Friday, January 29, 2016

Bolt Thrower vs. neonazi scum - as narrated by Karl Willets

Bolt Thrower is one of the coolest bands on the planet. Bolt Thrower are better than you. Bolt Thrower is CLASS. These are facts of life. There are many reasons why this is the case.

One of them is this great little story about a riot involving nazi skinheads and a baseball bat. I found this story when I stumbled upon a blog of a fan (link at the end of the post), who was at the concert the riot took place. In the comment section, Karl Willets, Bolt Thrower's vocalist chimed in and told the story from his perspective. It's a gem of a read. I only did some minor formatting of the original text and fixed the grammar/spelling from "cant-be-bothered-with-apostrophes" to "proper". Enjoy!

Karl Willets

Here's my account of the NJ Riot... It is a memorable point in the history of Bolt Thrower...

We were told before to expect some shit at this venue, we were greeted by a somewhat jumpy female promoter. Nazi skinheads had recently been walking into gigs and trashing the place and causing brawls, rumour had it tonight was to be no different.
We met with the guys from Immolation, top blokes... off their tits on PCP, the load in was amusing... I'd had a bit of crystal meth that night which may have added to the overall weirdness of the night.

Robert Muller our German friend from Century Media Records was also there, he kindly gave us the loan of his pet slugger (baseball bat), which we removed from the trunk (boot) of his car and surreptitiously hid behind the stage.

I remember throughout the support bands these nazi pricks had started to do that stupid arm stretching routine a lot... I got on stage and told them to stop... No surprise they didn't... but they'd had a warning... When we went on stage I was furious, I remember some small black dude, well into the band and metal, who was petrified by these animals, I think I warned them a couple of times... but the only thing these idiots would react to was direct confrontation.

I launched myself off the stage aiming myself at this one gangly twat, who had annoyed me particularly, and between me and the sound engineer from the venue we had them cornered. I looked out the corner of my eye to see this huge Neanderthal coming right at me, with Adolf Hitler tattooed on his chest- at this point our Tour Manager intervened with the German slugger!
I saw the nazi monster collapse to the floor with blood pissing out of his head, the backswing to the bat almost killed one of the skinhead kids whom must have been about 12.

The place descended into chaos, the security guards were related to the skinheads, it could have got bad... We loaded our gear out superquick thanks to a more together Immolation and high-tailed it out of there. As we left, Baz remembered we left the baseball bat in the venue, he went back in to retrieve it just as the skinheads returned to the venue for vengeance... I have never seen a man move so quick through a melee of flailing limbs!

We drove off and we then thought that we were being followed by carloads of nazis after our blood, so we pulled over to confront them, yelling as we approached the stopped vehicles, until we realised it was some fans just making sure we got away ok...

A great yarn, to tell the grandchildren..(!?!)

Original comment can be found in the comments section here:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Φάκελος Μεταλλοκουβέντες: "Οι αισχροί System of a Down και Slipknot που μας φορτώσανε οι εταιρείες"

---------- Πρόλογος ----------

Αυτό είναι άλλο κείμενο που είχα γράψει μπαίνοντας ως σφήνα σε μια συζήτηση που είχαν δύο φιλοί στο facebook. Πιάνει αρκετά πράγματα και ήθελα και αυτό να βρίσκεται.

Το θέμα της συζήτησης περιστρεφόταν γύρω από πολυφορεμένα επιχειρήματα, τα οποία υποστήριζε μέσες-άκρες ο ένας φίλος, o ****:

1. Οι Slipknot, System of a Down και δεν συμμαζεύεται, είναι μπάσταρδες μπάντες που ανακάτεψαν το μέταλ με εντελώς αταίριαστα είδη όπως το ραπ, με συνέπεια να εκφυλίζεται σιγά-σιγά το ιδίωμα και να χάνει τον προσανατολισμό του, με την εισροή αλλόφυλου κόσμου που δεν νιώθει από μέταλ.

2. Φυσικά αυτά τα μπάσταρδα πράγματα προωθούνται από τα μέσα, μεταξύ των οποίων φυσικά και το ελληνικό Metal Hammer, γιατί τα έχουν πιάσει από τις εταιρείες. Το αυτό συμβαίνει και με τα μαγαζιά που παίζουν αυτές τις αηδίες για να πουλήσουν στο άσχετο κοινό των πιτσιρικιών που έχουν υποστεί πλύση εγκεφάλου από τα μέσα.

3. Όλα αυτά τα συγκροτήματα, εκτός των άνωθεν θεμάτων, είναι ΚΑΚΗ μουσική στην τελική. Ιδιαίτερο δούλεμα έπεσε και στο Chop Suey! ως κλασσικό παράδειγμα γελοίου κομματιού που μας τα έχουν πρήξει στα μαγαζιά.

---------- Original post ----------

Μηδένα προ του τέλους κακάριζε, πετάω σεντόνι, "nothing's over!" (Τζων Ράμπο) μιας και δύσκολο να παίξει μπύρα να σας τα πω από κοντά.

Τον **** τον πάω γιατί είναι έξω καρδιά και δεν χρειάζεται να αναρωτιέσαι αν κρύβεται τίποτα πίσω από τις κουβέντες του, τα λέει χύμα και με ειλικρίνεια.

Από εκεί και πέρα έχουμε κάνει τις κουβεντάρες μας για τους SOAD, τους Slipknot κλπ και είναι γνωστές οι θέσεις του. Το κρίμα είναι ότι δεν βλέπει πόσο αντιφατικός είναι ο λόγος του και πόσο το όλο θέμα πατάει στο γούστο του και στο πώς θα ήθελε αυτός να είναι ο κόσμος (αλλά δυστυχώς η γη γυρνάει σταθερά και δεν σταματάει για πάρτη μας).

