Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The NWOTM Blog: Year One!

Last November I got the idea to start a blog featuring new wave of thrash bands and their influences.

Now, a year later, The NWOTM Blog is going strong, highlighting bands both signed and unsigned from all over the world. The NWOTM Blog Facebook page has gained a stunning amount of followers, and I am thankful to all the bands and fans who frequently visit that page.

When I began The NWOTM Blog, the original intent was always to feature the local band from down the block. Your friend's band. The local thrash band that kicks the hell out of that 7th tier signed metal group they opened for last weekend. Of course I would write about some of the big boys from the old and new school, but the grassroots is where it's at. There are so many hidden gems floating around the dark corners of the internet that it would almost be a disservice of this blog to not bring them to the forefront.

The hidden gems appeal to me so much because I remember what it's like to be in a band, trying to get your name and music out to the potential fans. Getting a band's name in articles, reviews and on posters is a big deal and although some don't want to admit they need it, such promotion gives a little validation to all the blood and sweat a band pours into their art. When others take notice, it's freaking cool.

Of course, beyond the "cool" factor of having your band included in an article or review is the solid promotion. It adds a few more Facebook "likes" and maybe a couple more albums sold. Ah, the swelling of the fan base. That's where I like to help.

First and foremost, I am a fan of thrash metal (obviously). So naturally, I want to see killer thrash bands thrive.

A year ago I would do a lot of digging for new bands, with successful discoveries almost every time I searched the net. The amount of incredible thrash bands out there writing new music is astounding. I can't keep up!

When I came across bands such as Sword of Judgement, Unhoped, Shredhead, 4ARM, Ecopolis, Hellbrain, and many others, I was blown away with the discovery, eager to share them with you all.

Now since The NWOTM Blog has taken flight, I don't have to do too much digging anymore because I get flooded with requests from bands all over the world for a demo feature or review. I'm not complaining - I freaking' LOVE it! My only problem is the time to write about all this great music I am hearing. Although writing about ALL these awesome bands is near impossible, I do the best I can.

The ROCKS! and the Weekend Breakdown posts (as well as this whole blog) are essentially love letters to my favorite genre of metal as well as a Thank You to those flying its flag.

Now I can't end this post without mentioning a few words about the one and only Lenny Troo Frasher.

Lenny was born of the ridiculous and self-contradicting insults that are spewed all over the web regarding the NWOTM. The "thrash elitist" (hahaha) who believes that new = sucks. Frankly, the attitude of "I love thrash so much that I hate thrash" confounds me. Although the absurdity of such an attitude is maddening, absurdity leads to good comedy.

Enter Lenny Troo Frasher.

His elitist take on new thrash makes him the butt of the joke, even through his own scathing insults hurled toward the genre - a genre of music he claims to love as long as it's not put out after 1990.

The addition of the Lenny Troo Frasher comic to the blog had the site hits go through the roof every time a new one is posted. I'm happy you all enjoy the running gag as much as I like writing it.

Now as far as what I really like about The NWOTM Blog (other than getting free music) is the correspondence with the bands and their fans. I love talking thrash! One guy named Christopher G. commented to me, "Dude, this is the only blog I even care about."

That meant a lot to me, offered me a ton of validation for the love I put into promoting my favorite genre of metal, and helps me keep going.

So thank you all for sticking around to watch this blog grow. My hope is that The NWOTM Blog will be around for at least another year.

Stay metal!


- r. lawrence blake

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend Breakdown: Testimony, Toxifix, Insane, Armament, and Besegra

As I was preparing another Thrashline post, I realized I had a few new bands in there that actually warranted a Weekend Breakdown post. After all, it is the weekend. So I decided to make everything alright in this world and offer up...

Chicago area band TESTIMONY jam out killer prog-leaning thrash, centering more on a good metal ass-kicking than high-brow wankery. With their EP Transcending Reality, Testimony grab the listener and rock with interesting dynamics and killer musicianship. Although the songs are not quickie stompers (they range from five to over seven minutes each), fans of intricate and speedy riffs will never get bored.

Check out the song below and then keep an eye on their Facebook page for news on the official release of Transcending Reality.

Another notch in the killer metal scene in Texas is Dallas's TOXIFIX. With influences ranging from thrash, death, and blackened thrash, Toxifix hammers with a winding punch of insane riffs and sick vocals. Their album, titled Rise From the Ashes, sounds raw (in a good way) and although the weird vocal effect might turn off some listeners, I feel it adds a layer of intensity to the music - especially in the song Gravedigger.

If this sounds good to you, then GREAT! Because these crazy metalheads are offering their songs as a FREE download! FREE THRASH!

Thank them by liking their Facebook page.



