Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rising Dark ROCKS!

AH! More Italian metal! What is in the water over in Italy to produce so much good METAL? I've mentioned many great Italian thrash bands here before, and here I go again.

From Ravenna we have Rising Dark, a traditional thrash band that sounds a bit like a stripped down Testament. Even vocalist Michael Crimson reminds me of a young Chuck Billy, complete with Billy-esque vocal patterns.

Mind you, this is all based off hearing one song titled This is War, and thanks to Reverbnation, you all can check out the straight-forward headbanging riffs, seamless song structure, and enough grit to the song that it makes you hungry for more. Rising Dark need to post more songs!

Meanwhile, check out the tune and then check out the band here.

Checking out some new thrash!

Since I have been slacking on my posts lately, I thought I would kill a bunch of birds with one stone and list a few bands that have caught my ear one way or another.

First we have Vermillion Days from Greece. These death/thrashers began in 2007, playing various favorite cover tunes while crafting their own originals. Those original tunes came together as Vermillion Days' first self-financed EP titled In the Warfield.

In the Warfield has a classic death/thrash sound reminiscent of early Sepultura.

You can check out their YouTube channel here, and after, go "like" them on their Facebook page here.

Next we have Betrayer FTM from Columbia. This stuff is extreme thrash with a raw punk feel. I say punk "feel" because it's not 100% crossover, but it has a killer raw quality that gravitates the songs toward the genre. The tune Midnight Poison might be the best example of this with the guttural vocals and thrash rock riffage. Awesome!

The cover art to their album No Life Till Fury is disturbing and sick, sticking out as a good reference to the flavor of music hammered out by Betrayer FTM.

Check 'em out here.

Next is a promising band from Buffalo NY called New World Horror. I mentioned them in a previous post here. These young thrashers (ages between 17 and 19) decided to form a band only one year ago (March 2010), and have been working to get themselves on the music map.

N.W.H. is already making headway by opening for some of the NWOTM heavyweights such as Gama Bomb and Bonded By Blood. Although their demo is not perfect (for example, the vocals are a bit patchy on the more melodic "singing" parts, and the dynamics in their breakdown riffs simply are not there) but it still has some pit worthy moments.

The musicianship is excellent. Their song Vipers sticks out as their best with a pummeling opening that leads into vocal patterns which bring old Nuclear Assault to mind.

These guys are still young in their musical journey with N.W.H., and I'm more than curious to see how they will develop into a well-oiled thrash machine. As far as they have come within a year, New World Horror's next effort has the potential to destroy. I'll be watching.

Check them out here.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NWOTM Blog now on Facebook

Well, it had to happen. First a NWOTM Twitter page and now...well, you know.

Anyway, you can go to the New Wave of Thrash Metal Blog Facebook page here, and if you are so inclined, please hit the "like" button.

On the FB page, I will post what is current on this blogger account as well as other related tidbits of info that may not warrant a full blogger post, but at least earned a mention on FB.

Just another way to spread the word...

...and that word is METAL! (yeah, a little cheezy, but whatever)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bonded By Blood rumor put to rest

As I posted here a while back, there were rumors about Alex leaving Bonded By Blood. Well, for those of you who were actually worried about one of the staple bands of the NWOTM losing a key member, ya'll can breathe a sigh of relief.

Thanks goes to Jordan W Neely for sending me a post made on Alex's YouTube page. Alex posted that the rumors are not true, calling it all "nonsense talk."

Good to know.

Now, in my prior post, I did mention that you should "chalk this up to the rumor mill," but I also said that if it turns out to be false, that I will apologize on this here blog about contributing to such, as Alex put it, nonsense talk.

I'm sorry.

There. I promise it will not happen again until next time it happens. :D

So thanks again to Jordan for the tip, thanks to Bonded By Blood for kicking ass, and good luck to the Buffalo NY thrashers New World Horror who will open for them on April 17th (hey, Dan - I had to throw that in!).


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thrash always helps a crappy birthday

So it was my birthday today and I was home with bronchitis. Good times.

Everyone knows that the best time to call in sick at work is when you're not really sick. It sucks laying around the house when you don't feel good.