****, έχεις ξεχάσει ότι κάποτε το thrash θεωρείτο θόρυβος από τους μεταλλάδες και σκουπίδια και ΜΠΑΣΤΑΡΔΕΜΑ με το πανκ; Είναι εύκολο να λες καραγκιόζη σήμερα τον Πρασούλα αλλά ούτε αυτός ήταν μόνος του και δεν ήταν όλοι φαλλοκράτες ρατσιστές που συμφωνούσαν μαζί του. Αυτός έλεγε το πανκ, εσύ λες το ραπ, κατά τα άλλα όλη η υπόλοιπη επιχειρηματολογία σας θα μπορούσε να είναι ολόιδια. Άλλωστε και για το ραπ την ίδια άποψη θα έχετε, πιθανόν και για τους System. Τι θα πει "δεν κολλάνε"; Για σένα δεν κολλάνε και καλό είναι να το χωνέψεις ότι δεν εκφράζεις καμία μεταλλική αλήθεια. Φυσικά και υπάρχουν πολλοί μεταλλάδες που δεν τους κολλάνε. Και φυσικά υπάρχουν πολλοί μεταλλάδες που τους κολλάνε θαυμάσια. Αλλιώς δεν θα τα παίζανε στα μαγαζιά, να είσαι σίγουρος.

Το οποίο γενικά σαν επιχείρημα είναι ανόητο. Στα μαγαζιά δεν παίζουν για σένα, παίζουν για όλους. Ούτε εγώ θέλω να πίνω την μπύρα μου με Nightwish, ούτε με μπλακ μέταλ που το θεωρώ σκατοείδος εντελώς μουσικά - όλοι έχουμε τα γούστα μας βλέπεις, εγώ θεωρώ αυτιστικά ΣΚΑΤΑ τους Μπουρζούμ, δεν ακούγονται κι έτσι - τι να κάνουμε τώρα, να πηγαίνω από εδώ κι από εκεί να φωνάζω για τον εκφυλισμό του μέταλ και για τις αηδίες που ακούει ο κόσμος; Να συμπεράνω ότι το μπλακ μέταλ μας το επέβαλλε ο Φλωράκης και το Μέταλ Χάμερ;

Που όταν ακούω γενικά για το τι κάνει το Μέταλ Χάμερ απορώ ειλικρινά με την ανοησία που δέρνει το μυαλό ορισμένων, δηλαδή γιατί τιγκάρει ο Λυκαβηττός στους Slipknot και δεν κάνουν sold out σε ντε-τε οι Fates Warning ή οι Sanctuary που απολαμβάνουν διαχρονικής και μόνιμης στήριξης; Έχει κρυφά μηνύματα πλύσης εγκεφάλου το άρθρο για τους Slipknot; Αρέσουν ρε αρχηγέ, τι να κάνουμε τώρα, ήταν η εποχή τους. Οι System of a Down που μας "επιβλήθηκαν" τρώγανε μπουκάλια γιατί δεν τους ήξερε η μάνα τους και γιατί κάποιοι Κου Κλουξ Κλαν θεώρησαν ότι μπασταρδεύουν το μέταλ μας, στο Toxicity που προσκύνησε ο πλανήτης στο Χάμερ πήρανε 10 από τον Καραολίδη (διαχρονικός μπαμπούλας των παραδοσιακών) και πολύ κάτω από την βάση από άλλο συντάκτη στην ίδια σελίδα. Σήμερα μόνο οι ταλιμπάν παραδοσιακοί τους θεωρούν "κακή μουσική". Στο εξωτερικό πάλι τι εκτόπισμα έχει το μέταλ χάμερ;

Από εκεί και πέρα, η μουσική προχωράει και μπάντες γίνονται αποδεκτές ή απορρίπτονται. Τα μέσα μπορούν να σπρώξουν κάτι μέχρι ενός σημείου, αν δεν αξίζει αυτό το κάτι, αν δεν υπάρχει κάτι εκεί πέρα το οποίο μιλάει σε πολύ κόσμο (και αδιαφορώ αν αυτός ο κόσμος είναι ΜΕΤΑΛΛΑΣ ή απλά μουσικόφιλος ή απλά τουρίστας, άνθρωπος που ακούει μουσική είναι) δεν θα μείνει για ΧΡΟΝΙΑ. Δεν γίνεται. Δεν γίνεται να περιμένει τόσος κόσμος νέο δίσκο SOAD με ενδιαφέρον αν ήταν άχρηστοι, απλά δεν γίνεται ρε φίλε.

Τέλος και κυριότερον. Το χέβυ μέταλ δεν κινδυνεύει από κανέναν. Δεν έχει εχθρούς στην κενωνία, δεν το σκότωσε η μουσική βιομηχανία με το grunge όπως κλαίγονταν τότε γιατί το χέβυ μέταλ δεν εξαρτάται από τις πωλήσεις, εξαρτάται από το αν υπάρχουν άνθρωποι να το ακούνε και να θέλουν να παίξουν. Και σήμερα, μετά από κάθε πιθανή και μη-πιθανή μετάλλαξη υπάρχουν ακόμα πιτσιρίκια που γουστάρουν να παίξουν σπιντ μέταλ και θράς και έπικ χέβυ μέταλ. Και μερικές φορές αυτό το πράγμα γίνεται και εμπορικά επιτυχημένο. Αλλά ας καταλάβουμε ότι η ακμή του ήταν στα 80ς, βρισκόμαστε 30 χρόνια μετά και πλέον πρόκειται για ένα κλασσικό και ιστορικό παρακλάδι της ευρύτερης ροκ μουσικής και δεν μπορείς να περιμένεις όλος ο πλανήτης να περιστρέφεται γύρω από τις manowarικές εμμονές περί καθαρότητας του είδους και τρίχες κατσαρές. Είναι λογικό να σπανίζουν οι νέες μπάντες που έχουν να πουν κάτι φρέσκο και αυθόρμητο. Και για αυτό το πράγμα δεν φταίει ούτε το Χάμερ, ούτε οι Slipknot, ούτε κανείς, έτσι είναι η φυσική ροή των πραγμάτων.

