Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thrash Or Die ROCKS!

Wow. I am freaking' stoked! I have found the peak of the mountain where relentless classic thrash and comic book insanity have crossed and planted the biggest and most obnoxious metal flag to wave boldly in the faces of posers everywhere.

Miami's thrashers THRASH OR DIE and their album Poser Holocaust might sound like a mashed up total of every thrash cliche out there, but band members Dr. Fukk, Darth Vodka, Triplesixxx Whoremangler, and Pat could not care less.

Frankly, neither do I. With their tongue in cheek approach to some serious freaking songwriting, Thrash Or Die are pure fun and their music absolutely KILLS.

Also, as I risk the fury of the Serious Metal Only types, it is the comic book look that attracts me to a lot of thrash bands, in both image and lyrics. I mean, take a look at all the Ed Ripka covers, the colorful and twisted band logos as well as the topics of zombies, kings, monsters, deadly moshpits, and Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic settings.

Thrash Or Die unabashedly embodies the essence of those classic thrash themes and images, spitting them out in venomous doses of crushing speedy thrash metal.

Perfect examples of this can be found in their songs, such as No Posers Allowed, The Return of the Thrash Lord, Moshpit Messiah, and Wake Up and Smell the Thrash. The song titles might be part of T.O.D.'s schtick, but the music slams hard and in the end that's all that matters to me.

To get a full dose of what is Thrash Or Die, check out the video below (you won't be sorry). If you like it, head over to their Facebook page and show some support.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Legionary - A Glimpse into Arcane Divisions

In case you haven't seen it, Legionary has put out a very cool short documentary on the band as well as the recording of their upcoming album Arcane Divisions.

This entertaining, funny, and informative video does a good job in showing the different personalities that make up Legionary. It also makes my mouth water for the release of Arcane Divisions, an album I believe will promptly kick my ass upon first listen.

Check it out!

Art of Chaos ROCKS!

Usually I'm not in favor of a band posting "raw" cuts of their music. Usually when I click on a song labeled "raw", "unmixed", or "rough demo", it will sound like it was recorded with a 1980s boombox that was placed on a shelf right next to the drummer's crash cymbal.

In the end, even the best demo songs will sound like crap and most newcomers will likely never pay a visit to the band's website ever again. It's a no win/no win situation, see?


Once in a blue moon, posting a rough cut can be beneficial provided that the instruments can all be represented fairly giving the song's dynamics a slim chance of shining through.*

Yes, there are exceptions out there, such as Fatal Demise, who have hit the ball out of the park with some killer tunes on less than stellar recordings.

Such is the case with Sacramento, California's ART OF CHAOS. Truth be told, when I came across this band's Reverbnation page and saw the words "Raw Cut" labeled on their available tunes, I almost passed them by.

Thankfully, intuition gave my jaded brain a tiny kick in the nuts and I clicked play. Art of Chaos's streaming songs hit me with a hardcore-leaning thrash assault that turned my twisted smirk of doubt into a big fat teeth-grinding grin.

They pummel the listener with a monster blend of old-school thrash with a handful of heavy crossover and NY style hardcore.

The guitars pulled me in with a combo of tight thrash riffing and sliding power chord stomp, all brought to light with the drums that hit the balance of speed and groove perfectly. Vocalist Paul Laughlin commands the vocals with the salt and grit that brings to mind the brutality of Tom Araya and Billy Milano.

To not move around, stomp, and headbang while listening to Art of Chaos would viewed as either a Herculean task of epic proportions or that the listener might be dead.

I'm glad I didn't end up passing these guys up.

Have a listen to their Raw Cuts below and then hit them on Facebook here.

* Quality control cannot be determined by the ones who wrote the songs, especially for novice songwriters. Band members can never tell if their basement demo recordings sound like crap because A. They know what the song originally sounds like, and B. To them, the song is always going to sound freakin' awesome.




Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekend Breakdown: Shredhead, Legion, Carcinogen, Tramwreck

I love it when every time a band's song is done, I give the computer screen a horns up and audibly state, "That was f**kin' KILLER!"

So it went while checking out tunes from Israel's SHREDHEAD. I found these guys while surfing around Bandcamp, and was taken aback by their ruthlessly catchy riffs, tight playing, and searing vocals. The music comes off as a more complex brand of crossover, leaning more heavily into vicious speedy thrash. Perfect for splitting' heads in the pit!

Give them a listen, Facebook them here, and if you like the tunes, buy from them here.

Texas has so many newer monstrous thrash bands that they are head-to-head with the Chicago area for the amount of quality upstarts hammering out some kick ass U.S. metal.