Old-freakin'-school! I know, most of the bands I feature on this blog have that sound, but Sweden's INSANE boast a warm mix of thrash and traditional metal that sounds like it should only be played on scratched-up vinyl and 3rd generation tape trades. This is metal you can sink into, sprout a pair of iron balls, and aggressively pound thy head and fist. Cool riffs and bad-ass solos abound, Insane is an insanely fun listen (see what I did there? I'm so clever).

Check them out below and then check them out here.

Los Angeles metalers ARMAMENT are streaming their Metal Anarchy EP now! Two of the songs, Fight and Paranoia of Conspiracy are available as a free download. Armament cranks out some killer thrash with a vocalist reminds me a bit of Mike Muir, although not so much in voice as in vocal lines and patterns. The last minute to their song Paranoia of Conspiracy is a non-stop pit-inducing thrasher! Check 'em out!

To download the tunes or get a copy of their EP, hit them up on Facebook here.


Looking for even more free thrash? Of course! Canadian deathrashers BESEGRA have three songs (including one "unedited" instrumental) available as a free download. Besegra streams together energetic, melodic and brutal riffs to help further damage your hearing. The main riff to Slaughterhouse is killer! My only compliant is that the vocals are a bit overbearing in the mix, usurping some of the riffage power. Other than that, I'm digging these guys.

Listen below and hit them up on Facebook here to snatch up their songs.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Dead Head ROCKS!

You know, it happen to the best of us…meaning me. I come across a band that I've never heard and think, "Wow! Cool new band!"

So after listing to a couple tunes, if I'm really interested, I might try to dig up more info on the band.

Then it comes to light that the "cool new band" actually formed around 22 years ago.

Such was the case when I recently discovered Holland's own Dead Head.

I know, I know. Some of you out there are saying, "You've never heard of Dead Head?!"

No, I never heard of Dead Head - that is, not until I stumbled upon their Bandcamp page. Like I said: it happens to the best of us. So thank God for Bandcamp!

Anyway, now that I know the name of Dead Head, I should at least offer penance of my ignorance by giving them a big fat plug here on the NWOTM Blog.

The first song I heard from these guys is the blistering thrash track titled Firegate off their Depression Tank album.

The tune features vocalist Ralph de Boer, who boasts a killer set of pipes. Boer guides us through the chaos of Dead Head's frantic riffs with commanding form that brings to mind the savagery of Sadus and Demolition Hammer.

The music itself is relentless and cut throat. As someone who is not familiar with Dead Head's early recordings, I can completely understand why I was mistaken into thinking these guys were a new band. They sound f**king HUNGRY. If after over 20 years of cranking out thrash they can still put out something that is this fresh sounding, then I can't wait to dive into their past releases.

Check out Firegate below, and then go to their Bandcamp page to download it for free. Facebook them here and then bookmark their web site.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thrashline: Disposable, Invection, RedMist Destruction review, and more!

It's been over a week since my last post, so I am combining the Thrashline post with the Weekend Breakdown post. Below, you'll get your fill of both news bits and killer new bands you may not yet have heard.

So let's gear up for this week's

• Scotland's DISPOSABLE have a killer 3-song EP titled The Disposable EP available as a free download here. Some of you may be thinking, "Who?" Well, now that you know the name and where you can snatch up their tunes, check out Disposable's brand of galloping, neck-thrashing METAL! No matter what you think of these guys, there is no way you can't move when they kick into their mid-tempo chug-a-thons. Quality stuff here, my friends. For freaking' FREE!!


• Australian metal men 4ARM have signed a world-wide record deal with RISING RECORDS! I'm excited to see that 4ARM's music will be easily accessible to those outside of their country. Also, I'm hoping that such a deal will result in a U.S. tour (HA! It's always about me, isn't it?).

Anyway, check out their band profile on the Rising Records website! Nice!

• Let's keep our feet firmly planted in Australia for another moment. Sydney's thrash metallers HEAD IN A JAR have recently released their 4 song EP titled Atomic Circus. The album is pure aggressive fun, and damn, it sounds good! One of my favorites is Judge Mental with its rolling riffage that could make a dead man move. Give it a listen below, buy their Atomic Circus on iTunes, and then hit them up on Facebook.


• It's been a long road, but now California's INVECTION will finally be releasing their debut album on Nov 15th through Stormspell Records. Get a taste of Facet of Aberration with the song sample below. Yes, it kicks ass. Infinity.

Two Faced Lie by Invection

LICH KING released a video of Mr. Rob recording a solo for for the song Agnosticism which should be on their upcoming album Born of the Bomb. His finger styling appear as Rob may have an old-school Dexterity stat of at least 17. Since he plays in Lich King, he has a Constitution of 18 and Charisma of…I dunno…8?


• Sweden's PARANORM have offered up their new six-song album titled Pandemonium's Rise as a FREE download. Paranorm play straight-forward thrash with hints of progressive elements, traditional metal, and melody to mix with the harsh vocals. Killer! Listen below and check them out here.