ΥΓ: A, και ΤΕΡΑΣΤΙΑ ΚΟΜΜΑΤΑΡΑ το Chop Suey, ΕΠΟΣ, ΦΩΝΑΡΑ (τοπ 5 της δεκαετίας), μελωδιάρες στο ρεφρέν, άντε από εκεί πια!

ΥΓ2: Μιας και είμαστε στο facebook και φυσικά όλοι το κάνουμε για προβολή και μόστρα, να διαβάσετε αυτό το σχετικό κείμενο και μετά όλο το μπλογκ μου για να γίνω διάσημος και πλούσιος.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"Εσείς δεν ξέρετε να ακούτε μουσική πια..."

Αυτό το κείμενο γράφτηκε πριν κάμποσο καιρό αφού έπεσα, για νιοστή φορά, πάνω σε κάποια αναφορά στην γενιά του facebook, του youtube, του MP3, την γενιά που δεν καταλαβαίνει. Το αναπαράγω διότι θέλω να υπάρχει πρόχειρο για να παραπέμπω κόσμο σε αυτό. Δεν θυμάμαι την ακριβή διατύπωση στην οποία απαντούσα αλλά δεν έχει σημασία διότι αυτό το κείμενο αφορά τον καθένα που βρίσκει κάποια μεγάλη αλήθεια σε κάτι από τα παρακάτω:

Αλλιώς είναι να ακούς βινύλιο, αλλιώς από το PC. Αλλιώς εκτιμάει ο ένας την μουσική δισκοθήκη που έχει πληρώσει και αλλιώς ο άλλος που έχει κατεβάσει τσάμπα gigabytes με φακέλους γεμάτους mp3. Αλλιώς ζούσαμε εμείς την αληθινή ζωή στα δισκάδικα, τις παρέες και αλλιώς ο νέος που αποχαυνώνεται στην ψεύτικη ζωή του facebook και της τσάμπα μαγκιάς.

Το να ακούσεις έναν δίσκο που ΔΕΝ ξέρεις από το youtube συνήθως δεν μπορεί να συγκριθεί με μια ακρόαση-ιεροτελεστία, αυτό είναι σαφέστατο. Εκτός και αν κάτσεις να κάνεις μόνο αυτό. Από την άλλη, δεν ξέρω πόσοι πια ακούνε κάθε δίσκο με την ιεροτελεστία του, εννοώντας και άτομα με χιλιάδες δίσκους. Δεν μου άρεσε ποτέ η άποψη "κοιτά μια δισκοθήκη", αν δεν τους ακούς όπως πρέπει δεν πα' να έχεις πέντε εκατομμύρια δίσκους, είσαι συλλέκτης, είσαι χομπίστας, είσαι φετιχιστής, δεν συνεπάγεται καθόλου αυτομάτως ότι είσαι και πραγματικός μουσικόφιλος.

Το ρεζουμέ είναι πόσο συγκεντρώνεται κανείς στο άκουσμά του. Το CD/βινύλιο προσφέρονται για μεγαλύτερη συγκέντρωση, έχεις ένα αντικείμενο στα χέρια σου, κοιτάς στίχους, artwork, "μπαίνεις" πιο άνετα στο κλίμα. Αν πάλι κουβεντιάζεις την ώρα που παίζει, παίζεις ένα παιχνίδι, διαβάζεις ένα βιβλίο, η εμπειρία της ακρόασης δεν έχει καμία ιδιαίτερη διαφορά από έναν ακροατή youtube. Ενώ ένας ακροατής youtube που δίνεται πλήρως στο άκουσμα (γίνεται και αυτό, κι όμως) δεν έχει να ζηλέψει τίποτα από έναν ακροατή βινυλίου.

Και να μην πιάσω το θέμα των φορητών συσκευών, όπου έχω γράψει άπειρες ώρες ΒΑΘΙΑΣ ΑΚΡΟΑΣΗΣ με τα walkman και discman- και αυτό το κάνεις πιο εύκολα σήμερα με ένα ipodάκι με mp3 και ξέρω καλά ότι υπάρχουν άνθρωποι που έτσι βιώνουν την μουσική πολύ καλύτερα από άλλους ανθρώπους που ξέρω με κτηνώδεις δισκοθήκες και είναι παντελώς μυρωδιάδες κατά τα άλλα.

Από εκεί και πέρα, αν ακούω μουσική casually (το κάνω και αυτό και πολύ) και μουσική που ξέρω, το κάνω και κάνοντας άλλα πράγματα. Βέβαια η αλήθεια είναι ότι πιο πολύ ακούω και προσέχω την μουσική παρά να κάνω αυτά τα πράγματα, που είναι ένας λόγος που σταμάτησα να έχω ακουστικά στην δουλειά (!!!).

Για το θέμα της αποξένωσης η μόνη διαφορά σήμερα με χτες είναι στον αναλογικό ρομαντισμό και τίποτα άλλο. Αποξενωμένο και αποκομμένο με λέγανε οι γονείς μου με τα ακουστικά, το ίδιο λέτε και εσείς τώρα. Από την άλλη, βάζω ένα έπος στο youtube, το ποστάρω στο facebook με ενθουσιασμό μαζί με δυο-τρεις κουβέντες και βλέπεις για πότε ξεκινάει η κουβεντούλα και η συναδερφική πόρωση. Μια χαρά αληθινή είναι κι ας κάθεται ο άλλος στο PC του. Τα "εύκολα" likes της ρουτίνας τα μαθαίνεις σιγά-σιγά ποιοι τα βάζουν και στην τελική το like είναι ένας άνθρωπος που είπε σιωπηλά στο κεφάλι του "cool!", "γαμώ", "ναι ρε, έτσι" ή κάτι παρόμοιο. Δεν υπάρχει κανένας απολύτως λόγος να τα απορρίψεις εξ αρχής ως "ψεύτικα".