Houston's LEGION is somewhere near the top of the pack, cranking out some harsh metal that has a heart inside its armor of tank-like destruction. I don't mean "heart" as in ballad-y emo tears of wussface. No, the heart comes from the passion heard in Legion's music which would definitely cause involuntary spasms of mayhem in the pit.

The dynamics balanced between the rolling riffs and rigorous drumming is a headbanger's paradise. Songs such as Pacifist move effortlessly from an onslaught of fiery riffs to a well-placed chunky stomp that have the impact of a wrecking ball.

Listen below and then head over to Facebook to offer them your support.



Moving over to the death side of metal, we have New York's CARCINOGEN. Taking cues from the harsh end of the thrash genre, Carcinogen offers up solid death metal without the blistering confusion of some of the more br00tal brethren. The Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse influences shine through as do their love for Slayer and Exhorder, which gives the listener a nice balance of headbanging with the brutality.

Bottom line is that Carcinogen plays some crushing freaking death metal and they play it well. Good? Good.

Check out Unholy Aggression and then hit 'em up on Facebook.

Now it's time to have sustain some injuries with Sweden's TRAMWRECK! This group slams with a gruff mix of classic hardcore, thrash and punk that is as mean as it is fun. The riffs are simple and chunky, moving the songs from explosive Exploited-like charges to thrash-soaked stomps. Just by listening to their song, one can tell that Tramwreck would be an awesome experience live. Bring your headgear!

Listen below and then make the move to their Facebook page here! POWER VOMIT!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Unhoped - Die Harder

Die Harder

After stumbling upon Finland's UNHOPED on the ever reliable Reverbnation web site, I have been keeping them in the corner of my eye. I was originally impressed by their brutally harsh brand of thrash and gave them a positive write-up here. I couldn't wait for their new full length release!

Finally, Unhoped unleashed their new album Die Harder, and it packs even more of a punch than I had anticipated.

The opening track Entering a World of Pain is a short and slow riff laden instrumental that uncoils like a snake about to unleash a furious strike. That strike hits with the next track Shattered Shield, injecting a bite of venomous metal that continues to rage until the album's final track.

The riffs and song structures bring to mind early Grave peppered with Slayer. Even the production hints at early Swedish death metal without the sludge. In fact, the production is impressive, gathering the killer tight riffing, spot-on drums, and lethal vocals into slabs of hard-pounding murderous metal.

Unhoped writes songs that range from all-out thrash to headbanging groove, put together with riffs that both shred and hook into your brain. With tunes such as the catchy Art of War (Written in Blood) as well as the harsh and mosh-worthy Consumed, fans of aggressive metal will find something to grab onto within Unhoped's roster of solid metal tracks.

Check Unhoped out on their Facebook page here. To purchase a copy of Die Harder, go here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warbringer and portly relatives. I need to get into shape!

My 38 year-old self is finally trying to eat right and exercise. I have to. Warbringer is towing along a slew of killer thrash bands, scheduled to arrive in Kansas City on October 30th, and I have to be primed for the ass-whopping I'll receive in the pit!

Back when I was in a band, we had high energy band practices every day and played at least every other weekend. At my job, I worked on my feet. Constantly moving, man. I had no problem with staying in shape.

But almost 9 years have past since I was in a band. For the past six years, I've sat in an office doing graphic design for 8 hours a day while stuffing my face with cookies and McDonald's food. My muscles went to sleep and my belly woke up…and grew.

After all this time, two things happened to finally convince me to lose some of the old man fat. Well, three things actually (my pants no longer fit), but the first two were essential epiphanies needed to begin my long road to carrots and chicken breasts.

Last year during the Slayer/Megadeth Carnage tour, I made it there early to catch the Testament set. I remember Chuck stopping a song in the middle so he could divide the crowd into a Wall Of Death, with the moshing to commence once the song kicks back in.

I just happened to be on the front line.

Before this, I hadn't been in a proper mosh pit since…duuhhhhh…I don't know. It was a long time, okay? For some reason, I think it was a Pro-Pain show and it was well before my old-ass muscles showed signs of pre-rigor mortis.

Anyway, my wife was in the crowd with me, so when the "wall" started to form, she was right behind me. As the front line backed up, I told her, "You can still get out if you want."

The line was then stopped and ready for Testament to trumpet the charge. "Are you sure you want to stay?" I asked my wife again, as my voice cracked.

You see, my wife has been in plenty of mosh pits, but like me, she hadn't been in one for years and I wasn't sure if she was ready for her first Wall Of Death to break her back in to the pit. Hell, I wasn't sure if I was ready!

Too late. Testament kicked in and the line charged. As I dug my heels into the ground out of instinctual self-preservation, my wife was pushing me with full force while yelling, "GO! GO! GOOOO!"

