Bludgeoning their way out of the North West metal scene, Ghost Keeper are are a fairly new thrash band releasing their debut album on the 21st January 2022
Straight away the album cover gives you a hint of what to expect, a thrasher flicking the middle finger up at an Alien invasion, surrounded by skulls and ankle deep slime/blood… all with a radioactive green glow… I already know I’m going to enjoy this!!
The album features 9 tracks of no messing modern, death tinged, thrash metal.. I hope this is what the lads set out to do as they do it well and the tracks deliver what a thrash album should do, high octane, head banging blasts with occasional slightly tongue in cheek fun!
The album kicks off with title track ‘We Conquer’ which teases you in with a gentle melodic guitar intro before the little green men kick down the door to take over the globe, this is swiftly followed by my current angry morning anthem, as lets be honest which of my neighbours doesn’t need to hear just over two minutes of ‘Fuck Off and Die’
‘Digital Lobotomy’ keeps the riffs flying with its slightly more serious tale of digital media infection of our minds and will before ‘Warmaster’ delivers a tale of mass warfare as the pawns on the ground destroy each others
The album continues to burn through some heavy tunes with ‘They Must Suffer’ , ‘The Guillotine’’ and Blackened Thrashers ‘The Blasphemous One’
With ‘Unspeakable’ and ‘Attack’ rounding of the 29 odd minutes of goodness, it’s straight up thrash, but still with a hefty variation of tempo and vibe, with no song outstaying its welcome all being less than 4 minutes 17 seconds long, this is an all out BLAST and an awesome entry into the strong uk thrash scene, look out for the album in all the normal places on release day and catch them live in the 0161 and beyond!!
Ghost Keeper will be joining us on the UK Thrashers Radio Show on Moshville Radio in the next few weeks so tune in to find out more!!
Gareth checks out the new single from Helgrind ahead of his upcoming full album review, check it out for yourselves…
If you like your thrash a bit old school, the latest single ‘Massacre the Suffering’ from Arlesey Thrashers Helgrind might just be what you’re looking for; a ferocious brute of a track from their forthcoming ‘Insurrection’ album. That’s not to say that they are merely an 80s throwback, far from it, I’m talking more about attitude and execution.
The production utilises modern technology, but Helgrind don’t fall into the trap many bands do, by sounding too processed and clinical. While everything is clear and powerful in the mix, the guitars have a real bite to them, and the bass and drums are locked into a formidable bottom end rhythm section, there’s a natural resonance to the sound which just adds to the band’s inherent heaviness.
The song itself is an unremitting beast with belabouring drums and razor sharp riffing, Paula’s vocals adding to the savagery, yet there’s a melodic structure that underpins the brutality, which will anchor the song into your brain after only a few listens, there’s a hint of the LA legends Slayer in the sound, yet the melody incorporated in the lead interplay between Si and Joe is more Smith and Murray than King and Hannemen.
The bottom line is this: if you’re in any way into thrash or extreme metal, you need to hear this, this is a fantastic 3 minute taster, ready for the main course ahead.
The New Album Insurrection is out on the 22nd October, go and pre-order NOW
Gareth reviews the new Album by Elimination, here’s what he thinks…..
I first got into Elimination last year when I had the pleasure to review their comeback EP ‘Of Gods and Beasts’, and whilst researching for that release, I soon discovered that they had been very active previously, with two full length albums already under their belts, ‘Destroyed by Creation’ and ‘The Blood of Titans’. And now almost 10 years on, it’s a huge delight to be reviewing album number three, the rather splendid “Echoes of the Abyss”.
Those of you who are already familiar with the band will already know, they aren’t quite the same beast as they were 10 years ago, with Neil Stevens (vocals and bass) the only member left from the original line-up, now he’s joined by guitarists David Hill and Leigh Rumsby, The continuity from those early albums is continued, mainly with Neil’s distinctive bark, he’s an excellent thrash vocalist, he’s aggressive, and almost spits the words out, yet at the same time there’s plenty of melody and the diction is so clear you can pick out the majority of the lyrics with relative ease, Leigh and David do differ from the original guitar duo, in that for me they employ a bit more melody in the lead work, perfectly syncing during the solos, and more dynamic in the riff department.