Η ΜΟΥΣΙΚΗ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΙΩΝΙΑ ΑΥΤΗ ΠΟΥ ΕΙΝΑΙ. Το πώς την ακούμε αφορά εμάς και μόνο εμάς και από εμάς εξαρτάται. Δεν είμαι καθόλου σίγουρος πως η νέα γενιά δεν νιώθει. Κι ας έχει σχεδον καταργήσει το φορμάτ του άλμπουμ και έχει πάει προς το "τραγούδι" ή το folder με τα "καλύτερα" μιας μπάντας. Το μόνο που είναι πραγματικά θέμα είναι αυτό που έλεγε ο Μαρκ των Jag Panzer (η πρώτη μου συνέντευξη! <3). Tον είχα ρωτήσει τότε αν πίστευε ότι το downloading είχε κάνει ζημιά στους Jag Panzer.

I think we were hurt by downloading. Not so much by lost sales, but by people not giving us the proper listens. If you have money to buy 4 albums, you spent the time listening to all 4 albums. I bought 4 albums a month during the NWOBHM era, so each album got a full week of listens. I learned to appreciate great bands like Demon and Warlord. Those are two bands that I love but that I didn’t like after the first listen. Those bands had to grow on me. When people download music, they download 100 albums at once. They don’t take time to give the music a chance, each album may only get 2 minutes of listening. Jag Panzer needs repeated listens, we aren’t a band you like after 2 minutes. That is how I think downloading hurt us.

Απλά και ξεκάθαρα τα πράγματα και πολύ δύσκολο να φέρεις αντίρρηση: Όταν τα έσκαγες και είχες ΜΟΝΟ αυτό το βινύλιο για εκείνο τον μήνα, το άκουγες και το ξανάκουγες και το ξανάκουγες, στο τέλος ΗΞΕΡΕΣ, χώνευες, έμπαινες μέσα του eventually ακόμα κι αν δε στα έσκαγε με την μία. Σήμερα αν δεν σε πιάσει με την μία και δεν είσαι πεισματάρης ή έχεις κάποιο σοβαρό λόγο (αδυναμία στην μπάντα πχ), είναι πολύ εύκολο να προσπεράσεις και να πας παρακάτω. Είμαι σίγουρος ότι έχω προσπεράσει δίσκους που θα μου άρεσαν πολύ έτσι. Είναι μια πρακτική που χάνεται, αν και νομίζω ότι ο μουσικόφιλος θα ασχοληθεί στο τέλος, ενώ και οι καλές δουλειές δεν πάνε χαμένες, ας περάσουν και λίγα χρόνια, θα βγουν στον αφρό... να,θα γράψει κάποιος και για τους Holy Terror και τους Anacrusis, ακόμα και χρόνια μετά, τυχαίο παράδειγμα!

Kάποτε η μουσική ήταν μόνο ζωντανή και οι καλλιτέχνες ψοφάγανε στην πείνα και ζητιανεύανε. Άλλοι δεν μπορούσαν καν να ακούσουν την μουσική που γράφανε αν δεν τα έσκαγε κανάς χορηγός να τους κλείσει ορχήστρα. Σήμερα ο καθένας μπορεί να γράψει εύκολα, να ακούσει εύκολα και να κάνει ό,τι γουστάρει.

Το πρόβλημα δεν είναι στο internet, στο youtube, στο mp3, στο streaming, στο μέσο, όποιος θέλει θα την βρει την άκρη. Και είμαι σίγουρος ότι η νέα γενιά αγαπάει και αυτή την μουσική και την βρίσκει την άκρη της μια χαρούλα.

Και τώρα δώσε μπόλικες ακροάσεις όπως πρέπει σε αυτόν τον υπέροχο heavy metal δίσκο.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Best of 2015 - English version

This is a quick and very dirty translation of a very quick and dirty reporting of albums that impressed me in 2015.

Greek version

Reading instructions:
These are 20 albums (+1 EP, all in alphabetical order) that I liked. Whoever likes the genres described, should maybe check these albums out since there is a good chance he/she might like them as well.

Armored Saint - Win Hands Down
The old-timers show how it's done. Bush is timeless, the music is 100% heavy metal with that characteristic Armored Saint finesse. Most of all: GREAT songs. Could be the album of the year.

Bio-Cancer - Tormenting the Innocent
Very likeable Greeks, have definitely taken a step forward since their debut, they have the same rabid vocals where it's impossible to decipher the lyrics even when you have the booklet in front of you and they have enriched their songwriting, taking to a more death or deathrash direction. Which is a good thing!

Black Fast - Terms of Surrender
After a recommendation by a friend, Black Fast won me over in an instant. It seems that Vektor have already started influencing the new thrash scene (makes perfect sense) and none could be more happier about that than me. Of course, this is not a glaringly obvious influence. Black Fast is considerably more straight forward, the black influences are more discreet and the vocals are notably more typical. I would say that the latter is also their weak point, at least for me the vocals sound like Warbringer's, who in turn sound like half the NWOTM scene. But the music is so awesome that they make the list easily.

Crypt Sermon - Out of the Garden
This year's doom metal album that worhips the right idols (see Candlemass / Solitude Aeturnus) with excellent guitar work, great riffs and the appropriate atmosphere. The vocals are not as glorious as those of the aforementioned idols but even so, this goes high in the list.