To heap insult to injury, I was promised by the local weather forecasters that our area was supposed to experience damaging storms today, including rain, large hail, and isolated tornadoes. Well, great, if I am stuck at home, it may as well suck outside since I won't be able to enjoy my "day off" anyway, right?

Wrong. The clouds dispersed, leaving me with a picture window full of sunshine and blue skies. Crappy.

Oh, well. In honor of my lame birthday, I am going to make myself feel better with a one of my favorite new-school thrash tunes.


So, until next time...cough cough cough!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why do I listen to it? An eloquent answer.

Over at the Lunar Hypnosis blog, in a review for Bonded by Blood's Feed the Beast, J.M. writes the following:

"I know what your thinking and the purists have been saying it for a couple of years now too. Your thinking to yourself, "Why should I listen to a thrash metal album from 2008 when I can listen to one from 1988?" The answer is simple, friends:


'Nuff said.

Friday, March 18, 2011

National Suicide ROCKS!

I don't now what it is about Italian thrash, but recently I seem to find more and more that simply crushes.

Bands such as Injury, Game Over, and Alcoholizer are killer and worth a look for any thrash fan. One of my faves is National Suicide.

One listen to their tune Please Welcome...My Friends and you'll know why they richly deserve a ROCKS! post. National Suicide have mastered creating the catchy headbangable riff. These riffs take what would be a typical good thrash tune and elevate it to something memorable.

Comparisons are inevitable between vocalist Stefano Mini and good ol' Bobby Blitz, but that's okay. Mini has a great set of pipes that fit perfectly for the brand of thrash N.S. is pumping out.

Give it a listen.

Check them out here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thrash grooves and breakdowns

Yes, I like groove in my thrash metal. No, not all the time, but for me, the groove element has its place.

When you mention "groove" to many thrash fans, they will sometimes recoil in fear and disgust, concerned that they are speaking with a slobbering groove metal fanboy, or worse - a nu metal fan.

Well, although I am a fan of groove metal with limited tastes in nu metal, that's not really what I am talking about.

I'm talking about the occasional half-time breakdown in a traditional thrash or death metal record. Let's start with Slayer. Slayer have added dashes of groove throughout their discography, successfully kicking the asses of metalheads for nearly three decades.

Go all the way back to Slayer's Reign in Blood. The song Raining Blood has one of the most famous killer pit-inducing breakdowns, and I am convinced that many hardcore/metal hybrid bands from the 90s had a life-altering experience with this song.

Moving up to a more modern era for Slayer, the notorious Diabolus in Musica has a clear shot of heavy groove added, causing many fans to cry foul. "Nu meta! They went nu metal!" HA!

I laugh at this idea that Slayer went nu metal. Sure, groove and nu metal were a big deal in the 90s when DiM was released, but I have heard bands such as Coal Chamber and Static X, and let me tell ya...Slayer on their most NU-infected days sound absolutely nothing like them.

Sepultura is band that infused Slayeresque breakdowns and tons of groove, even before the release of Roots.

When I saw SEP during the Chaos AD tour, the breakdown in Desperate Cry caused one of the biggest circle pits I've ever slammed into. The Chaos AD record is laden with groove, even to the point where some purists decree that it is not even a thrash record. Whatever. To me, it is a strong album that helped keep the flag flying right before the grunge and nu metal siege.

Now, onto a sore spot with me - the band Testament. Why? Because I catch so much crap for mentioning my love for Demonic that I get tired of defending why I believe this record destroys.

First of all, when this record was released, so many bands went soft or changed their sound to be more rock or alternative. So at a time when metal was a dirty word, Testament put out one of the heaviest slabs of metal, riding the fence of thrash and groove-infused death. It was as if Testament had a baby with Jungle Rot, and it was (and still is) a vicious record. Purists hated the death metal influence, but I felt it only made the record heavier.

And the GROOVE on such a heavy freaking record. Both Demonic and The Gathering are teaming with groove riffs, which add to the dynamics when mixed with a heavy does of thrash. I love it.