Let’s dive into the album then, first track ‘Disciples of the Beast’ is an absolute fantastic opener, starting with a simple, yet ominous melody plucked out with a an acoustic guitar, with a beautiful building dual lead in the background, this continues to grow and while the acoustic fades, and with a 1, 2, 3 drumbeat, the song cuts in, the two guitars, complimenting each other yet pulling in completely different directions, it’s a terrifically ambitious start, and highlights both the confidence and maturity the band has gained in the last twelve months. The meat of the song powers along on a driving main riff, which shifts slightly into the bridge, before throttling back for the chorus, which I guarantee will be shouted back with glee in the live setting, and then they even have time for a Maiden inspired instrumental section, with a great solo and wonderfully melodic harmony parts. Terrific opener.
‘Black Wings’ sees the band really stepping on the accelerator, starting fast and escalating during the bridge, there’s even some blast-beating greatness before the chorus, another one that’s going to stick long in the brain, and the ending to the solo piece is just chaotic greatness. ‘This is War’ is a bit groovier with a cool bouncy feel to the riffing, and has a guest vocal slot from Aaron from neighbours Shrapnel (get well soon buddy) who adds a slightly blackened bark into the proceedings.
This is a seriously good album, it also sounds great, and you’d never guess they are a drummer down, whoever has done the programming for the tubs, needs a weighty pat on the back, and also the drum sound is immense. Add to that the guitar tone, it’s aggressive and heavy yet clear as a bell, when you use as much melody as these two, you need a seriously good sound. Neil’s vocals are nicely placed as well, and my only complaint is the bass is perhaps a little bit lost.
Onwards we go, ‘Damaged’ literally throws itself out of the speakers, and is a real shred fest, and not just with lashings of tight riffing, I’m talking about seriously good lead & loads of harmonies. We are already familiar with ‘Victims by Design’ which being the shortest track is a perfect pick for the lead single. Strange feedback and a brief news announcement introduce ‘The Nameless City’ which for the most part is a fiendishly up-tempo brute, that has some serpentine melodies and a section that shuffles along on an unnerving syncopated beat, before the chase to the finish, ‘Blind Leading the Blind’ cuts in straight from the outset, and sees the band slow down a touch, at least for the chunky chord lead chorus, with some heavy muted parts, but contrasted nicely by some clean dynamics.
Then to finish off we have the epic ‘Infernal’, the band’s most ambitious track up to this point, commencing with an acoustic beginning, the song builds and builds, lots of different sections, and more classy solos, parts segue seamlessly from one to the other, and a cracking climatic crescendo before a lull before the ending storm, and a brave and surprising end. What a tremendous climax to a supremely impressive album. If you like thrash, but with plenty of melody, top notch song writing and a bit more than your average release, then this is an album that you need to check out. This is so good it’s gone straight in as my album of the year so far, and it’s going to take something ridiculously good to knock it from the top spot. Absolutely stunning.
The Blackpool arm of the Tri-fecta thrash militia enter the fray with their debut album, we’ve been lucky enough to hear loads of demo’s, early mixes and advanced artwork from the guys, so out of impartiality we asked Gareth to review the album, here’s what he thinks of Blacklist ‘Disciples Of Time’
I am pretty sure that I’m one of the many that’s been waiting with bated breath for this one. Ever since the band started teasing us with the video release of ‘Blood on the Sand’, which had fans salivating at the prospect of a full album. Well finally it is here, and band members Tyler Larkin, Curtis Goodyear, Danny France and Matthew Warburton can be pretty damn proud of what they’ve achieved: A modern thrash album with old school touches with eight blistering tracks and not one filler.