Deathhammer - Evil Power
The nightingale, Sargent Salsten is back. We're talking about one of the best extreme metal voices ever and of course Deathhammer is stuck in 1985 and play like there's no tomorrow. You won't find an epic like Fullmoon Sorcery on this album and overall I would rate this lower than 2012's Onward to the Pits but it still delivers the pain and their unique flavour, thanks to the Sargent. Those gits that "listen to everything" once more will be hiding in their holes. Thankfully.

Denner/Shermann - Satan's Tomb

The EP of the list. This is the collaboration of the guitar duo of the titans Mercyful with Sean Peck (Cage) and Snowy Shaw (KD/MF/Memento Mori - above all else!) and a bassist that I personally (did not) remember from Demonica (collab. of Shermann with Locicero of Forbidden-it's not bad!). I confess I would have much preferred that they saved all the good ideas for the Mercyful Fate reunion (feat. Snowy on drums of course), which I can't see how it will not become a reality after King's obligations with KD the band are done.
In any case, guitar-wise this is brilliant, Denner shines from afar in the solos. The riffs, while not what we would say "classic MF", they just drip METAL. Sean Peck is his usual self. Not bad at all of course but naturally I keep fantasizing how the songs would sound with King. Snowy is AWESOME as usual. It seems that money has been put on the table (Snowy doesn't usually play for the sake of it...) and Metal Blade is the label behind it. Which is the most puzzling thing about it (Metal Blade has KD and MF in its roster), so my main question is about the existence of this release in the first place. What are they trying to achieve? Independence? Something to keep us in shape until...? Presenting credentials to the audience so there is more eagerness for the future? Who knows? In any case, the Mercyful Fate legacy is present throughout the promotion of this, including the cover and the themes, Peck utilizes a lot of falsettos, you get the idea. As a release it's pretty fucking sweet, I just hope the guitar players did not spend their juice here.

Dr. Living Dead - Crush the Sublime Gods
New album for the Suicidal Tendencies clones without the Mike Muir mime on vocals, since he left the band to form Negative Self. This time the new singer also refers to Nuclear Assault and John Connely (OK, not that godly), and it suits them fine. Very enjoyable and essential to those who miss the Join Army/How Will I Laugh... era of Suicidal Tendencies, along with a pinch of Nuclear Assault and the crossover bands of the era (bit of DRI, bit of SOD, bit of Anthrax), which inevitably should remind people of the more contemporary Municipal Waste. So, the usual Dr. Living Dead then.

Encyrcle - Encyrcle
Heavy/speed trio from Denmark boasting AMAZING riffs, old-school, rather special vocals and generally the vibe is 80s metal but it stands out from the crowd for the songs and the guitar work. Not from a shredding point of view (although Klem is a great player) but because of the riffology and the songwriting, which doesn't go by with the bare essential and classics (or the commonplace if I want to be exact). Evoke the Night was the hook that got me, the album totally lived up to my expectations and at the end of the day this would be in my top 10, probably top 5.

Enforcer - From Beyond
I was never the huge Enforcer fan, always found them very likeable with some very good songs but not something to lose your mind over. Of course, I have never seen them live and from what I've gathered their gigs are so fun and energy-filled that they make up for it, for a part of their audience at least. From Beyond changes things. The album is filled with very good songs and some AMAZING ones, like the s/t one that I literally played the shit out of it. They rightfully earn a place in the list and I hope this increase in quality continues.

Exarsis - The Human Project
Very likeable Greeks, case two. Exarsis has made a significant change in their line-up, bringing Nick on vocals. Those are no longer the love/hate variety like those of his predecessor Alex, although they continue the legacy of high pitched screaming. Personally, I definitely like them better. More importantly though, there is a definite improvement in the songwriting, which was good in the previous album too but sounded rather generic to me. This time they can boast some fine songs, with character and hooks, which as a result made me listen to the album again and again. I'm curious to see how they will go on, since another guitarist has left the band (a cursed post it seems...)

Faith No More - Sol Invictus
This is not a comeback of Black Gives Way to Blue caliber, nor of Surgical Steel for example. But it is an album with a unique flavor and unique moments and that alone is enough for it to make the list. The truth is that it took me a few spins (definitely a grower album) and my first reaction was lukewarm. Only because it was FNM and for the sake of the dear Mr. Patton I came back to it but in the end it was worth it. Separation Anxiety is awesome. And I still discover new things, or rather, to be precise, I find songs that sounded indifferent at first to be very enjoyable, in a Mr. Bungle sense (Disco Volante era too, see Cone of Shame for example). By next year I'll have a more solid opinion but the fact that I'm still very interested makes me suspect that in the future we will be saying "when this came out we thought it was mediocre...imagine that".

Malevolent Creation - Dead Man's Path
Listening to Blood of the Fallen, it is evident that when Malevolent Creation focus they have no opposition (* for as long as it is playing). They don't fall in the trap of brutality and blast-beats with no restraint, they write riffs that will grab you and stick to your brain, you know without a doubt that this is Malevolent Creation (recognizable from miles away), Hoffmann is Hoffman and to cut a long story short, this is definitely one of the best death metal albums this year.

Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat
Huge obsession. From the beginning I was FLOORED. Grind with atmosphere, with meaning. Some talk about a Swans influence on this album, I never managed to get into them so I don't know what to tell you about that, but I do know there is a sonic variety to be found here that will lure even the unitiated, there are some dynamite tracks, breaks for exceptional raging and (I will say it again), a very special atmosphere. This is due to the aura of Napalm Death, which is not your typical grind/death band with the same couple of tricks in their music but also in the industrial kind of things (or things that a metalhead such as I don't know about) and effects they utilize in intros that mesh perfectly with the concept of the album (what a cover). I surprised myself at how many times I put this sonic violence on and how exciting it sounded each and every time. I daresay that this is one of their best albums.

