Germany’s new thrash heroes continue their rise

Dust Bolt, on so many levels, it’s a name that misleads.

First, you imagine they are some kind of Kyuss obsessed desert rockers. Then you kinda think they might take their time.

This Dust Bolt, though, are a thrash band from Germany, and they wouldn’t have a clue how to proceed slowly. The music hurtles along at a million miles an hour – albeit it is to their credit that it never sounds chaotic and there are real songs here, with real structure that many thrashers could learn thing or two from – but also “Mass Confusion” is their third full length in six years – and all this despite being still in their early twenties. Let the dust settle, you say? Not a bit of it.

“Mass Confusion” essentially picks up where 2014’s “Awake The Riot” left off, and is a confident, but above all fun, work. “Sick X Brain”, almost the intro here, sees things begin with a tornado before becoming a maelstrom, but its with the title track where the boys really settle into their stride and find a helluva groove. Flashes of classic thrash abound – and there’s more than a hint of Slayer’s seething rage here.

Heads down, horns up and feet on the monitor by now – and brother they ain’t moving for the rest of the thing, “Allergy” might begin with a tinge of southern rock, but only so the crushing bits are heavier, and “Turned To Grey” is delivered with such glee that it is tempting to imagine the four piece indulging in their own moshpit in the studio.

Of course, thrash lives and dies by its riffs and the ferocity of its solos, and here Dust Bolt are well served, as between them Lenny and Flo toss them out with the skill of men who have done this a lot longer, whether it’s the breakneck ones or the ones, like “Blind To Art” that are a little harder edged and need a real boot to the nuts – this collection isn’t found wanting on either front.

Where some thrash can be a touch po-faced, this remembers to keep things a little more frivolous, like the acapella opening to the otherwise viscous “Mind The Gap” or the acoustic tinged “Exit”, which passes for light and shade here. Elsewhere “Taking Your Last Breath” and the evil sounding “Portraits Of Decay” clench their fists and get the job done, before the credits roll as it were on the Metallica like “Masters Of War” which builds a fine collection to a fine crescendo and sounds way more epic than its three minutes might originally suggest.

Thrash metal is undergoing something of renaissance at the moment, largely because bands are no longer embarrassed to, well, thrash instead of coming up with some bullshit sub-genre. Dust Bolt were one of the first bands to recognise this and make things pure again. With “Mass Confusion” they’ve cleared the third album hurdle with such ease that they deserve to continue at the forefront of the movement for many years to come.

Rating 8/10

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