Review – Ceaseless Torment – Victory or Death

Hailing from the frozen north, or at least the part called Finland, Ceaseless Torment have been around since 2008, and after a couple of 4 track demos, released their first official full-length album in 2014 ‘The End They Bring’ followed in 2017 by ‘Force of Evil’, now 5 years later they are about to unleash their third, the highly anticipated “Victory or Death”. 

Let’s get this out in the open, tundra style, CT are unapologetically thrash, they do what they do with all the precision of a butcher at a corpse, but by God is it effective. Doing my due diligence, and checking out the previous two releases, “Victory or Death” builds on the momentum of those two first cuts in an almost backward way, and I mean that as a compliment. Sure, there is progression, or maybe that should be regression, but it’s not in any way compromised the bands heaviness, no, instead they have merely found a more effective, efficient way of being brutal. Like a serial killer perfecting his trade, after all killing is an artform of sorts. The production is wonderfully retrograde, this sounds like it came out of the 80s, and yet it has all the clarity you’d expect of a recording from2022. My first thought after listening, was ‘Agent Orange’ era Sodom covering ‘Seasons in the Abyss’, or is it ‘Seasons’ era Slayer covering ‘Agent Orange’? Either way you get the idea, this is as old school as it gets. There’s tremolo riffs and manic leads aplenty, along with lots of muted power chord chunkiness. This will have you madly banging your head for the whole of it’s 36min run time. 

Starting out with the 2½ minute ‘Final Sacrifice’, (with more than a hint of ‘War Ensemble’ in the intro), it’s then a heads down gallop to the finish. ‘Beyond the Boundaries of Sanity’ follows in similar style and it’s only when you get to the breakdown, that you get any sort of reprieve. ‘All Be Dead’ is a mid-paced monster, with some epic Hanneman/King worship at the start. The pseudo title-track ‘Only Victory or Death’ has more great guitar interaction, the harmonies throughout it are awesome, lead single ‘Sons of Sodom’ does what it says on the tin with a real nod to Tom Angelripper and the boys, and ‘Obsession Possession’ is speed feat while the closing ‘Slaves of Hell’ is the closet the band get to an epic and is probably my favourite track, a slower, longer, brooding intro, which expands into a real gem, with a really great riff set. 

This is the bottom line: this is extremely enjoyable thrash, which might not be the most original sounding  (and by that I mean if you’re madly missing Slayer, then this will definitely help you through your loss) but it more than makes up for it in sheer heaviness and enthusiasm. Good job.

“Victory or Death” due for release on September 30th, 2022 via Wormholedeath

Review – Thundering Hooves -Radiance

Neil Bolton checks out the new album from Thundering Hooves here’s what he thinks…

This second album from London’s “Thundering Hooves” hopes to build and evolve the sound created on their first release “Vestiges”. This new album “Radiance” has seen members Danial B, and Micheal B fold in a little more of the traditional metal sound into their music; a sound worthy of such a cool band name.

Embers is the first track and displays the goal of black and trad well. The black metal sound is prominent while the gallop of the traditional side mixes well, giving the listener an immediate something to grab hold of. 

The gruff, course black metal vocals sit devilishly well in  this wonderfully mixed and produced album. It contains the feel, and the dark, and the horror, I am sure the band intended. 

The second track begins with a wonderful drum lead, breaking  into a song now containing more of the traditional sound, a sound which is similar to current “Darkthrone”. This slow, head-bang inducing, track flows well and contains every element a listener to this genre craves and enjoys. 

The title track is next and flows pleasantly from the last. The black metal has not wained and the trad attack is just as enjoyable as ever. 

Lyrical inspiration for this album is spawned mainly from gothic and folk horror; a well trodden path that serves our love for the darker more taboo side of literature. It also works extremely well in this instance, but it is the music that takes the lime light, and for good reason. 

The tunes are hooky, the musicianship is extremely good, and it is all topped off with very good indeed heavy-metal song writing. Enjoyable guitar solos pop up all around this release adding more to the cacophony. These two gentlemen certainly contain a love and admiration for the history and importance of the past, as well as embracing and creating its future. 

The cover artwork fits well displaying a dark charcoal drawing that assists in the atmosphere of this album. 

To be honest this review could have been distilled down to these simple words. 

This album is very good, very good indeed.

Radiance is out in the UK on the 7th October via our friends at Mercenary Press with cassette and CD pre-orders being taken now.

