Preview – Derby Alt Fest

Derby Alt Fest is only days away, and organiser and Unearthed main man Liam Barlow and the team in association with The Hairy Dog have once again pulled a blinder in pulling together a weekend of talent from across the metal and alternative scene to tear your ears off, for each and every day…. but this is UK Thrashers and for us the day that really matter is THRASH THURSDAY!!

This years Thursday night is stacked with talent, with Bloodstock Alumni from this year and years gone by a plenty coming together to deliver the riffs, we. caught up with all of the bands to get a little tease of what to expect… and give you our own views on what we are looking forward to!

Opening the night on Thursday are West Midlands Technical Death Thrashers Elyrean, as a previous Bloodstock Metal To The Masses Winner, these lads know how to put on a show, but this is the first time we will of caught them without our pal and former reviewer Asa on the mic we will be excited to see what the new line up sound like in the wild!!

We are so excited and honoured to be sharing a stage/festival with so many incredible bands, we would like to thank the organisers for inviting us to play!

For anyone who has seen us before, you know we bring the Thrashy riffs, shredding leads and harsh vocals, but with a couple of brand new songs, a new bassist and Will (Lead Guitar) taking over vocal duties, we like to think we bring a new exciting level to Thrash!

Elyrean 2022
Follow us into the tunnel…….

Next up is Kent Metal heads – Enquire Within’ now I’ve never managed to catch the band live before, but we know they have been gigging heavy and really honing their craft, so looking forward to popping my Enquire Cherry and see what all the noise is about!!

We’re really looking forward to playing at Alt Fest – it’ll be the first time we’ve played at The Hairy Dog and it’s been on our list of venues to play at for some time. We’ve played with Hellfekted & Thrasherwolf before when they helped us launch our 2nd album ReBirth in London last year and we can’t wait to catch up with them again. We’ve chosen a really heavy set and have a treat for everyone with our final song.

Rob – Enquire Within’ 2022
It’s clobbering TIMEEEEEE……

Next up is our good friends Thrasherwolf, the London pack continue their growth as they have been gigging hard since Covid to make up for lost time, we last caught them at our Moshin’ The Roof On launch party also in The Hairy Dog. As part of the Trifecta (all playing this weekend) we know they will be howling at the crowd to get us all moving in the pit!

Thrasherwolf cant wait to bring the pack to raise hell for the amazing Derby ALTFEST, sharing the stage with some of the undergrounds top talents we aim to truly howl the roof down.

We adore this festival and it really means the world to be on the bill, love ALTFEST, love Unearthed, love The Hairy Dog and big up to Liam Barlow for putting it on and always making it a superb event every year 🤘 see you all there for ear blistering thrash and neck breaking carnage!

Dan – Thrasherwolf 2022
Just another brick in the wall…..

If you like your Old School Death Metal then the next band are going to get your spidey sense really tingling… All Consumed are HAF… that’s HEAVY AS FUCK, they’ve been slamming your ears with blast beats and riffs for 10 years now and they are not backing down, we’re expecting some deep and neck breaking pits!!

It’s great to play at the Hairy Dog, it’s an awesome venue and has always been a good night. It’s our first Alt fest and promises to be a grand affair with lots of talented bands of which we are proud to be amongst. We’ve changed our set by adding brand new heavier, faster tracks that will feature on the new album, there’s still a couple of the old favourites still in there though. Bring on the pits 🤘

All Consumed 2022
UGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!

On the back of their Bloodstock Morning Mosh, Hellfekted are one of those bands that keep going from strength to strength, blending traditional thrash, death metal and modern thrash, we are sure the blackened thrashers will set the crowd moving, heads banging and body’s slamming…. watch out for those Walls of Death, and repeat after me … ‘DEATH OF IRONNNNNNNNN’

We’re really excited to get back to Derby Alt fest and Thrash it up!!!

So many great bands on this festival especially the Thursday which you all should come down 

Come mosh and get wasted with us it’s going be a good one! SEE YOU IN THE PIT!