I was worried about her, and she was pushing me.

I finally moved my ass, and I ended up having a great time in the mosh pit for the rest of the song. I haven't felt that rush of adrenaline at a concert for a long time. But once the adrenaline was gone, my lungs were on fire, my chest was cramped, and I was leaning over as if I was going to puke.

Out. Of. Shape.

I got out of the pit area after Testament's set to watch Megadeth. Two songs into Megadeth's set, my wife said, "See ya," and ran back into the pit. I was still trying to air up my lungs.

I wanted to mosh, but I just couldn't. My body laughed and said, "Uh, no." That sucked.

So, Reason #1 to lose weight and get into shape: Can't mosh for more than 5 minutes. Watch wife mosh throughout entire Megadeth set, making me mop my male ego off the amphitheater's concrete floor.


The second thing that happened to me was not as exciting. At a recent family birthday gathering, one of my previously chubby uncles pointed at my stomach and let out a chuckle.

It's a long story as to why he is able to laugh at my attached personification of sloth, but let's say I had it coming.

After his chuckle and a quick exchange of pleasant conversation, I went into the house where one of my aunts was sitting. She is a big woman. Always has been. Most of my family on my mother's side are big people. Farming folks who like their beer and fatty breakfasts.

As I walked by her, she stopped me, put her palm over my belly like some spiritual healer and said, "This means that you're part of the family."

Well, that was THAT.

Reason #2 to lose weight and get into shape: Getting fatter than my fat relatives, and they like it!

I want to fit in my jeans and old concert shirts. I want to get healthier. Mainly, I want to get into the Warbringer pit without barfing up my heart.

So now I'm eating good foods and exercising, counting down the days (as I count down the pounds) to some upcoming thrash metal concerts.

Those of you who are going to attend the KC Warbringer show: if you see a crumpled up figure laying down in a fetal position after the concert, just know that I tried my best.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thrashline: Evile's video, 4ARM tour and more!

EVILE's new video for their single Cult is streaming over at Vevo. Cult, coming off their upcoming Five Sepent's Teeth album is a killer Metallica-tinged headbanger of a tune. This song was a great choice for a vid. Check it out below!

• Australia's mighty 4ARM will be touring down under with two legendary bands: Mortal Sin and freaking Destruction! I knew they had big news to announce, but I was hoping it was a U.S. tour because I'm selfish that way. Still, this is killer news. Click here for details.

• Los Angeles, CA thrashers SCYTHE now have their EP titled The Seventh Day available to buy online at CD Baby. I plugged Scythe here a while back. See if you dig 'em and then buy the EP. It's only $2.99!

• HELLsingborg's SIX IN LINE is looking for someone who can draw, and I'm assuming more than just a stick figure. On their Facebook wall, they posted the following:

"If there's anyone out there that's good at drawing, send us an e-mail with the artwork to

"The title of the upcoming release is U Shud Hev Invtd Me.

"It's also a song about this WoW dude called Dave who crashes a party with an axe. So send us whatever comes into your mind when you hear party+axe and... Send it!"

After that, they said, "Get laid!"

He's writing to artists who specialize in drawing WoW characters. Why mock them with that last statement?

• Texas metalmen LEGION are looking for a lead guitarist. Posted on their Facebook wall is the following:

"We will be holding tryouts for anyone who thinks they have what it takes. You must be willing to travel, have pro gear and a great stage presence. Give Drew a call or leave us a comment if you're interested!"

Now check THIS out as an incentive sling the axe for Legion: They will be playing with freaking EXHORDER on November 25th and 26th…and those will be the new guitarist's FIRST gigs with the band. Nice!

• The Portuguese metal powerhouse NUKLEAR INFEKTION have photos up of their first gig from their Sept. 10th gig with Auschwitz and La Tasca. Go here to check out their vid for the song We're On Command! This is their first freaking gig and all these people KNOW the song?! Man, I love the internet!

STONE DÖZER's album Long Live the King is now available on iTunes. I wrote about this bad-ass band here. Check 'em out to see if the tunes are your type of moshing material.

• The new ANTHRAX album is out! 'Nuff said!

Lenny Troo Frasher: Headbanging to new thrash

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekend Breakdown: Strike Master, BlackRider, Revtend, and Rezistor

A big thanks to Simio Belico for sending Mexico's STRIKE MASTER my way. Strike Master's thrash is aggressive, pissed, and hits like a whirlwind of clenched, bloodied fists. Each song is tight, well played chaos with speedy riffs and venomous vocals which all contibute to a frenzied sound that literally rages non-stop.

