Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekend Breakdown with Warsenal, Verbal Razors, Apache Gunship, and Xpulsion!

Canadian thrashers WARSENAL had me floored with some lightening-in-a-bottle ideas that made the riffs on the classic Megadeth and Metallica albums kick so much ass.

Mathieu Rondeau’s flying riffs are Mustaine-worship through and through, and damn! they are ambitious as hell. The song structures could be lifted right off Kill ‘Em All, albeit a bit more stripped down and loose.

Warsenal went to the roots of thrash and scored well. The ideas are there, the riffs are blistering, and they even found a way to snatch that old-school SOUND. So what’s the downside? Well, it’s a matter of taste here really, and the taste comes down to vocals.

Let me first say that the vocals do not suck. They don’t. In fact, they remind me of a less nasally Dave Mustaine (which fit perfectly with Warsenal’s riffage). What bugs me is the delivery in the vocal pattern is extremely forced in certain places, causing a noticeable and jarring break in the vocalist’s flow (example would be the vocal intro to Unstoppable).

This is a minor quibble when taking Warsenal’s music as a whole, which is thunderous and driving, allowing fans of classic thrash to dive in and enjoy. To me, Warsenal is soooooo close to creating close-to-perfect classic sounding thrash. Music that could make legions of metal fans take notice with an audible “Holy Sh*t” on their lips.

My hope is these guys will continue to grow, iron out the rough spots, and deliver an album that will set the thrash scene on its head. They definitely have the song-writing chops to pull it off.

Check them out below and go visit them here.

A big thanks goes to the Thrash Maniacs blog for turning me on to France’s VERBAL RAZORS. This thrash-heavy crossover outfit pummels out short bursts of snarl-baring aggression.

What I really love about these guys is the hint of pure rock ‘n’ roll infused with the thrashing madness. Cannibal Vegan is a perfect example with its Motorhead-like speed and hard-hitting rhythms backing up the quick solo.

Thrash fans can pick out many things to enjoy with Verbal Razors, from Exodus and Testament-style riffing, to Violentor-style simplicity, all wrapped up in a rough and tumble punk attitude.

The bonus to all this awesomeness is that Verbal Razors have made their EP Settling of Scores available as a free download! Completely kick-ass.

Listen below and hit them up on Facebook here.

Heading over to Ireland, we have the eclectic metal men APACHE GUNSHIP. As opposed to bands such as the aforementioned Warsenal, these guys are not traditional thrash by any means.

To be sure, they are definitely influenced by thrash, but then add hefty doses of rock, prog, and doom to round out a sound that is catchy and crushes at the same time.

Based on the one available song Unleashed, Apache Gunship utilizes their influences successfully in a slab of meaty songwriting. Well done! Vocalist Warren Boyd goes from death vox to 70’s soul rock to 90s Alt rock and back again, embracing the varied styles that seamlessly flow throughout the music.

Maybe Apache Gunship is not for the thrash purists, but if you like heavy music in general, check these guys out.

Right now, they are offering Unleashed as a free download. Listen to it below and if you're interested, go "like" 'em on Facebook!

Hell, yeah! Belgium's XPULSION thrash out with chunky, catchy riffage, head-bangable gallops, and raspy metal vocals that bring to mind Devastation's Rodney Dunsmore.

Although their EP, titled War is Imminent, hinges on old Bay Area thrash, there are hints of old-school crossover bleeding into the sound, making some of Xpulsion's rare left-field nuances palatable to the songs. Sure those nuances, such as the off-color guitar runs in Anaconda Plan, might make you think "What the hell?", but these instances don't take away from the overall bad-assery of Xpulsion's music.

What's freakin' cool about Xpulsion is their ability to combine various influences into seamless, catchy chunks of thrash. They successfully add hints of Megadeth and Schuldiner-style prog to the driving e-string chug, knocking the songwriting up a notch. Also, the openers to songs such as Black Pearl and Welcome to Yourself show Xpulsion harbors killer ideas of how to add atmosphere to the madness. Man, this stuff is kick ass!

Check 'em out below and hit them up here.

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