Starting with the military like snare and a building, compelling melody which segues nicely into ‘In the Trenches’ proper, this is an almost perfect opener, riffs spitting forth like bullets across no man’s land, fast and satisfying, yet not completely spilling all their guts on the floor, which leads us nicely into ‘Buckets of Blood’ with its dive bomb lead guitar, and absolutely pummelling double bass drums.
‘Crucifix’ adds some (not so) subtle Slayer worship into the proceedings, with a ‘Mandatory Suicide’ feel to the riffing and Hanneman style melodies yet keeping it very much in their own style. The afore mentioned ‘Blood on the Sand’ is as heavy as the proverbial tank that is on the cover art of the single. The riffing has a bit of a crunchy crossover feel to these ears.
‘Buried Alive’ is all piss and vinegar in its attitude, the opening chord progression is so catchy, then shifting into the gallop from hell. The title-track uses changes of pace to great effect, switching alternatively between intense doses of speed and slower denser riffs, it’s quite probably my favourite track. But don’t you stop there, ‘Plague Doctor’ has a riff that feels like you’re being nail gunned to a wall, before a great use of slower hit notes add a little bit of a different dynamic into the mix, still heavy as scrap metal mind, but a different kind of bludgeoning, cool solo as well from Onslaught’s Wayne Dorman! Then, all too soon, it’s onto album closer ‘Vengeance’ which is a great summary of everything that comes before it, high tempo riffage and manic snare all topped off by the blackened snarls of guests Liam and Lucas from Hellfekted and ThrasherWolf respectively. The breakdown and subsequent build back up is nothing short of just awesome.
So there you have it folks, a dream of a British thrash album, it brings to mind for me a little bit of a UK Enforced feel, what with those crossover tinged riffs, the Slayer influence, and that huge dose of attitude. They are not the same by any means, but I think you’ll hear what I mean. If I have one complaint, it is that it’s too short. So, I’m off to do the whole thing again. I suggest that you do the same, you will not be disappointed.
Disciples Of Time is out on Friday the 9th July, pick up a bundle at the bands Big Cartel and catch them live at their launch party on the 14th at the Bootleg Social in Blackpool, or on Tour with Hellfekted & Thrasherwolf in September and speak to Liam at Unearthed Music for Bookings
Friends of the site, previous podcast guest and ‘Moshin’ The Roof On’ alumni Novichok are back, bursting from lockdown with an all new EP, we’ve been lucky enough to have this for a few weeks, and here’s what we think….
Kicking of the new EP, the North East thrashers, let us warm up gently with a slightly trippy, whirling instrumental, ‘Pre-Emptive Strike’ builds and grows as it launches into the first full on rager ‘Omnicide’ and as always with Novichok, its a vicious little bastard, with throat tearing vocals this stomper has everything you could want, grit your teeth and bang your head to the fast bits and flail your arms and stomp around to the catchy mid tempo sections. ‘Beasts Of Burden’ hits your ears next, and the introduction to the song immediately gives a Hanger 18 era Megadeth vibe, and there is nothing wrong with that, building up as a mid paced stomper raising to what initially feels like the end with a crowd sing along ‘we are the beasts, the beasts of burden’ but that’s not the end as there is another minute of all out thrashness added after the chorus… utter madness I tell you!! And then far too quickly we are onto the last track of the EP, ‘Vultures Wings’ gets your head in a blender from the start, only breaking at just under a minute for a short rock god solo….go on show us your ‘solo’ face!! before launching back in to the frantic assault on your senses.
Novichok have made some real but subtle improvement since their debut EP, and whilst we love those early tracks, this EP sees them develop more as a band and the recording really does the tracks and the lads justice, their passion for thrash comes through with their mix of influences and it’s all delivered with the grit and punch that we’ve come to expect, here’s hoping for a full album from the boys in the not to distant future!
Support Novichok and get ‘Empire Of Lies’ now via BandCamp
Frank takes a delve into UK thrash history and reviews the new album by Holosade
A brief history lesson on Holosade would just about sum up the UK thrash metal scene in the 1980s. Being Darlington based they joined the burgeoning north east thrashers all hanging on the coattails of the mighty Venom. Taking a slightly different approach to the usual white high top trainers and denim cut off look, they took to the stage wearing masks or face paint.