A lot of the NWOTM bands are keeping it old-school (yet still attracting the ironic disdain from the thrash purists), but there are still plenty of thrash bands who fill their tunes with killer mid-song breakdowns and groovy riffs without falling into either the Pantera or Hatebreed side of the metal fence.

Bands such as Sworn Amongst and Toxic Holocaust, although wildly different from one another, can write some crushing grooves and breakdowns.

Another band, of which I have heard only one song, is the Johnson City, TN band Paralyzer.

Admitedly, I thought up this post about grooves and breakdowns in thrash metal when I heard their song Legion of Hate. The song itself is not an all-out groove-fest by any means. In fact, they use it sparingly, to the point that the listener takes notice and will move his or her head in aggressive satisfaction. I can't wait to hear more from these guys.

So, yes, I love the speed and controlled chaos of thrash. I love the onslaught of fast and catchy riffs layered with blistering solos. However, when the occasion calls for it, a meaty breakdown as a contrasting dynamic can turn a good thrash tune into a circle pit classic.

"Awaiting the hour of reprisal
Your time slips away"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Who is EVOL (USA) and what happened to them?

I'll admit that I haven't heard of these guys until tonight. I found out about EVOL while surfing for Italian thrash metal on YouTube.

Well, they aren't from Italy - they are from Santa Monica, but I am glad that YouTube offered EVOL's tunes up for me to experience. Fate is cool in that way.

So other than a quick view on a EVOL fan page on MySpace and the limited amount of info at the Metal Archives, I know both diddly and squat about this band.

But I love what I have heard, and here's hoping that this post will create some weird stir in the universe and direct a bit more attention toward these guys. Sure they broke up nearly 20 years ago (!!!), but with the resurgence of thrash (you know, since it's so "trendy"), young fans will be looking for the hardcore goodies of yore.


Mentally Defiled ROCKS!

When I first heard the song Schizophrenic by Greek thrashers Mentally Defiled, so many of the riffs came out of nowhere and smacked me hard across the face.

If the chorus riff from this song does not make you stand attention and love this band, you have no metal soul.

Check it out.

Check out Mentally Defiled here and here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Trendy" thrash continued

As I surfed around the internet for those expressing condescending language about the new thrash bands being nothing but a bunch of bandwagon-jumping scenesters, I didn't have to look far.

I came across this post over at Yahoo Answers titled Is the new school thrash movement nothing but a worthless trend?

Click on the above link, read it, and then come back here.

Ready? Cool. I would like to go over a few points here.

"…the problem I find with them is that they lack the same 'passion'. Are they really concerned about war or interested in the occult and politics or are they just copying the lyrics they heard on their dad's Nuclear Assault and Slayer records?"

Why wouldn't the young bands have concerns about war or politics? Did war and politics disappear? We had the cold war in the 80s, and today we have concerns with the Middle East, North Korea, China, Russia and Venezuela, just to name a few. We have a divided country in the US, with the left and right wingers tearing into each other. Political strife can be found in all parts of the world, so if you're worried
about the passion that drives the music, please don't concern yourself.

However, let's pretend that most thrash band members haven't a clue about war and politics. Well then, I could not care less if they are copying lyrical ideas from Nuclear Assault or Slayer. Thrash metal is what the new guys grew up on, so if they are to emulate anyone, it is sure to be their idols. Their passion stems from their love, knowledge and obsession with thrash metal. Good enough for me.

"Usually, the bands' riffs have nothing new, they have no statement to make, nothing to say, nothing to be riled up against. The mainstream metal community whole heartedly accepts them and everything is just too easy."

Again, how do we really know where a certain band's passion lies? What make someone think the new bands have nothing to say? That makes no sense, considering such a statement has no real frame of reference nor can it be proven.

Sure, maybe themes of war, religion and politics are an old hat for folks like me, but consider your typical 16 year-old who did not grow up on old school thrash. This stuff is fresh to them. It is fresh for the young bands writing about these topics for the first time.

"To me, a lot of the newer bands seem to be playing thrash now simply because it's completely acceptable. I mean, where were these guys 10 years ago when thrash was in the pits?"