Check out the song Rabid Abstraction below. The tempo dynamics and the extremely small but effective use of gang vocals between 1:04 and 1:25 make me want to own everything they have ever recorded. Check out their Facebook page here.

Another thrash band from Mexico, BlackRider plays thrash that might not be reinventing the wheel, but has the charm of a gritty grindhouse film. After hearing a few songs off their Waves of Destruction album, I kept seeking these guys out online, streaming their harsh brand of adrinaline-filled Mexican metal. Although the recording sounds like it was stuck in a can and beat with a stick, fans of old-school thrash will probably enjoy it even more, soaking in the nostolgia of killer music on crappy sounding demos. Listening to BlackRider is like revisiting one of those old, scary carnival rides that was fun when you were young, and even though it is now weathered with a bit of rust, you could still get in and enjoy the ride.

Bottom line: BlackRider slams with some fun and aggressive thrash metal! Check out the song and then you can marvel at the fact that they are still on MySpace here.

A killer mix of Big Four love with a beefy modern production offers us the massive thrash attack known as REVTEND. These Portuguese metal monsters hook the listener with both e-string gallops and chugging riffs under Pedro Henriques's Hetfield-esque vocal delivery. The professional sounding, crisp recording makes the music rage all the better.

Check out the tunes below and click here for some Facebook action.

Armed with a contemporary sound of stripped-down thrash metal, Romania's REZISTOR is set to spread their name by offering up their new album Beware the Silent as a FREE download. Not a bad deal at all for those interested in simple but effective riffage that at times bring to mind the furious punch of early Fear Factory.

Check out the song, hit their Facebook page, and then go here to download Rezistor's album for FREE!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Assaulter ROCKS!

With song titles such as "Crushed By a Raging Mosh", "Thrash Assault", and "BEER!!!", Italy's ASSAUTER is definitely a fun time to be had by all.

I'm sure the Serious Metal Only guys out there are rolling their eyes, but they are missing out because Assaulter's music is anything but goofy. Their hammering riffs are furious exercises in aggressive speed and mosh-making mayhem.

Along with the excellent guitar work, the face-ripping vocals and frenzied drumming collide to crank out some pure, fist clenching thrash freaking' METAL.

Not to say that Assaulter's music is pure insanity for the sake of insanity. The dynamics throughout the songs show a band of metal musicians who can express their ideas of what constitutes killer thrash metal, and serve it as a bludgeoning hammer to the face.

Yeah, I love it.

Check out a couple songs below and then Facebook 'em here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thrashline: Bits of thrash metal news

Thrashline will be a semi-regular post in which I will run my virtual mouth about news items from around the thrash community. For obvious reasons I cannot post every new item that pops up (I'm not Blabbermouth, ya know), but I'll collect some bits that interest me and let you all know about them.

Let's get it going!

SSS has two new official members: Stu Taylor on guitar and Dave Archer on drums. I'm always a bit wary when members switch up in a band, especially the guitarist since he or she is usually the main riff machine that makes up the band's sound. However, I will still check out any future releases by SSS and any other band I am a fan of such as Bonded By Blood or Hatchet who went through member changes.

Over at the Anthrax website, they posted some dates for their upcoming tour with freaking Testament and Death Angel! Yeah - holy crap! This will be a killer show. Some of you guys here in the U.S. are left off so far, but let's hope that more dates are added soon. The ones they have so far are as follows:

10/14 Grand Rapids, MI Orbit Room
10/15 Chicago, IL Congress Theatre
10/16 inneapolis, MN First Avenue
10/18 Wichita, KS The Cotillion
10/19 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
10/22 Los Angeles, CA Nokia LA Live
10/23 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre
10/24 San Diego, CA House of Blues
10/26 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theatre
10/28 Dallas, TX South Side Music Hall
10/29 Austin, TX Emo's East
10/30 Houston, TX Warehouse Live

Finnish thrash masters UNHOPED have unleashed their new web site. Their old one was seriously lacking in...well, much of anything. Keep your eyes on this site for news on how you can get your hands on their upcoming CD titled Die Harder. I've heard it and it absolutely crushes.

• Santiago, Chile's NUCLEAR have made their album Jehovirus available for streaming in its entirety over at their Bandcamp page. Fans of metal in the vein of Slayer really need to check this out. Jehovirus is ruthless thrash at its best.

• Brazilian thrashers WOSLOM have released a new video for their song Mortal Effect, taken from the Time to Rise album. Catchy riffage in this one. In the video, WOSLOM takes on the evils of consumerism. Now go buy the WOSLOM album and t-shirt! ;)

Check it out!

Montreal's resident thrash drunkards ALCOHOLATOR have just released a new song titled The Chamber. You like to combine your thrash with drinkin'? Dumb question. Check it out below!

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