Negative Self - Negative Self
The debut of the band of the departed Dr. Mime of Dr. Living Dead. And I'd say they did an even better job than Dr. Living Dead themselves! Very catchy, total Suicidal Tendencies worship of the How Will I Laugh... era (who would have known that one day we'd had two Suicidal Tendencies clones), whoever likes the idea, dig in. Andreas Sandberg or Dr. Ape as he was known in Dr. Living Dead (self-sarcasm, always scores points that!), still imitates Mike Muir (complete with bandana) but the result sounds neither amateurish or sad. On the contrary I'd say that academically speaking, this fucking rules and well done to them. Naturally, I'm speaking as a bereft ST fan, your mileage may vary. I should listen to Ouijabeard at some point, where Sandberg sings as well and they play heavy metal apparently, I'm curious to hear how he handles that.

Powermad - Infinite
Remember them? Nice Dreams is one of the best songs by lesser known bands (how do we say Another Return to Church Hill?) and 1989's Absolute Power is a fantastic album that you should own if you like the idea of original power/thrash with great vocals (come on, do check Nice Dreams!).
This is the return of the original lineup with the help of Soilwork's drummer. Right from the start it is obvious that this is not an Absolute Power II, the album sounds way more modern, more from a sound production point than musical. I'm talking about ultra-heavy guitars that point to Nevermore (By a Thread is a direct reference to the latter's songwriting as well) and the music is not power/thrash anymore, they hit MUCH harder this time around. On the other hand, this is not your usual band that saw the reunion-train and hopped on. They are still absolutely interesting and overlooking the classic reflex of "but this is not like Absolute Power!" and paying attention to the music, a great album is revealed, which is based on thrash with a modern look that focuses on Nevermore and I'd say Devin Townsend as well, whom Joel Dubay (guitarist/singer) reminded me of at various moments. Unfortunately, his singing is a lot more "restrained" and his wonderful screams are absent (listened to Nice Dreams yet?) but on the other hand maybe those wouldn't suit this material.
I'm almost certain that this album will basically tank because old fans will be disappointed with the modern elements, young fans won't pay attention (powerwho?) and most people probably didn't even realize that the band has resurfaced. In any case, this is a very good album and it's worth a lot of listens as there is a lot of juice here.

Ranger - Where Evil Dwells
Another traditional speed metal band, this time from Finland, that won a place in the list at the nick of time from the Belgians Evil Invaders, who also released a very enjoyable album. I don't have something profound to say about the guys, if you like speed metal adorned with screams-tributes to Cyriis, that did not notice the 90s at all and has many pleasant songs and some dynamites, go for it.

Sacral Rage - Illusions in Infinite Void
Personally, I find this album to be the best album to have come from Greece. All its influences are personal favorites, that is Annihilator of the good old days, Helstar of the middle wonderful days, Watchtower, US Metal in general and tons of screaming throughout. I was also won over by its sound and every individual member who have something to offer in every track. Marios and his wonderful solos stand out but it's a really an exceptional team that is gathered here and I hope they take it further. As a budding fanboy I'd like to express my wish that Dimitris with the elastic throat will work on his middle range as well. On the high register he is top-notch, on the middle he needs an extra something. But I'm just nitpicking now. I think Lost Chapter E: Sutratma is one of my most played songs this year, top song and fantastic solo. Top 5 album.

Satan - Atom by Atom
Just a couple of words because my hand is tired (writing this in one breath). Satan remain just as monumental as on Life Sentence, I'd say Life Sentence perhaps wins on the details but that basically means we are talking about a full 8.5/10 album and anyone who flirts with the retro scene should check it out to see how the truly experienced do it.

Satan's Host - Pre-dating God Part I και ΙΙ
The return of the Tyrant to Satan's Host has paid off handsomely. Every album is essential and that is all I'm going to say about that. This year they show great productivity by releasing two albums simultaneously (one day apart). While I confess I haven't listened to it much as I looked into them very recently, I can guarantee that if you liked the previous two, you should invest here as well. The Tyrant is obviously guaranteed quality but the songwriting is just as strong. I'm not in the position at the moment to say if there is anything as epic as the groundshaking Before the Flame of 2011 but hold the line and we'll get back to you on that (yeah right!)

Vhöl - Deeper than Sky
The most recent addition to the list. Normally, this shouldn't even concern me, it says black metal/crust (in the archives) with heavy/power influences. Members of Hammer of Misfortune (which never clicked with me and never got the fuss), Agalloch and YOB (not me at all). On paper, this should bore me to death. Not only I was not bored but I was actually really hooked. I should say that I think the metal-archives description is completely off the mark, at least as far as this album is concerned, the basis here is heavy metal and there are just many different things to be found on it (yes, including crust and black), without ever sounding like a mess. The music is extremely interesting and soon addictive, the s/t song is awesome and if I have one complaint it's the rather indifferent vocals, which are still adequate and do the job. Definitely check it out.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vektor - Outer Isolation (Heavy Artillery, 2011)

Outer Isolation was the album of the month on the December/2011 issue of Metal Hammer Greece. I wrote the review. This is a very clumsy translation.

With a (slight) dose of hyperbole, the "New Wave of Thrash Metal" scene, disappointingly often, sounds as if someone has placed inside a blender many different, tasty dishes (Metallica, Kreator, Exodus etc), blended them to the point of mush and emptied the result on a plate with a Repka cover and a Nuclear Assault logo. It can be very tasty, no argument there but how many times can you take the same thing? Let me put it in a different way. Masturbation is highly amusing but if you want to have children, you need someone else who is not you. Because thrash has stagnated and I don’t know for how much longer we’re gonna have albums like The Gathering, M-16, Tempo of the Damned or Ironbound to save the genre. We (as in we, the thrash fans) need new blood to take things forward and out of their boundaries, just like it happened back in the day. And no, The Haunted and Lamb of God or The Blackening (Machine head), no matter how great, are just not the same thing.