Completely acceptable?? To who?? Is that because Overkill's Ironbound sold over 5,000,000 copies? Is it because Toxic Holocaust has Bruce Dickinson fly them around in their own private jet? The previous statement that says, "…everything is just too easy" is simply ridiculous.

Even some dude over at the TshirtSlayer forum is grasping at straws when he says the following about the band Lich King: "I think Lich King is a trend band cashing in on "Thrash is back" movement going on."

Cashing in. Right. I'm sure the guys in Lich King secretly hate thrash, but they have essentially won the freaking lottery by playing music that is part of such a worldwide cash-grab phenomenon. What sell out scenesters!

I've said it before that underground thrash is not a bread winner, and those who play it do so out of love and passion for the music. If a band can break out and make a comfortable living creating kick-ass music, then more power to them, but to call them trendy kids who play thrash simply to fit in and be cool is almost an insult.

As to where were the new wave thrash bands 10 years ago? They were between 8 to 12 years old, listening to old-school thrash as fuel to rise up a decade later and kick our asses with killer new music!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

To call new thrash "trendy" is laughable

When people out in cyberland keep insisting that the latest resurgence of thrash bands is a "trend," I want to roll my eyes and laugh.

Actually, I do roll my eyes and laugh. Why?

Because thrash metal today can NOT be trendy. Again - why?

Because for something to be trendy, by definition, it would need that bandwagon to be moving along, gathering up those who want to be a part of the next cool thing, whether it is a personal phase for those riding along or not.

Let me tell ya - ain't no thrash bandwagon. First of all, I seriously don't know anyone - anyone - who is into thrash as a trendy thing to be into. You either get into the music or you freaking hate it. People I know who do not like thrash metal would rather stick knitting needles into their eyes before loading up their iPod with Municipal Waste or Warbringer. This is not pop music.

Sure there are those who hate thrash when they first hear it, but then come around. I was like that back in the 80s. But once someone comes around and finds they have a taste for thrash, they are caught in the net and are fans for life, trends be damned.

Again, this is not pop music, or mainstream radio fodder used as a relaxing drive aid for the average commuter. As nice as it would be to hear Demolition Hammer sandwiched between Aerosmith and Disturbed on rock radio, it is never gonna happen.

Another strike against trendy thrash is that there is not a lot of money to be made for playing in an underground thrash band. If someone if playing in a thrash band, it is because they are fans of the music. Touring in cramped vans and playing small clubs for little money is not a trend-setting lifestyle. Thrash bands do it out of love and passion.

Saying it is trendy for someone to play thrash metal is like saying it is trendy to play Dungeons & Dragons. If you like it, you play it, but why in the hell would you play if you hated it? Especially if there is zero benefit to you? I mean, who gets "cool points" by those outside the fan circle of interest for playing thrash metal (or D&D)?

To call new thrash "trendy" is laughable. Until I hear an Avenger of Blood song in a Gatorade commercial, or until I see thousands of Teen Beat Magazine subscribers loving the current Demiricous single, only to later leave it in the dust for Lady Gaga's new album, then to view new thrash as "trendy" is ridiculous.

To Be Continued...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Injury ROCKS!

My God, score another one for Reverbnation! Just a few clicks and I am neck-deep into thrash bands I never would know exist.

Which brings me to Itay's own Injury. These guys play some punishing thrash -catchy, harsh and ruthless.

Here is what their bio says on YouTube:

Injury was born on September 2008, from the collaboration of four musicians friends from their local scene, with several live acts performed. The quartet immediately got known for a sound made of sharp and granitic riffs, that never make one forget the '80/'90 attitude of the old style thrash. Injury's music combines the immediacy of the "anthems" of the genre with the constant research of the sound power of the last modern productions, getting ispired by bands like Anthrax, Megadeth, Exodus, Heathen, Testament, etc.

Check out their tune Denying My Soul.

I love it! Check them out at MySpace and Reverbnation.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Demiricous tunes streaming and what about Master?

I know I post a lot about these guys, but too bad.

Over at the Demiricous official Reverbnation page, they posted two new songs from their upcoming EP. The tracks, titled ...And it Drives the Heathen and Esoteric Confrontation freaking rock, and are everything one would expect from Demiricous.

