Saturday, January 18, 2014

VladPromotion Quick Reviews Pt. 2

Last year I was sent a bunch of promos from one individual that I just did not get around to.  Seriously, there were a lot.  So I am now tackling them.  No time to do individual reviews, just a quick and dirty look will have to do.

Eradicator is a fairly young, German thrash metal band that plays a style that bears more of a sonic similarity to the earlier, more melodic style of Destruction when speed metal was still a major part of their sound.  In other words, this is not the type of proto-black/death metal that Sodom and Kreator, um, created when they first started recording.  It is more of Motorhead on steroids, mixed with Testament and Megadeth.  The riffs drive the music, which is what good thrash metal does, and make no mistake, this is definitely good thrash metal.  It is decidedly old-school in sound, but manages to sound fresh at the same time.

Alright another acronym!  Is it Hogs of Steel?  Hell on Skis?  Horatio Octavio Sanchez?  Nope, apparently it is Harvester of Sorrow, a Metallica reference for those of you who don't know.  The title of the album is helpful because this is the Italian band's debut album.  And despite the Metallica reference in the name of the band, they do not really show a ton of Metallica influence in the music, apart from being a thrash metal band.  The vocals resemble Mille Petrozza of Kreator, particularly after taking over full-time vocal duties, and the riffs sound closer to other Bay Area bands such as Heathen and Forbidden.  Italy is not really known for thrash metal, other than Bulldozer and Necrodeath, so it is not much of a surprise that a band from that country would take influences from both the Bay Area and Germany.  The combination works well for H.o.S.

Taking a break from the thrash metal of the last couple of reviews is Iron Kingdom's debut album.  Iron Kingdom is much more of a traditional metal band with roots in the music of the NWOBHM and the American power metal scene.  I kind of like the music to this one.  It's strong traditional-sounding metal, but I absolutely cannot get past the vocalist.  His voice is high-pitched and ridiculously annoying.  As the album goes on, it gets a little better, but that might just be getting used to it.  It's unfortunate that something like that would detract from an album that otherwise is interesting from a musical standpoint, but that's the way it goes.  They do pull an Iron Maiden with a historical epic at the end of the album, this one about Montezuma.  So points for that I guess.

Huh.  Apparently Italy is developing a thrash metal scene.  This is the second band just in this group of bands from this promoter.  This is just a five song EP, but a couple of the tracks are more than seven minutes in length so it is a worthwhile length.  This one is much more similar to the Bay Area thrash metal scene with an emphasis on melody over brutality.  It also utilizes a bit more experimentation and progressive structures, with some similarities to Anacrusis, Heathen, and others from when thrash was expanding their sound.  The buildup to the second track "Walking in the Rain" is incredible and once the vocals kick in, it is even more impressive.  The vocals soar over the riffs like air-raid sirens and are incredibly powerful for this genre.  In the third track they are even joined by some death growls, creating an unusual dichotomy.  Kaosmos is definitely impressive.

And now we check in with Paraguay.  And not shockingly, Kuazar exists on the more brutal end of the spectrum.  Not surprising when South America's most well-known thrash metal bands are Sepultura and Sarcofago.  Kuazar takes their sound from the early blackened/speed/thrash of Sodom and Kreator with a little of their South American brethren thrown in for good measure.  Speed and intensity are the name of the game with Kuazar.  It is not particularly brutal for this type of thrash, relying instead on the precision of the riffs and the manic vocal style.  Very impressive as well.

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