Review – Condemned AD – Follow a Failing Leader

Hutch checks out the latest release from Swedish Thrashers Condemned A.D. here’s what he thinks…

Bold, brash, and unashamedly proud of their influences, Swedish thrashers Condemned A.D. rose from the ashes of their former past in 2015 when sole original member Micke (guitar and vocals) alongside drummer Juan and Alex (guitars, bass RIP 2022) resurrected the band. Three EPs followed before their full-length Follow a Failing Leader appeared. 

Now, when I say the band are unashamedly proud of their influences, I mean the buggers wear them on their sleeves. You can play pick the individual inspirations on each track, almost a game of metal bingo, for there is everything from Megadeth, Entombed, Tankard, Venom and Slayer oozing out here.

What makes Condemned A.D. a bit different though is that they throw caution to the wind and simply thrash from the opener Will You Feel My Hate through to the rampage of closing track Nothing is Nothing. It’s not original in the slightest and Mike’s similarities to Schmier and Tom Angelripper in the vocal department cannot be underestimated. It’s a gravel coated growl that switches to a gargling roar and back again with ease. 

The band’s style leaves little to the imagination. Tracks like Killing Floor and No Gods No Masters draw deep on thrash metal’s cliches, throw them into the mixer and then bring the hammer down in one intense fuelled delivery. The tracks are variable in quality. Killing Floor contains a heady mix of Primordial, Anthrax and what appears to be a bit of In Flames. It’s explosive, aggressive, and at times a little ropey; but to be fair, that’s probably part of the attraction. 

The Slayer dominated Save Me from Myself (Bloodline anyone?) highlights some of the weaknesses in the song writing and the vocals, which really struggle. It’s where the band try and go a bit more off piste that they run aground, to mix a metaphor or two. It’s where they go full bore that they impress more, such as the ludicrously titled Suicide by Murder. 

How do you conclude a review of an album that is crammed full of songs that are a Frankenstein’s monster of thrash metal. Probably by inviting you to give it a listen and see what you make of it. There are certainly some flashes of quality, but overall, it isn’t going to set the world of thrash alight anymore than a fire in a bin.

“Follow a Failing Leader” will be released on September 23rd, 2022 via Wormholedeath worldwide.

Review – Infantry – Terminal Society

Frank returns and takes a listen to the new album by Infantry, here’s what he thinks…

 It is about time I blew a few cobwebs away and wrote a review, it has been a while.

Infantry, a five piece from the Netherlands, blurring the lines between Thrash and Death metal, bring us their second full length release in the form of Terminal Society. Independently released on 31st August 2022 albeit only available via streaming sites at this time, although physical releases have been promised in the near future in the form of CD’s and digipacks. It is the long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s debut “Make war not love”.

 The opening track “Disposer of Immortality” draws you in with a slow technical thrash style riff, then hits you full on with a double guitar assault with a nice helping of growling death vocals that compliment the aggressive nature of the music. I really like the straightforward clear production here, and this carries on throughout the album. If you like dirty chugging riffs, with a heavy groove, the second song, “Submission”,  has what you require and then some, it’s direct and straightforward but works very well. This is the kind of track that would get a pit opening up at the front of a gig with plenty of headbanging at the back. The next track ” Destination:Wonderland”, the next track is a real death metal style banger helped along by guest vocalist Miranda Visser,  from Hellevaerder, adding a style that compliments Ronal Van Baren’s guttural roar. These three opening tracks showcase the band has more than one string to their bow.

 Although not heavy on solos throughout, when they are allowed to express themselves, the twin guitar attack of Luuk Steemers (rhythm) and Arjen Kliess (lead) compliment each other, and at times it’s almost Iron Maidenesqe. This is undoubtedly helped by the aforementioned production. The track “Coup D’etat”  showcases the guitar work perfectly. The eight tracks come in at just over thirty-eight minutes, almost an EP compared to many new releases and they flow effortlessly from the speakers, culminating in the title track, which perhaps is my favorite on the album.

 The song structures are good and well balanced, and lyrical content deal with the standard death/thrash mainstay of death, destruction, political injustice, and warfare as you would expect.

Throughout the rhythm section, Andrea Serra (bass) and Glenn Veldman (drums) do a great job complementing the guitarwork, the mix works perfectly to bring their skills to the fore, every musician has a place in this band and it shows.

This album has been a long time in the making, recorded over two years, partially at a home studio by guitarist Arjen Kliess with the drum tracks recorded at Profination Studios by Edwin Van Wingarden and Corne Venis, then perfectly pieced together with an almost faultless mix by Arjen himself. In a brief chat with him via Facebook he described it as: “a long process… we are very much satisfied that we finally released Terminal Society”

 I’ll go along with that statement, in a year full of quality releases, this more than holds its own.