All that weirdness of an intro because I'd like to make some bold statements now. The first is that Vektor is the best thrash metal band right now out of all the new ones, meaning all bands formed from 2000 onwards. On a personal basis, I mean out of all those who were formed after the 80s. Which is not as bold as it sounds, it rather says more about the state of thrash metal the past 20 years. The second statement is that Black Future and Outer Isolation are respectively the best thrash metal albums from a band that did not record in the 80s.

We’re talking about infernal thrash metal that dips its toes into the technical death metal of the 90s pioneers, the black metal of later-era Emperor, progressive music regardless of age, which manages to sound incredibly coherent and hyper-intense at the same time. It’s not always the catchiest mix and apart from some dynamites, their songs (on Black Future included) need friction, repeated listens. Some songs (again from both albums), no matter how enjoyable – and they are, do not commit to memory without intensive listening sessions and that is the small issue that deprives them of the 0.5 for the perfect ten, which it has already gained in my fan’s mind, just like its predecessor.

The other small issue is the vocals. You are either gonna love the voice of mastermind / composer / singer / guitarist David DiSanto (right away or with a little getting used to it) or you’re going to say “leave it”. It’s a mixture of Chuck Schuldiner of the Sound of Perseverance era, with a rabid Schmier-of-old elations, Insahn grating, that belongs to the frontman of a black thrash band in a filthy club on Mos Eisley, Tatooine. I loved it from the very first moment but it’s definitely the deal breaker here.

If none of the above phased you, dive in. Cosmic Cortex, in ten minutes (of the catchy variety) had me noting “album of the year?” But when Echoless Chamber kicked in, along with the subsequent repeats in numbers I hadn’t reached in years, I simply erased the question mark. I dub it the “hit song” of the album, half mid-tempo, nightmarishly delicious with its robotic sinister groove, it breaks out at the two minute mark in the best speed/thrash metal I’ve heard in a long time. And in the middle of all that mayhem they throw in a pure melodic prog metal section as well (always full on frenzy of course).

Expect to hear a band amazingly tight, where every member is a highly-skilled player. Compositions that are bold, fresh and perfected, whether they are the proper versions of their demo songs (for the fans: oh, they are, Fast Paced Society has blackened a bit but it rips and Tetrastructural Minds has achieved godly status), or new material that is burning hot. You will also find grand moments in the self-titled song, which combines speed metal with black metal of the most epic intentions.

Finally, two words about the production. Excellent. Modern, highly serving, crystal-clear, powerful and most importantly, original and anti-plastic. The more deathly awesome the album is, the more the sound resonates with life. Vektor has already taken a prominent place in the scene, two consecutive awesome albums have always been excellent credentials in thrash (think about it). Looking at the appetite and determination that DiSanto and the rest of the guys exert however, I think we haven’t even started yet.

Check also: Aspid - Extravasation (1992) - Russian tech-thrash, very obscure, very much worth it and a crucial element to the Vektor sound.

Read the interview with David DiSanto

Vektor - Thrash till Heat Death! *

An interview with David DiSanto (Metal Hammer Greece, December 2011)

In 2011, on the December issue of the Greek Metal Hammer, Vektor's Outer Isolation was the album of the month. To my knowledge this was the first (only?) publication to bestow that honour on Vektor. Judging from the first samples from Terminal Redux, I have a feeling this will change in the future. The issue also included a 4-page interview with the band's mastermind David DiSanto. I wrote the review and did the interview. Here is the interview, in its entirety (some of it did not fit in the magazine). I think it's a very interesting read. Enjoy!

Metal Hammer: What would you say are the differences between Outer Isolation and Black Future?

David DiSanto: I think Outer Isolation turned out much more focused, precise, and aggressive. We definitely wanted to top what we did with Black Future as far as the overall sound and the performances on the album. After the great response from Black Future, we knew it would be hard to make a better album, but we used that to drive us and push us further. There were some very intense studio sessions while we recorded this time around. It resulted in all of the instruments and vocals turning out razor sharp. I hate to sound big headed or anything, but it sounds incredible. It’s precise without being artificial, and huge while maintaining clarity. We’re all extremely stoked on it.

I had a hard time deciding which of the two albums I prefer most. Which one do you prefer? And why?

It was hard for me to decide as well! Haha. It took a little while for me to get out of the mentality of critiquing Outer Isolation, but I like it more and more after continuing to listen to it. The overall sound is better in my opinion, and some of the new tracks have become my favourites, especially ‘Cosmic Cortex’. It really just depends on what kind of mood I’m in. Black Future has a cool, raw feel to it, but Outer Isolation is like metallic glass. They’re both cool in different ways, but I’ve definitely been listening to Outer Isolation almost non-stop.

How long did it take you to write the new material? How long does it take to finish a song as a band?

I spent about six months writing the new songs. I continued reworking the title track, ‘Outer Isolation’, for a few months after the others had been finished. The meaning and feel of the song continued to evolve while I was writing it, so I had to scrap or add riffs while it came together. My writing style usually consists of me having a few riffs lying around for months or years before the inspiration strikes to get the song finished. I always have 20 or 30 riffs that I think are rad, but it can take a while before I know what I want to do with them. The band’s learning curve is based on the complexity or length of a song. They learned ‘Dark Creations, Dead Creators’ in just over a week, but ‘Outer Isolation’ (song) took a couple months before they could play it tight.

As with Black Future you included songs from Demolition. Are you planning to re-record the remaining songs for a future release? Why didn't you do these songs in the Black Future sessions?

