Review – Halberd – Thrashbestos EP

Hutch takes a dive into the upcoming release by London Thrashers Halberd….

They’ve been creating a bit of a stir in the Thrash Album of the Fortnight Club in recent weeks and one can see why, for the latest EP from the Southeast London quintet certainly packs a punch. 

For those who are unaware of Halberd, the band originally formed in 2012 before taking a hiatus in 2017. They came roaring back in 2020 and despite the world going to shit they’ve cooked up a storm with an avalanche of music in 2022. Covers of Kremated’s Thrash Ain’t Dead and the collective Legion in Arms with the London Metal Coalition as well their debut full-length Parasitic Humanity in April have all served to give the UK thrash scene another bloody nose. 

Thrashbestos is a bloody awful song title but put that to one side and it’s an epic 12 minutes of piledriving thrash metal that combines all the band’s influences. There’s plenty of thrash, death, and groove to get stuck into. From the punk infused power of From the Ashes through to the piledriving delivery of the title track, there’s something earthy and gritty about the sound that the band produce. 

It could be argued that Halberd sit very much in the same camp as fellow thrasher Thrasherwolf, Blacklist and the now departed Riptide, but as with all these new wave of thrash outfits, there’s always something that makes them a little different. The playing is on point, tight and controlled whilst threatening to lose control at any moment. Vocalist Casey Marsh brings the snarling aggression so necessary for this style of music, whilst the short instrumental Jackpit allows the other members of the band to flex their musical muscles with relish. Zack Covil’s supersonic drumming pushing the track at 100mph whilst the lead breaks of Deejay Shore also catch the ear. 

Unsurprisingly, there is no ballad on the EP and instead, Halberd hit hard with Killionare which is a savage blast which rips flesh. These boys don’t do anything by half measures and its full throttle. That just leaves Thrashbestos, with the Araya scream at the start and a definite nod to the undisputed thrash metal kings Slayer. It’s a visceral razor-sharp assault on the hearing, but it works with its groove-ridden breakdown and thick riffs. 

With momentum on their side, Halberd is a band that are well worth checking out. Their music may not be the most original in the world, but even Metallica are dipping back into NWOBHM these days. Sharp, aggressive, and totally feral, this is the EP that you need to play your gran on Christmas day.

Halberd – Thrashbestos EP is out next Friday the 9th December in all the normal places, check out via the Linktree to find out more

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