After a few UK dates were canceled a couple of years ago, Infantry are eager to get across the North Sea and showcase their talent, and I for one will be happy to buy a ticket.

Check out Terminal Society – OUT NOW

Review – Hedra – Storm Clouds Single

Hutch checks out the new Hedra single, released today on Devil’s Clause Records, here’s what he thinks –

I’ll admit that the press picture of Hedra standing in matching shirts with the band’s logo on it was a bit off putting. Uniforms rarely look good. Hell, even Anthrax customised their shirts whilst Machine Head just looked, well, controlled. But putting that aside, who are Hedra? A five-piece from Norwich, the band comprises Jim Marten on vocals, guitarists Kamil Korsak and Zoran Gyenis, bassist Lukas ‘Kozi’ Mosdzenski and drummer James Redden. 

I said I’m wearing that shirt….

Hedra have been around since 2014, and describe their music as being drawn from bands as diverse as Korn, Pantera, and Tool, with the wider influences of U2 and Pearl Jam. The band have released a series of singles and now present Storm Clouds. 

The first thing to note is that whilst the influences above are evident, Hedra certainly have their own sound. This is in part to Marten’s vocals which are clean, smooth, and powerful. A veteran who has been around for many years, Marten holds his own against the heavy riff and dual guitar approach. ‘Storm Clouds’ moves quickly, an opening blast deferring to progressive flow, before sweeping moments and huge passages bring the track roaring to life. It’s got a definite late 90s early 00s flavour to it, but with a contemporary twist that gives it a different vibe.

The hook is irresistible, the delicate changes in tempo work well and the band link neatly together. It’s a well-crafted song that ebbs and flows with a grace and fluidity that appears organic. It’s almost cinematic in parts, with a huge middle section that demands attention. The four-minutes fly by, and the track is addictive enough to immediately demand another play. Their style may not be for everyone, but for those that appreciate it, this ticks all the boxes.

Review – The Band Repent – Written in Blood 

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.  

REPENT..REPENT we say!!

‘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.  

Blood Boils Red

Written In Blood Is Out Now – https://open.spotify.com/album/4IDGVT7c4CETp90WHrWbkw?si=N0yrCrqPQsKpdKxEixDl3w

Tempashot – Social Cesspit

UK Thrash disruptors and Moshin’ The Roof On contributors Tempashot start on their campaign for their upcoming debut album ‘Certified Dangerous’ (out June date TBC) with a brand new track ‘Social Cesspit’ that explores the mind numbing, lie spreading plague of social media! Luke from the band tells us that “it’s a self aware troll at social media, how it controls us and adds issues, with fake follows and people getting addicted to the numbers” but the band aren’t oblivious to their own usage of the social streams, and they appear in the video at the start and end, stuck to their phones.. well if you can’t beat them…..

The track is what we’ve come to enjoy and expect from the lads, a blend of solid thrash punctuated with Lukes alternative take on vocal delivery, but with the added depth of bass player (and Detoxen front man) James Lockley adding his more traditional metal vocals into the mix, something that we are likely to see further explored in the rest of the album, and in the future. The addition of Si Ellis (from Helgrind) on lead also turns the thrash elements up to max, complimenting Dio’s mosh inducing rhythm guitar work and the drumming intensity of Issac, the track arrangement and mix really does the whole package justice!

Visually, the track is kind off a traditional affair, with darkened background and the bands head banging their way through the tracks in hi resolution, perfectly member lit clarity, its nothing specifically new but its really well done, nicely edited and it a showcase of what the band look and sound like as a performing unit, which is a really important statement of intent leading up to album launch.

The Tracks goes live tonight (Friday the 29th) at 6pm UK time, at the Youtube premiere below, so go and check it out and give the band a follow on YouTube… or Facebook

Moshin’ The Roof On

Yes… reviewing your own compilation is pretty crass!! But we wanted a little something on the site to celebrate yesterdays launch. So we asked Dave Marlow to review the Double Album for us.

Now if you don’t know Dave.. or Wiggy as he is often known, he pretty much single handedly keeps bands in business through Merch sales, physical purchases and sharing his pictures of merch and tagging bands on his socials… that’s a Grade A+ underground music fan right there!!

So we gave Wiggy early access to MTRO v3, and here is what he thought….

I am not naturally a reviewer of anything, but, I have had the privilege of hearing Moshin’ The Roof On Vol. 3 a week early, and I’m here to share my thoughts on it.

