I grew up in the arms of thrash metal. I was formed by bands such as Testament, Overkill, and Nuclear Assault, and they are the ones I hold dear to this day. Those are the bands I look back on and try to imagine my formative years without. They were the gateway to extreme metal to me, and thrash is a genre I hold very protectively against my heart.
You might notice if you regularly visit this site that we don’t do a hell of a lot on the current crop of thrash bands. The reason is that I find so very few worth talking about. That’s just me and my feelings toward modern thrash. So many of these younger thrash bands didn’t live through that era, so they didn’t get why it worked and why it swept up people like me. Glam metal was in complete excess but punk roots remained raw with thrash bands, the 1980s were all about me me me, and at any moment you thought there could be nuclear fucking war. I don’t hold that against younger bands for not being alive at the time. Wasn’t their fault. But it’s hard to capture the true essence of thrash when you didn’t live through that time. Except that some still manage to do so.
That’s not to suggest that all young thrash bands aren’t worth your time, because that just isn’t true. Look at Municipal Waste’s first few records or even someone like sci-fi weirdos Vektor. They’re tight and seem to get it. But there are two new bands just coming into their own that also seem to have a grasp for what makes this style work. Noisem, who kicked off the festivities at this year’s Maryland Deathfest, and Power Trip, who provide all the proof you need that Southern Lord still care about metal, should make your heart burst with life if you, like me, are an old thrash crusty. Both bands’ debut records are great thrash revelations, and I love the shit out of both albums.
Funny enough, one of the bands’ members are young enough to have missed out on most of the latest wave of thrash revivalists, but you’d think they’ve been alive for decades the way they play. The other band sounds commanding and punishing in ways I wish all young bands in all genres would emulate. One band is the impressive, obviously hungry Noisem, who destroyed the masses with their ridiculous stage garb and smashing riffs, and whose members range in age from 15-20. Not a typo. Go read it again. The other is Power Trip, whose debut full-length is yours via Southern Lord and who have enough attitude and power to mash every other thrash revivalist to a pulp.
As noted above, the Noisem kids are young, but they’re nasty and hungry. The band started off as Necropsy and originally recorded a version of “Endless Aggression,” but A389 wisely picked them up, the guys changed their moniker, re-recorded the songs, and it’s full speed ahead at their new home. Tyler Carnes is the fellow shouting at you and spinning grisly yarns of death and gore, and he’s backed by guitarists Travis Stone and Sebastian Phillips, bassist Yago Ventura, and drummer Harley Phillips. These guys are raw still, which suits them fine, and have room to grow, but their debut is a strong statement that they’re here to help give this thrash revival a proper shot in the ass.
They rip the lid off this 26-minute album with “Voices in the Morgue,” a death-filled, horror-based basher that gets things off on the right foot, with killer riffs and confrontational vocals. The menace continues with “Birthing the Bestial,” a speedy, punchy song that ramps up the aggression and takes you into “Desire and Disgust,” a 1:19-long beating that is furious and vicious. “Mortuary” is their best shot at classic death mixed with thrash, as the band launches into a bloody groove, and the howled chorus of, “Welcome to the mortuary,” could even get metallic greyhairs feeling nostalgic. “Rotten Remains” is both intricate and gruff, letting them show off their talent while they slay you. “Severed” is a total blitzkrieg of destruction, while “Split From the Inside Out” is a really catchy cut that reminds me of the early years of Anthrax. “Chronic Dementia” has guitar lines that seem to retread past territory, though it’s still powerful enough to hold its own, while the closing title track gets one final death blow into the picture, with awesome thrash runs, pulverizing drums, and total madness.
Noisem’s power cannot be denied, and this band obviously has a huge future ahead of themselves. They made a smart move by doing a shorter record, lasting under half an hour, because it shows what they can do but leaves you wanting more. Definitely pay attention to this band, because their fury is just getting started amassing a body count.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/NoisemBaltimore
To buy the album, go here: http://shop.a389records.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.a389records.com/
Power Trip have been at it since 2008, and along the way they’ve built a nice following and a solid collection of EPs to get people hungry for what they could do on a full-length. Their brand of thrash mixes in old hardcore and punk, as well as death, and their delivery is full speed ahead, pummeling you about the head and torso with their maniacal wares. The band is comprised of vocalist Riley Gale, guitarists Blake Ibanez and Nick Stewart, bassist Chris Whetzel, and drummer Chris Ulsh. Southern Lord is putting out the band’s debut, which makes a lot of sense, and this is the best signing along with Agrimonia they’ve had in a long time. Well, at least when it comes to the metal realms.
Their debut long-player opens kind of weirdly, with the title track sitting in simmering noise and weird sound effects before they hit their groove and blast you in the mouth. “Heretic’s Fork” is fast and mangling, with great soloing, a mashy pace, and raspy shouts that stick to your side like a scab. “Conditioned to Death” is flat-out awesome and the highlight of this record, with really tasty thrash pockets that follow each chorus that’ll make you want to punch a cement block. “Murderer’s Row” sounds like what you’d expect from the title, with speedy vocals and huge gang shouts. “Crossbreaker” is the other killer on this record and could be the one that ends up being a live staple, not only for its penchant for violence but for its shout-backable lyrics. “Drown” begins with some sludgy mashing and a bowed head or two toward doom, but eventually it all blows back up again. The song “Power Trip” seems like a fitting band anthem, one that should spark some defiance in their crowd live, while closer “The Hammer of Doubt” opens with a line from the movie “Blood Simple” before they unleash more carnage and chugging explosions that leave you exhausted and bruised.
Power Trip’s a band that’s certainly in the right place on Southern Lord, alongside labelmates like Black Breath and The Secret, and they could be the label’s breakout band of the year. “Manifest Decimation” is one hell of an effective, hammering debut, and it proves once and for all to all who whine about Southern Lord’s hardcore-based signings that they still can find great fucking metal bands.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/powertripTX
To buy the album, go here: http://southernlord.com/store.php
For more on the label, go here: http://southernlord.com/