Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weapons of Thrash Destruction

Written by Andy Osborn.

Dammit. Just when I thought the wave of new, interesting bands from Greece was dying down, this deadly duo had to appear. Both with new albums this year. Both bio-inclined, as it were. And both annihilating a genre many of us know has grown stale over the years. But despite all the similarities, they’re different enough to offer two perspectives on the style and prove that when done right, thrash can be as powerful a force as it was 30 years ago.

Artwork by Andrei Bouzikov

Bio-Cancer are easily the more extreme of the two. They take what thrash was in its earliest form, a mishmash of all things deadly, and channels it into a modern, extreme form. And extremity is clearly the focus, as the album never relents and only grows more intense and blistering in pace.

The band as a whole is constantly firing on all cylinders and withering them into molten cores, but vocalist Lefteris is their weapon that’s the true force of destruction on Tormenting the Innocent. His insanity-driven, manic delivery is largely incomprehensible in the best way possible, as if possessed by a fire-spitting demon fighting to escape his body. The guitar attack is largely built of the promise of speed-infused, if not overly memorable, riffery. But they switch things up just enough to keep things interesting while staying firmly grounded in their trash attach. The hellish melodeath bridge in “Boxed Out” would make Kalmah proud, the cello intro to “F(r)iends or Fiends” soothes, and the blistering, grinding attack of “Haters Gonna… Suffer” is bewildering. The aforementioned title and contained Liam Neeson audio clip made me want to hate everything about that song, but it reminds me that grin-inducing, headbangable fun is the whole point of this type of music. I know what I’ll be drinking heavily to this summer.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Artwork by Roberto Toderico

While Biotoxic Warfare also stick to the extreme side of thrash, their attack is based on the battle plan forged by the likes of Kreator and Morbid Saint. Kicking off the album with a clear nod to a certain Slayer intro, it becomes immediately clear that they take the more traditional approach. Less insane and more predictable than Bio-Cancer, this is straight-up thrash for thrash lovers.

There’s little ground being broken by these sleeveless Cretians, but their worship is worthy. With a sense of groove and more sustainable tempo, this new quintet is making music more interesting and biting than any of the OG heroes still drudgingly putting out albums as they enter their fourth decade. The guitarists have the Hanneman-Kerry thing down pat, seamlessly trading off leads and solos and keeping the whole band on their toes. Re-thrash has been a four letter word for a while now, but Biotoxic Warfare prove that there’s still a healthy room for the classic sound done right.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2015, Andy Osborn, Bio-Cancer, Biotoxic Warfare, thrash metal
1 comment:
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