Liam – Hellfekted 2022
Beware of the Goblin King!!!!

Finally the Thursday night headliner..and what a headliner they are, Cage Fight are part of the spearhead of the hardcore/thrash crossover scene in the UK, along with bands like Malevolence and Guilt Trip, Cage Fight blend the genres with ease, giving us the riffs that us thrashers expect and the breakdowns that make the hardcore kids bust out their best moves – we caught their set in the S.O.P.H.I.E. Stage at Bloodstock and can’t wait to see them in a venue situation

We are delighted to be playing ALT fest with so many great bands. We guarantee to bring the fire and intend to set the pit off

Cage Fight 2022
Alt Fest 2022 Destruction Team!!!

And thats it, as we said at the top the Unearthed team have put on a blinding opening night that is becoming a must in any self respecting metal heads calendar, we can’t wait for Thursday… see you in the pit!!

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

Ex-Savage Messiah member joins Ashen Crown

Midlands Extreme Metallers, Ashen Crown have announced a change in their ranks. 

After the departure of guitarist Jay Rogers, they faced a huge task in finding a replacement who was a good fit both musically and in personality and immediately got to work on finding a guitarist to cover upcoming shows. Sy Taplin (Wired THC, Ex-Savage Messiah, Ex-L-Sol-Tace) was approached by the band, having performed with him previously and being well aware of his playing ability and pedigree, to initially stand in temporarily. After a successful headline set at Beermageddon Metal Festival, Sy and the band agreed that they would like to make it a permanent fixture 

Ste Fowkes, guitarist of Ashen Crown said “In one rehearsal, we instantly realised he was a perfect fit musically, the vibe was right and the collective decision to offer him the spot full time was unanimous – We are massively excited to begin injecting Sy’s creativity in to AC and working to deliver a strong follow up for Obsolescence.”

Sy Said:

“About a month ago I received a message off Ste asking if I would fill in on guitar due to Jay leaving the band. Initially, I replied back by asking for a day to think about it, an hour later I responded back to confirm. Being in Wired THC I had already seen Ashen Crown play. My first show live in over 10 years was playing with Ashen Crown so I got to see what the guys were all about. I’m super excited to be announced as the lead guitarist for Ashen Crown!”

Ashen Crown have now set their sights on writing and recording the follow up to their 2019 album ‘Obsolescence’.

You can catch Ashen Crown on; 24.09.22 at Leo’s Red Lion, Gravesend for ‘Sarcoma Fest’ and 30.09.22 at The Flapper, Birmingham for ‘The Attack’.

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

Onslaught – Metal Hall Of Fame

ONSLAUGHT ARE TO BE INDUCTED INTO ‘METAL HALL OF FAME’ AT DEATHFEST MARYLAND 2022!

British Thrash Metal pioneers Onslaught will be Inducted into the 2022 Metal Hall of Fame, during their on-stage performance at  Maryland Deathfest, May 28, 2022.

“We are excited to Induct British thrash metal pioneers Onslaught into the 2022 Metal Hall of Fame during their performance on stage at Deathfest Maryland,” says Metal Hall of Fame President/CEO Pat Gesualdo. “Thrash Metal is a crucial part of the entire spectrum of Heavy Metal, and also a huge foundation for the Metal Hall of Fame. We are very proud to have Onslaught represent this genre that we all love so much.”  

Nige Rockett – Onslaught guitarist / founding member comments:

“Wow, What can we say, this has come completely out of the blue…! 
We are truly honoured to receive this extremely prestigious recognition and join a list of so many awesome and respected names from the world of metal music.
This has to be right up there with the best of accolades that this band has ever received in our in our long and illustrious career, it’s a great day for ‘Thrash Metal’ and a great day for the ‘UK Metal scene’. This award could not have arrived at a more perfect time as we celebrate ’40 years of raising hell’, it really is a true validation of ‘Onslaught’ past and present.. This one is for the fans..! Thank you all.!”

Nige Jeff Wayne James Dave

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