Many critics have hailed albums such as Warbringer's Waking into Nightmares and Havok's Time is Up as masterpieces of modern thrash. I would dare to say that Lost in Violence, the full-length debut from Denmark's Essence, also ranks among the best in the NWOTM.
Lost In Violence is fantastic on so many levels, in both a traditional sense and modern twist to the thrash genre, that reaching out to pick apart why this album rocks so freaking hard is a quite the undertaking.
First of all, for those who cry for more originality in their thrash would be hard pressed to find a better example than the songs found on Lost in Violence. Such a statement may be disputed, but although they reflect various thrash influences such as Slayer, Kreator, and early Metallica, Essence manages to build on their influences rather than simply mimic them.
Special note must be made of Skov's vocal delivery and its dynamics with the guitar riffs. The way he builds up the verses and choruses to allow each riff maximum impact is not only impressive, but also displays a necessary trait from which many thrash bands could learn.
As for the riffs, they crunch along powerfully, tying together with a stand-out performance from Nefer on bass guitar.
The songs are epic pieces of songwriting consisting of (mostly) mid-paced, headbanging thrash that demand repeated listens. From the thrashed-out Pestilence, to the foot-stomping Blood Culture, to the sweeping and catchy Shades of Black, Essence has created what will be considered a staple album within the circles of thrash metal.
Check them out here.