Paul Hutchings reviews the comeback album from Bristol Prog thrashers Detritus here’s what he thinks
I admit that Detritus completely passed me by on their first run….
Formed in Bristol in 1989 from Christian metal outfit Seventh Angel, the band supported the likes of Acid Reign, Slammer and Galactic Cowboys, releasing two albums: Perpetual Defiance in 1990 and If But One in 1993. And that was it.
With those albums reissued, Detritus have been spurred back into the studio for their first album in almost 30 years. The line up in 2021 comprises original members Andy Bright – drums & percussion, Mark Broomhead – vocals & bass and guitarist Andy Neal alongside fellow guitarists Michael Bryzak and Paul Newington-Wise.
Whilst the band may carry the classic thrash badge it’s clear from the opening strains of Bright Black that there’s a bit more than just Bay Area appreciation going on here. Driving riffs dominate although there is a measured, less frantic approach. The band are renowned for a more progressive approach which was prevalent on their sophomore release and they have fused the heavier riffing of the debut with that progressive style to good effect.
If you want fast, mosh pit inducing metal then Myths may fall short. The music is carefully crafted, the music blending chugging riffage with delicate passages, an intricate duelling which is a breath of fresh air in the often-crowded metal world. Tales of Sadness and Call Me Human combine a plethora of styles, from progressive almost symphonic blasts to industrial groove, all underpinned by a melody which is different and thought provoking.
What Detritus do brilliantly is add heaviness from the sheer weight of their songs. You don’t have to be 350bpm to be crushing and Tales of Sadness is just one example. The riffs are almost doom ended in their load, and the song drips with emotion to add to the intensity.
The centrepiece of the album is Exoria, which at nearly nine-minutes stands apart. A slow, emotional melancholic track, with keyboards and orchestral elements integral, it’s a track of depth and weight, with Broomhead’s vocals guiding the song gently before it builds to a dramatic conclusion. But if you thought that Exoria was unusual, the acapella intro to Bloodstained Glass take things to another level, with a funk edged bass, growling almost rap style vocals and thick jagged riff allowing for an expansive, progressive track. It’s another variation on an album full of variation.
But if you are still gagging for some all-out thrash, do not fear because Detritus have left a triple whammy to finish. Pharisee is the shortest at just under four minutes, a punchy and addictive beast, before The Game which mixes skull crushing riffs with late sixties era Floydian choruses in one hugely addictive combination. And then the finale and what a track to bring this album to a conclusion. The fiery battery of riff heavy Forever Soldier will get any pit moving!
It took me a few listens to get stuck into Myths. But when I’d done so, it was time well spent because this is an album that proves you may not be able to teach old dogs’ new tricks, but old dogs can certainly teach us a thing or two.
Detritus Myths is available from Friday the 5th February and is available to order HERE and the band are our guests on this Fridays Podcast