UK Thrashers and 30 bands are back to loudly combat homelessness, and, raise money for Shelter. Yes, 30 bands have donated tracks to this compilation, and many of them are exclusive/advanced tracks that you won’t hear anywhere else for a while. 

While the double album contains an ample sufficiency of the best  Thrash Metal from the UK underground scene, it’s not all about Thrash, other metal genres are sprinkled in. From the ‘other’ category a couple of the stand out tracks for come from Gutlocker, which is brilliantly in your face, and, the heavy grooves from Scarred By Truth, which are a joy!

Hellfekted – MTRO v3 Launch Party Courtesy of Acid Dolka

On to the Thrash! Disc one starts with tracks from the tri-fecta of Hellfekted, Blacklist and Thrasherwolf, and, they don’t disappoint! Then, the riffs keep coming, all the bands smashing it! There’s even an instrumental from Acid For Blood, which totally rocks! Closing out disc one are the awesome Tempashot,  while, I understand that the vocal delivery is not everyones cup of tea, I think it’s great to see a band doing their own thing.

Disc two starts of with the thrashtastic Helgrind doing what they do best…..being epic! The music continues at a pace. Riptide bring some big riffs, and, Chimp In A Box bring a real earworm to the party, in a good way!

By the time the last three tracks, provided by Devastator, Imperium and, Elimination gloriously bring proceedings to an end,  I get the urge to play the whole thing again!

Imperium – MTRO v3 Launch Party Courtesy of Acid Dolka

All 30 bands smash it out of the park, for me this is a must have album. So, treat your ears, and help out a very good cause and buy a copy of Moshin’ The Roof On Vol.3 available from the UK Thrashers bandcamp page…………if you’re feeling flush, there’s some awesome merch, too! 

Thanks to Wiggy from us at UK Thrashers, and all the bands he supports every payday!!

If you haven’t already pick up MTRO v3 (or 2 as we have a few CD’s left) on our BandCamp Page HERE

Inhuman Nature – Under The Boot (EP)

The Inhuman Nature lads are back at it again with their new breed of crossover, taking thrash and punk and mixing with a large dollop of NWOBHM.

Since their self titled album surfaced in 2019, the boys have continued the assault with a split with Road Mutant as well as a splattering of singles and gigs. ‘Under The Boot’ picks up the story nicely with three banging tracks that remind us why Inhuman Nature are a force to be reckoned with in the UK underground and garner such popularity in Europe and beyond.

From opener ‘City Of The Dead’ through the title track and finishing with ‘Ride The Apocalypse’ this EP is filled with power, and the recording, mixing and mastering carried out by James Atkinson at Leeds Slaughterhouse allows the tracks to really breath, there’s still the all out assault of riffs and pounding backline, complemented with Chris’s vocal rasp and spite, but there is a new atmospheric feel that weaves within the tracks and really brings them to life and elevates the tracks from those that have proceeded them.

The lads have a European tour planned for later this year, and we hope they are heading into the studio to carry on this forward momentum again soon!

‘Under The Boot’ is Out on the 11th February via Church Records or via Bandcamp, and pick yourself up a very tasty long sleeve Tee at the same time!!

Elyrean – The Omniscient One (Single)

West Midlands Melodic/technical Thrashers Elyrean are back with a new single this Friday.

Now a lot of things have changed in the camp since their M2TM wins and Bloodstock performances, mainly due to the departure of former vocalist and bassist Asa.

The Band now made up of Will Edwards (Vocals/Guitar), Dan Kraushar (Guitar), Daryl Payne (Drums), and new member Josh Richardson (Bass), have shown their commitment with what they do and regrouped to get them back to a position where they can release new music and take the stage again.

This new single ‘The Omniscient One’. Is focused on the topic of climate change, Will says “It’s about people being told the consequences of their actions if they do not change, global warming is a big issue and A LOT of the pollution comes from major corporations.”

The track is a good comeback for the lads, Wills new found voice is darker and more doom laden than Asa’s more blackened thrash rasp, make the track into an atmospheric brooding monster, which, whilst it adds a change in character, the technicality and melody still remains, which is what we have come to except from the band in the track overall, as well as some fabulous production.

We wait with interest to see what comes next from the lads as they continue to grow into their new roles and voices in the coming months, and we look forward to catching them live again soon!

The Omniscient One is due for release on January 14th to all platforms. You can pre-save it on Spotify now from https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/elyrean/the-omniscient-one