Aggressive Inhibitions by Paranorm on Grooveshark


RedMist Destruction is on the verge of unleashing their new album Nobility in Death onto the public, and I have been lucky enough to hear it. Nobility is a killer album full of punchy, memorable riffs, gruff vocals, and dynamic song structures. RedMist Destruction plays thrash that truly embraces its raw punk roots, blending crossover with a crushing, and at times melodic, modern thrash stomp.

The musicianship is in top form, with parts of each song containing what are essentially mini-epics of dynamic valleys and peaks. Nobility in Death is an album that towers high in its achievements of catchy aggression, speed, twisting riffs, melody, and hard galloping crunch. RedMist Destruction recorded one hell of a metal album.

Stay tuned, because you'll want to pick this one up.

• HELLsingborg troublemakers SIX IN LINE have a new song streaming titled Plata o Plomo. As with the past 6iL tunes, this one rocks just as hard, if not more. I have stated in the past that their tunes bring to mind a thrashier version of the band Scissorfight, and Plata o Plomo is no exception. This is not to say that 6iL are mired down as a knock-off band by any means. Similarities to possible influences be damned, because these guys definitely rock with their own sound. It's punk influenced grime thrash with mid-tempo punch, and the crazy off-kilter riffs make 6iL tunes kick that much more ass.

By the way - for some reason, every time I listen to Plata o Plomo, the gang vocals at the 31 second mark always manage to scare the living sh*t out of me. I swear I jump every time.


• Speaking of punk-infused gutter thrash (and I mean that in the highest regard), our friends in SPEEDB‪OOZER have posted a couple more new songs.‬ These tunes are raw as hell, but just try not to slam around to the thrash 'n' roll riffage of the tune Metal Punk. Hell, yeah! This tune was built for the live show, man! Crude, rude and completely unwashed - I love this stuff!


• Here's a quick plug for all you old-school death metal fans. Give Wittier, CA's own SKELETAL REMAINS a look. Good, heavy tunes and a vocalist that reminds me of a cross between John Tardy and Rodney Dunsmore of Devastation. Killer!


• Another young band out of California is VENGENCE. These guys jam out aggressively evil thrash. Vengence hammer out some thunderous riffs, all wrapped around some stellar songwriting. Check out their tunes below and then hit them up on Facebook here.


• What's this? VINDICATOR released a new demo track! Is it everything you've been wait for? Of course! Hit play below and thrash it up!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekend Breakdown: Deathraiser, Subhuman, Head Crusher, and Vehement

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I am far behind in my reviews and wanted to get a couple written, but I also haven't posted a new Weekend Breakdown for a while. The backup of bands I have in waiting is overwhelming and I could have made this post an obnoxiously long one, featuring a dozen bands, but if I had time for that we wouldn't have so few posts this month, right?


So let's get into this week's...

There are a slew of thrash bands that try to convey a deep meaning in their songwriting, holding the listener tenderly with moody transitions, overlong intros, and toe-tapping choruses. Others just want to tear your f***ing throat out.

Brazil's DEATHRAISER hammers out slaughtering thrash that rubs your face hard in the gravel of its relentless speed and aggression. These guys take a stripped-down Kreator approach to thrash and kick the speed up to almost unmanageable proportions. Do want the fury of a non-stop thrash assault? Then by all means, get your hands on Deathraiser's Violent Aggression album and let it pummel your ears bloody. Completely bad-ass.

Check out the streaming vids and then hit them up on Facebook.

Italy's SUBHUMAN play killer death/thrash that is as tight and technically sound as it is brutal. The drums and guitars roll together in razor sharp precision, laying out a fierce foundation for vocalist "Zula" Ferzola's throat-mangling charge.

Subhuman slams out fast and searing metal. For those who lean on the death side of aggressive tunage, check them out below and then Facebook them here.

HEAD CRUSHER originally formed in Colombia and are now located in Texas, forging a 10-year history of spreading their brand of Cavalera-tinged thrash/hardcore/death. These guys crank out fat hooks that combines vicious speed with mid-tempo groove. At times, they layer the songs with passionate slices of atmosphere to let the music take off in flight before nailing them back down with aggressive riffage. Cool stuff.

Listen below and follow them here.

We go back to Italy to find some crushing modern thrash in the form of VEHEMENT. These guys use many tools within the various extreme music genres to create their metal.Vehement pack a punch with a hammering onslaught of guitars and vocals that hint of aggressive hardcore without going completely crossover. At times, you'll catch a curve ball such as the NOLA-esque riffs and vocals in All That's Behind and the painfully brutal sludge in The Slow Drowning of Mortality.

Vehement is a killer band that blends its influences into coherent slabs of mean freaking' METAL. Check them out below and follow them here (If the stream below isn't working, go here to listen to their available streaming songs).

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