by Scott Hefflon
An aptly titled comp: Over 70 minutes of the new breed of thrash from around the world. Speed and riffs are the coin of the realm, as it was and as it always woulda been in the metal kingdom had nü metal not entered stage left and lulled the lullable with “urban groove” (a loud, polished, crushing, yet monotonous guitar rhythm that slams like a hammer on an anvil but offers no interesting fretboard gymnastics for aspiring shredders). And yet there is hope…
When thrash flourished in the late ’80s, prior to it be being co-opted by “I’m the Man” and other novelties, it was founded on half-step “evil” riffs and fills, manic drumming, and snakespit vocals. Kreator was top notch, but yer welcome to chose your favorites. Slayer brought it home to American audiences (Hell Awaits and Reign in Blood), and Cali-rock bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, and a shitload of others successfully watered it down, album after album, until it no longer resembled its gory, “metal thrashing mad” origins. Such is the way of things. For the uninitiated, think “Damage, Inc” and “Battery.” Then speed the shit out of it, make it sound “dirty,” and hire a vocalist who barely even sounds human: That’s thrash. That’s the way it started, and that’s the way it is again with The New Breed. And Necropolis has done a fine job assembling some of the most dangerous, bloodthirsty, ultra-violent, speed-addled lunatics on the planet on Thrashing Holocaust.
Without being retro or stuck in the ’80s like so many hair metal bands, the bands on Thrashing Holocaust have unearthed the roots of the style, and they obviously live it in the present. While, in theory, it doesn’t sound tough, few seem to be able to play any “classic” genre without sounding dated. But this is fresh, I assure you, and it’s violent, borderline insane, sometimes goofy (thrash had/has the wonderful tendency to use Evil Dead cackles and falsetto screeches that, while frightening to your parents, are actually kinda dorky), and faster than your heartbeat after gulping four cups of strong coffee. And most of all, it sounds ugly, the way metal oughtta. None of this polished-for-the-metal-masses crap that “commercial alternative” radio plays, this is a step deeper into the soil, down where the light doesn’t reach, where worms slither against skin and feel like the caress of a lover, and the smell of decay is the perfume of lust. Oh yeah, millennial survivors desperately need to get away from the glare of their computer screens, the glossifed sound of their music, and return to the Earth for a little good ol’ dirt-caked death’n’destruction.
While kinda fizzling toward the end, Thrashing Holocaust closes strong and mean. You need this. Put away the valuables and smashing things with Witchery, Desaster, Absu, Nocturnal Breed, Deathwitch, Sadistic Intent, Sabbat, The Ancients Rebirth, Lordes Werre, Metal Lucifer, Inferno, Abominator, Usurper, Abigail, Desekrator, Terror Squad, Dekapitator, Satanic Slaughter, and Ashes.
(PO Box 14815 Fremont, CA 94539)