Review: Sahon – Chanting for the Fallen

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Label: Transcending Obscurity Asia

With a lot of thrash bands, the tendency is to slow down a bit as they get older – for the wild fires of youthful exuberance to become dulled into something more considered and, if not exactly tame, then more controlled. It’s not always the case, and sometimes it can result in a genuine masterpiece being created (as with, say, Sodom’s Agent Orange). With Korean band Sahon though, latest album Chanting for the Fallen could never be considered slow, or restrained, or tame. It is a full-on thrash onslaught, utterly relentless in its pace and delivery, carrying with it an undeniable energy and sense of enjoyment.

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Album of the Day: Sepultura – Machine Messiah

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Label: Nuclear Blast

I confess, somewhere along the line, I lost my faith in later-day Sepultura. I have soft spots for Against and Nation, but from Roorback onwards, nothing had grabbed me. It’s not that they’re not the same band as Max-era Sepultura – they might as well be different entities completely now – and I’m longing for the old days. It’s just that the albums weren’t that, well, good. So, imagine my surprise when Machine Messiah didn’t so much change that streak as it did grab me, shake me around, and realise just how great their prog/thrash/groove combination can be. Their best album since Chaos A.D? As far as I’m concerned, yes.

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Album of the Day: Redacted – Alien Nation

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Label: Blackened Death Records

One of the earliest releases put out by Blackened Death Records was Alien Nation by Redacted, consisting of Jon Stormbeard (also of Petrichor and Stormbeard) and The World Controller (aka Pope Richard, of about seventeen squillion bands). Though a touch crude compared to the music the two individuals would go on to record, Alien Nation still remains a killer slice of thrash. Taking lyrical influence from the likes of The X-Files,  conspiracy theories, and horror, it’s an album filled with a lot of fun, and lots of killer riffs.

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Review: Ghostblood – Honey, I Raised the Dead

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Label: Self-released

Now on to their second album, Ghostblood show no signs of slowing down. There’s a real hunger to this young band that comes through clearly on Honey, I Raised The Dead, an album that’s every bit as fun as you’d hope for from a record named thus. Their brand of thrash draws liberally from metalpunk, with the result being metal that is hugely energetic, racing by at a million miles an hour, packed full of power-chord riffs, blistering leads, and relentless drums. It’s hardly big or clever, but is sure is a hell of a lot of fun.

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Album of the Day: Kreator – Gods of Violence

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Label: Nuclear Blast

When Gods of Violence was first released, I absolutely loved it. The latest album by German thrash legends Kreator was a real rush of energy, with high-tempo songs and a glossy production that made the album sound vibrant, yet far from tame. Some of my initial enthusiasm has worn off in the meantime, but it’s still an undeniably solid album, and features a few songs that, whilst different from Kreator of old, feel hugely important, and underlined the anti-prejudice, inclusive nature of the band.

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Album of the Day: Nervosa – Agony

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Label: Napalm Records

Nervosa are the kind of band who might save your faith in metal. The trash three-piece play with such passion and joy (as anyone who has seen one of their live shows will surely attest to) that the fact that they’re not doing anything new with thrash metal doesn’t matter in the slightest. As evidenced on Agony, what they’re doing is drawing deeply from the old-school, with plenty of old-school German thrash influence wedded to a few death metal touches. It’s a hugely invigorating album, with the kind of energy and conviction that reminds you of exactly why you started listening to the genre in the first place.

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Album of the Day: Bathory – Requiem

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Label: Black Mark Production

Everyone surely knows how great the first six albums by Bathory are – the way that the first trio of albums pretty much defined proto-black metal, and how the second set of three were instrumental in the development of pagan and viking metal. But the releases following Twilight of the Gods, up until the final Nordland albums, are often over-looked. It’s understandable – they hardly represent Bathory at their best. Yet Requiem is worth revisiting, with its attempts to return to Bathory’s thrash roots resulting in an album that is vicious and lawless – even if its best moments are heavily indebted to other bands.

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