A promising band with plenty of energy and aggression with the music to more than show they were to be taken seriously. The formative years saw “Holosade” release four well made demos with various members before having a settled line that then shared a split E.P. release with three other bands.
This was soon followed up by the 1988 full length debut “Hell House” a true UK thrash metal gem that was sadly discarded by the record company who had no idea what to do with a thrash band other than steal the drummer for a more lucrative band on the label. The next few years were busy with touring mainly as a support act culminating with a night at the marquee which resulted in a release of a full length live album in 1990.
The resulting years saw the usual decline in interest in the thrash metal scene with UK based bands being badly hit, and the band went their separate ways.
After sporadic reunion shows, July 2019 saw original vocalist Philip de Sade reboot the name and bring his band Amortura along for the ride, where they set about writing “Anastasis” an old school UK thrash record interwoven with modern guitar work reminiscent of “Havok” throughout but with a nod towards “Megadeth” most notably at the beginning of Chaos takes control, being a true Dave Mustaine inspired riff and vocal track.
Each member recorded their respective parts over the second half of 2020 on home studios due to the pandemic and sent them to Adam Ironside for production. He pieced it together making an amazing job to deliver a polished, well-presented record that still keeps enough of a raw edge.
Each instrument comes over clear with the double guitar attack of Paul Trotter and Adam Ironside. a key to the overall sound, with a definitive crossover between rhythm and lead. Taking up the impressive bass duties is ex “Blitzkrieg” four string maestro Huw Holding showcasing his experience with a flawless display of how to play bass as a stand alone instrument and not just plod along mimicking the rhythm guitar. With Hugo Riberio from “Moonspell” guesting on the recording to make an impressive rhythm section with his tight drum work.
The album opens up with “7 Seconds” which sets the tone for the whole record, with its lyrical content firmly based in the horror genre perfectly laid over fast technical thrash guitar work but with more than enough groove to keep any metal head happy. The other tracks follow in a similar light with dark, thought provoking lyrics dealing with typical thrash subjects such as war, mental illness and the macabre.
“Rise” is my favourite track on the album. It is easy to see why it was chosen to be a single that was released last year with an accompanying lyric video.
Detonation to Oblivion provides a near 11 minute epic chosen to close the record which switches effortlessly between slow-brooding to fast-screaming riff work, with a hint of keyboards that add to the atmospherics of the track. This is a definite showcase for the musicians to show off their talent.
The vocal delivery of Philip De Sade is a text book thrash metal growl throughout, but I for one would of liked to of heard a scream or two throughout the record.
Currently waiting for the pandemic to be over so they can get back to rehearsing, or as Paul put it “learn to play the songs again”, so they can get out on the gig scene while also looking for a full time drummer, I for one will be keeping an eye out for a show near me.
“Anastasis” is not ground breaking but its a solid thrash metal offering from a returning UK thrash act. But is must a have record for the discerning thrasher..
Due for release through Cherry Red records on 28th May 2021
When this dropped through the promo mailbox we wanted to do it justice, so we asked our mate Paul Jones of UK Blackened Crossover SIDEWINDER to do a guest review for us, here’s what he had to say…..
When 5 of the UKs finest unite, you had better pay attention. Featuring members of Brujeria, Knuckledust, Dripback and King of Pigs; Borstal are not here to play games. With the debut album, At Her Majesty’s Pleasure, this record hits hard and fast with all of the aggression expected from a pissed off generation.
The opening sounds of distant sirens and chaos on the streets leads us into what will be a frantic 20mins of blistering UK hardcore. Refuse to Lose sets the tone for the record, leaning on the struggles and strife of a modern existence; creating an old school punk mentality, bringing anarchy crashing into 2021.
