Athens Blackened Speed Thrashers release second album during Christmas period to ensure that not all is holy at the end of 2015.
Modern-day Thrash bands are getting somewhat of a raw deal from within as they fight to be heard clearly amongst the general rabble of, mainly internet based, old-school thrash lovers who think that every thrash album made after 1986 is a rip-off of either Slayer or early Metallica. It doesn’t appear to be a problem for the hundreds of Zeppelin clones that scatter the various music publications and radios these days, but Thrash Metal and their fans are an entirely different beast.
The genre has made great strides in the past decade and that is largely thanks to the new wave of bands keeping the original spirit and template of the early 1980’s but adding their own take on things 30 years after their forefathers. Of course any surge in popularity will attract many bands of limited ability to jump aboard the bandwagon and ride it as far as they can but the real quality will stand out and stay the course thereby in turn giving the younger thrash fans their very own Metallica or Slayer in the process. That vision may well be still somewhat futuristic but there are many bands on the circuit these days who are making giant leaps forward and Endless Recovery are one of those.
Following on from 2013’s impressive debut Thrash Rider comes the next step in the band’s evolution. The opener “Sinister Tales” is a one-minute explosion of rumbling energy that leads into the title track “Revel in Demise” and there is no looking back once the wheels of steel have started to spin. The track itself is a hybrid of all things modern thrash from shout-it-out chorus to insane rhythmic riffing and hammering drums of Michalis M. A fine way to start and a portent of things to come.
The vocal style delivered by Michalis S is firmly rooted in Blackened Death style, dark and menacing, which works nicely with the furiously intense twin guitar riffing from messrs Apostolos Papadimitriou and Tasos Papadopoulos. However playing with speed is one thing but it needs to be backed up with clarity and purpose. Not an issue for these gents as every track races along to it’s own tempo and controlled chaos. The pace is unrelenting, with the occasional mid-tempo moments merely allowing a brief recharge of batteries, across the 10 tracks but there is something different on offer within each of those tracks that makes the album stand out from the endless also-rans.
The track “Leather Militia” is as rooted in the 1980’s as it’s title would have you suggest. It certainly bears the hallmark of a classic track from three decades back as it glorifies that teutonic power that bands like Kreator & Sodom made into an art form but that said there is an modern edge to the track that avoids it sounding like a cover version.
Tracks like “Trapped In A Vicious Circle” and “Blood Countess” keep the speeding intensity high and the momentum shifting with pulstating rhythmic changes that keep the head banging and the blood pressure soaring.
Bassist Panayiotis Alikaniotis must not be forgotten as he gets his moments to shine, most notably on the brilliant “Reaping Fire”, where the bass lines lead the charge like Steve Harris at his best. The Iron Maiden links on that song don’t end there as there is a fantastic Maiden-like interplay towards the end of the track that evokes memories of 1982.
“Lurking Evil” is the band’s final sprint to the finish and is possibly the most aggressive track on the album. No mean feat.
This album proves that if you dig a little deeper than the surface you can often find some gems buried beneath the dirt. It should be said that Endless Recovery are a band to keep an eye out for but something tells me that you are not going to be able to miss them!!
Revel in Demise
Trapped in a Vicious Circle
Donnie’s Rating: 8.5/10
The album Revel in Demise is out now through Witches Brew.