Hutch reviews the debut EP from Wyoming Thrashers, The Band Repent, here’s what he thinks
Hailing from Casper, Wyoming, The Band Repent or TBR to you comprise vocalist Shawn Hill, lead guitarist Steve Thomas, Jeremy Amack on backing vocals and rhythm guitar, Joe Rodriguez on bass and drummer Dominic Ambrose. ‘Written in Blood’ is their debut EP.
First impressions are reasonable. Despite average production which sees the vocals buried in the mix to the extent that you must strain to hear Hill’s enunciation, this is big and brash. A real angry fist to the face. I can’t say the EP gets hugely more exciting as it develops, but the punishing combination of guttural growls and relentless death thrash that ticks many boxes certainly. Opener ‘March’ teases, a short sub-three-minute track that segues into ‘Blood Boils Red,’ which hints at crossover but ultimately plumps for a more direct course of engagement. It’s a bludgeoning tool that drives with a visceral passion.
‘1,000 Years’ sees TBR channelling their inner Lamb of God, albeit with a slightly less polished result. The increase in tempo is welcomed, the heads in the pit will be moving. ‘Unbreachable’ builds nicely, erupting into a pit swirling beast that whilst nothing new certainly gets the head nodding and the foot taping. This is the one that would encourage those pits, and yet it quickly descends into a doom-laden segment that merely spreads confusion. Once TBR hit their stride though, they bring the stomp of LOG combined with elements of Slayer. It’s no bad thing, yet a little originality would enhance this so much.
Heading for the finish line now, and things slowly hit the buffers with ‘Wrath’. It begins reasonably well, a chunky riff and gruff vocals, but the song is bloated, slow and uninspiring. It drags much more than expected, and after a minute, you’ll be hitting the skip button. Final track ‘War’ brings a slightly more optimistic feel, with a precision drum intro and a groove that you immediately find yourself wanting to mosh to, but it descends into rather uninspiring fare, and it doesn’t really hold the attention. In summary, there are flashes of promise lurking within this EP. You’ll need to listen hard, but they are there. The challenge, as it would be for any band these days, is to blast something that really grabs the cojones and doesn’t let go. TBR give it a go, but it’s more a tickle than a full lock.
Written In Blood Is Out Now – https://open.spotify.com/album/4IDGVT7c4CETp90WHrWbkw?si=N0yrCrqPQsKpdKxEixDl3w