The unmistakeable sound of Nicholas Barker’s drum style kicks you in the ears as the ripping guitar tones cut through you. Add a Danny Liker-esque thunderous bass tone and Pierre’s trademark throat-punch vocals, At Her Majesty’s Pleasure is a modern classic. Recorded at Monolith Studios in London, Charlie Wilson Jr.’s production knocked this record out of the park.
Track two, Karma, is bound to be an absolute crowd mover. A raucous montage of riffs “shoved down your throat, so you can’t breathe”.
We Stand as One is sending you straight back to 1982. Pop out your elbows and strut your stuff in a nostalgia fuelled mosh. Unity in the hardcore spirit sings true.
Vicious Circles, (video below), offers everything a crossover nut would require; groove, speed and mosh-beats are plenty. Singalong choruses offer a New York hardcore feel with the “OI, OI!” factor and a need to crack out the Dr Marten’s and stomp some heads.
Worm Food, track five, is circle pit city. The thought of seeing this live, moshing, moving and throwing myself off of the stage is a reality that cannot come quickly enough.
At Her Majesty’s Pleasure brings it home with the final track, King of the Jungle, a storming anthem that speaks of what it takes to fight for survival, be proud and remain humble. This is a message to the next generation to stand up and take charge. Be inspired. Be the voice of rebellion.
– NO MESS. NO FUSS. JUST PURE IMPACT. FUCKING BORSTAL –
Borstal Release – At Her Majesty’s Pleasure via 4 Family Records on the 1st April 2021
The War Jazz machine keeps turning as Acid Age release their long awaited new opus, Semper Pessimus.
With a wait of five years, we were really interested to see what the Northern Irish trio have been up to, and how their blend of thrash has developed over the recent years.
And what a belter of an album it is, the lads of really come out swinging with an absolute opeth, the songs are big, and full of intent and drive, whilst the vocals remain guttural and on the death/black side the encompassing music twists and turns, at times intricate and folk tinged, at other times mosh pit inducing pop thrash, all the time with a sonic rhythmic pounding drum and bass excitement that keeps carrying the listener along.
The Over arching Roman theme pops it’s head up all over the place, sometimes in very clear lyrical sense, with titles like the Burning of Rome, but in other places there are just some sounds and chords that tease that impression of being in a Roman court…. do they do an electric cithara?.. with distortion pedal of course!
I’ve only spent a few hours with this album so not fully sunk into all the intricate details that I can hear are included and really look forward to getting to grips with this more during the week.
The band are hopefully joining us on the podcast in the next few weeks but in the meantime Sempur Pessimus is out today Saturday the 20th March, on all the streaming channels, but as always we strongly recommend you head over toBandCamp and buy a copy from the band.
Here’s a great way to start 2021, a brand-new UK Thrash album, Trapped in Purgatory’s “Damned Nation”, is a fine slab of prime metal and just the way to shrug off those January blues. As I mentioned in my review of the December single ‘Demonicide’, this album is almost 30 years in the making, and if you want a brief history of Trapped in Purgatory’s origins; in former bands Purgatory and FourWayKill, then see that review here, basically they were criminally overlooked, the ‘close, but no cigar’ of the UK thrash scene, but undeterred, Chris (vocals), Jason and Andy (guitars), Jon (bass) and Marc (drums), persisted and have come up with “Damned Nation”, which is all about the here and now (and the future), so fuck the past, lets dive straight in…
Starting, as all thrash albums worth their salt should, with a tasty acoustic instrumental, ‘Prelude to War’ kicks things off, then with some gunfire and battle sounds, “Hung Out to Die” announces its arrival with riffs spitting out like bullets, a fast aggressive song to ‘ease’ us in, as it were, with a great shout along chorus. “Spit it Out” starts with an almost Maiden like guitar solo, with a soaring melody, before a slightly groove inspired riff, then the drums pick up the march, again another great catchy chorus, Chris really spits out the lyrics (see what I did there?) with a real passion, there’s some more great lead guitar work before the band pummel you to the end. “Demonicide” is up next and is a great choice as the lead single, it’s a great summary of the album as a whole, relentless double bass drums, massive down-picked riff sections all topped off with Chris’ unique gruff, melodic vocals. “Patient Zero” (referencing Covid 19 maybe?) and the title-track follow, keeping the momentum going nicely,
“Damned Nation” itself is a bit slower, after an Eastern flavoured intro it then proceeds to bludgeon you around the head with it’s with heavy incessant riffing, yet incorporating some nice dynamics to keep it interesting, then a slower very heavy thrash breakdown, then there’s the faster instrumental section, before galloping to a great conclusion, it really is a great centrepiece for the album. “Apex Predator” then ramps the speed up for a full-blown thrash monster, with a slight Overkill feel to these ears. The biggest surprise, and the bravest track is the excellent “Beyond the Rubicon”, the band really flexing their songwriting muscles to create a really unique song, and the addition of guest vocals by Theresa Smith, from Bournemouth based progressive metal band Metaprism, is a stroke of genius, really lifting the track to another level, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it works wonderfully well.
