fit right in with the scene 30 years ago. Even the top tier, the Havoks and the Hellrippers, owes so much to the good ole days that it’s impossible to view them as standalone. Only a handful of hallmark acts in recent years have felt truly new, and fewer than that are still putting out anything memorable.

Into the Void is a good record, but ultimately not a great one. So lost in the shuffle Trastorned may be, one small, hairy, jean-jacketed stalk among waves of grain the color of cheap lager. And yet, never underestimate the power of the riff. The guys behind Trastorned are talented, as evidenced by a strong debut here. They’re dedicated—no one lasts 15 years before dropping a record without really wanting it. The wheel may desperately need reinventing, but even if Trastorned aren’t the ones to do it, I suspect they’ll have a fine career just the same.

Rating: ​3.0/5.0
DR:​ 7 | ​Format Reviewed:​ 320 kbps mp3
Label:Dying Victims Productions | Bandcamp
Releases Worldwide​: January 23rd, 2023

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