Again, I would post the streaming widget here, but it screws up the blog for some reason. So, if you want to check out the tunes, go here.

In other news, I reported here that Demiricous will be playing a demo release show with Master on March 10th. Well, it looks like Master had to cancel their U.S. tour due to visa confusion, so it appears the the show will forge ahead with supporters Mobile Deathcamp and Nak'ay.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Vindicator changes and future

Ohio thrashers Vidicator posted at Thrash Unlimited about all the changes within their camp. Instead of giving you the lowdown, I'll take the easy way out and copy/paste.

"We have a revamped logo courtesy of our good friend Tom Martin of Lich King. We're very happy with what Tom did and encourage all bands to hit him up if in need of logo design and or adjustment.

New material is in the works. The band has entered the pre-production phase. Of course it retains our sound, but expect a more brutal, unforgiving, Vindicator.

I've been saving the best for last! We have a full, new, robust line up that we're very, very, excited to take on the world with. Filling the void in our lead guitar slot is ex-White Wizzard/ex-Holy Grail axe slinger, James J. LaRue. We're very excited to have James' talents aboard! Filling our vacant bass spot is Lick The Blade bass phenom, Mike Kurtz! Give the new family members a warm TU welcome! I'll be taking over lead vocals (while still playing rhythm) and Jesse will remain on drums... still being awesome.

We have some awesome confirmed festival appearances including: Slaughter By The Water 2, Thrashaggedon 3, and Warriors Of Metal Open Air 4, including awesome touring and awesome local shows. In addition to all this awesomeness, we're slated for an awesome video shoot in Los Angeles this summer!"

So there you have it. I know that line-up changes freak people out. Consider what happened to the band (fill in the blank of a band who changed members and sucked thereafter).

However, not all bands go to crap when they change members. Remember (fill in the blank of a band that changed members and were super-awesome thereafter)? So don't worry. I'll take their word that we can expect "a more brutal, unforgiving, Vindicator."

Check out their MySpace here.

Warbeast ROCKS!

Warbeast's Krush the Enemy has been out for nearly one year. I could have waited a month to post this as a happy one year anniversary, but I couldn't get the main riff from "Stalker" out of my head, so here it is.

For those of you who are not familiar with either this band or their past, let me offer the following: Fans of Gammacide and/or Rigor Mortis should check out the full Warbeast album. Fans of Warbeast should check out Gammacide and Rigor Mortis. Why? Because they all have band members in common. Woo-HOO! 'Nuff said.

Check out Warbeast here and here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

File sharing and the music biz

A while back, Phillip from Gama Bomb shared a blog post about online file sharing and the future of the music business.

One interesting bit he wrote about was that although Gama Bomb offered their last album up as a free download, they still sold just as many hard copies as their previous release. Also, as a result of offering a free album, they noticed a growing number of fans at their shows, and were able to procure a higher fee and sell more merch. Nice.

He makes an interesting case for the music industry to flip over the old school ways of business and embrace file sharing. Check it out here.

More thrash metal logos!

Ever since I re-posted about thrash logos from my graphic design blog, I've received tons of hits from people clamoring for logos. Man, you guys are thrash metal logo crazy!

Well, I am a generous man, and I like to dish out what the people want. So I offer the following graphics: nwotm band logos.

Oh, yeah. Quick side note about gaining hits. I also received a crazy amount of hits when I posted my prediction on Metallica's secret project. I figure that the name "Metallica" alone will most likely garner a healthy amount of searches, so it's no surprise I am seeing an uptick in hits.

Metallica! Metallica!

Now, onto some cool thrash logos!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blunt Force Trauma ROCKS!

Blunt Force Trauma plays hardcore crossover with so much intensity, you can feel the mosh pit sweat and bruises as the music thunders from your speakers.

This Austin, Texas band has been thrashin' on and off since 1999. Since then, they have gone through a few member changes, and in 2007 they snagged up legendary D.R.I. drummer Felix Griffin.

Man, their music is a welcome kick to the gut. Check out this tune from their Hatred for the State release.

Check out their MySpace page here.
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