Then to end the album we have the two shortest, and in “Out of the Fire (Into the Pit)” the fastest track, a real barnstormer, while last track the mostly mellow “Ashen Tide” allows a bit of a cool down and a period for reflecting what has proceeded, before a flurry of riffs and spiralling leads at the finale.
Sound wise the guys have absolutely nailed it, mastered by Maclej Dawidek, the album sounds huge, the guitars have a really good crunch and sharpness to them, like an axe to the skull, while the rhythm section is thick and punchy, underpinning everything else, while Chris sounds clear and powerful in the overall mix. One other thing to mention is the stunning cover art by Andy Pilkington, it really is a cracking piece of work, and could be any of our current world, so called ‘leaders’, it’s a classic thrash album cover, with a contemporary twist to it, it really works well.
This is a wonderful album and it’s great to see the guys finally having the fruits of their labours rewarded. If this album had been released last year, it wouldn’t have been politely knocking at the door of my top 10 albums, it would have been bashing it down with a bloody big hammer.
With the risk of repeating myself, what a start to 2021, this one is going to be on the death deck for quite some time.
Paul Hutchings takes a listen to the new Thrashsquatch! And sees if their New Year’s Day Release is going to start 2021 right!
The first thing you notice about this fresh EP from the band that opened Moshing the Roof On is the striking artwork. So much going on, it’s an early assault on the visual senses, and best left to you to enjoy.
Once you’ve got past the cover, there are six chunks of thrash to enjoy here. I’d not heard the band’s self-titled debut EP but was familiar with the maniacal Head Transplant. If you asked me to describe Thrashsquatch’s music my immediate thoughts would be the bastard offspring of a particularly bad night’s sheet soiling between GWAR, Municipal Waste and Discharge (Jeez, sorry. That’s a disturbing image).
Anyway, to the music and the EP kicks off with Human Compost, which provides an interesting take on recycling. Not the fastest song on the EP, there’s a bit going on here with the guitars spiralling all over the place whilst the lyrics are spat out, leading to the typical shouted chorus. The semi-sinister feel to the song works well.
Head Transplant slaps you around the face quickly, an aural version of the Orange Man from the 1990s Tango adverts (Look it up kids!). After the humour of the opening two songs things get a little more serious with the following songs Destroyer of Worlds and Hostile Force, two raw and feisty little beasts that fight and claw from start to finish. I think that’s a clip of Vincent Price at the end of Destroyer of Worlds which also earns an extra point. Both tracks reek of classic early thrash and I find that one of the most endearing things about this band. Honest, good fun and a good bit of punk tinged thrash. What’s not to like?
Short and sharp, Thrashsquatch round this EP off with two quick punches to the solar plexus. Shreds of Sanity is explosive, all snarly riffs and aggression whilst the closing song Skeleton Men is a slower more chaotic track which kicks into a circle pit inducing riff after the first minute.
Enjoyable from start to finish, the beast’s emergence from the dark woods is well worth a listen.
Thrashsquatch! The Return Of The Living Shred is out on New Years Day, get your limited pre-order in now via BandCamp here –