There is only one song that wasn’t re-recorded off of Demolition and that was ‘Moonbase’. There aren’t any plans to re-record that song. We’re done reworking the old songs and are finally ready to move forward. The decision to re-record the songs off Demolition was because none of us were happy with it. The reason we didn’t put all those songs on Black Future was because we already had a bunch of new material written and we couldn’t wait to release it. We thought it would be better to re-record the old material in segments so we could still get our newer songs out while doing justice to the old songs.

I find the duration and number of tracks ideal. Was it a conscious choice to keep the album duration at roughly 50 minutes, with 8 tracks?

This was a conscious decision, actually. There were some critiques about Black Future being too long, so we took that into consideration. Part of that decision was to keep people wanting more instead of feeling overwhelmed. We know that some of our songs are too epic to take in all at once, so we tried to make the album more balanced this time.

Is Demolition your debut or is it Black Future? How many copies of Demolition did you actually make?

We’ve always considered Demolition to be a full-length demo, hence the name. Demolition had a different drummer who was a lot slower and sloppier than Blake, and a different bass player who wasn’t clicking with us musically. We were originally going to spell it as Demo-lition. Black Future is our true debut album, and it is the first album released while we were signed. We made 1000 copies of Demolition. That recording is kind of haunting us because none of us like it, but a lot of people are asking for it.

Vinyl? 500 copies for Black Future proved to be rather few, don't you think? What do you make of the people who now sell it for 50 bucks on ebay?

Yeah, that did turn out to be way too few copies. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do about that. The record label was in charge of that. They’re a small label that doesn’t have a lot of money, and they couldn’t have known how many vinyls were going to sell. It’s great for the people that got them early because they’ve turned out to be pretty collectible now, but it’s a shame that more people can’t enjoy them. It sucks that people are forced to buy them at such expensive prices now, but it is kind of cool that the demand for them is at such a high level.

Word is you have already some ideas about the new release. Want to share?

Nothing has been finalized yet. We have been tossing up the idea of doing a concept album, but that will all depend on how the songs start fitting together during the writing process. Concept album or not, we want to do an epic song that puts all others to shame, haha.

When you write music, do you think of how you want it to sound or do you just let it flow?

It’s a mixture of both wanting a sound and going with the flow. I’ve found that if I try too hard to go for a certain sound I get stuck, or the song ends up getting thrown away because it doesn’t feel like a Vektor song. If I only go with the flow, the song ends up not having a central theme. It’s crucial for me to find a balance of keeping an open mind while I’m writing and thinking critically about the overall purpose and philosophy behind a song. My favourite songs I’ve written have been the ones where I found that balance. The philosophies in many of our songs often have more than one side, so that’s why our songs change shape or form. I have to be aware of that during the writing process, so the balanced approach is the best way to express the spectrum of thought within a song.

Vocals (LOVE THEM!): Did they come out naturally? When you started singing what did you go for? Who are some of the sickest vocalists in your opinion?

Haha, thank you very much. My vocals do come out naturally, although I’ve noticed they continue to be refined over time. When I first started attempting vocals, I tried to layer my voice with a high shriek and a snarling growl in unison. I got inspiration from Schmier of Destruction, Mille of Kreator, Ihsahn of Emperor, and King Diamond. Those guys are my all time favourites.

Lyrics: Who writes them?

I do (David DiSanto). Up to this point, I’ve written all the songs and lyrics. It may change in the upcoming albums. Erik and Frank have some pretty cool riffs that we may be able to Vektorize, haha. Blake also has some extensive knowledge of music theory, so he might end up writing a piano part or something. We’ll just see what happens. I’m open to using their riffs or songs as long as they fit with the Vektor sound.

Sci-Fi: Did you get the idea to do sci-fi lyrics from Voivod or are you a sci-fi freak in general? Any favourite movies, books, tv series, suggestions??

I love Voivod, but I have always been really into sci-fi. Blade Runner, Space Hunter, THX 1138, and Star Wars are probably some of my favorites. I get way into all the 80’s post-apocalyptic movies too like Warrior of the Lost World. The cheesier, the better. I have a giant Krull movie poster hanging on my wall. “The Cosmos” with Carl Sagan is one of my favorite tv shows too, for sure.

Influences: Apart from the obvious old school thrash masters (I hear a lot of Coroner and -to a much lesser extent than your logo suggests- Voivod), Anacrusis, the progressive era of Death and ...keyboard-less Prometheus-era Emperor perhaps? Am I close? Am I missing something? Which albums shaped your musical direction?

Yeah, that’s pretty close, haha. Emperor’s Prometheus is a masterpiece. Some bands that helped shape the sound of the new album would also be Aspid (Russia) and Absu. We also like some 70s art rock and 80s punk. The English Dogs also played a pretty big part in inspiring ‘Forests of Legend’ off of Black Future, mostly from their album “Where Legend Began”.

You formed the band in 2002. What was it that made you think "I need to make a band that plays prog thrash!"? Is there a story behind the formation of the band?

I wanted to start a band that wasn’t around or available for me to hear. Rather than complaining about it, I started Vektor. All of my favourite bands had grown old or broken up, so it gave me a huge incentive to do something cool and unique with thrash metal. Most of my favourite thrash albums are from the 80s, so I was quickly running out of good music to listen to. I wanted to combine some of the elements of Rush, Yes, and Pink Floyd with bands like Destruction, Kreator, Voivod, and Emperor. It doesn’t seem like it would make any sense, but it worked! The result was Vektor. Somehow it all came together in a cohesive fashion and we ended up having a unique sound that no other band can claim.

Do you all listen to the same stuff?

Not really. We all have a great love and appreciation for thrash and black metal, but everyone has their own musical interests outside of those genres. Frank gets into some bands like the Allman Brothers and Hawkwind. Erik likes some prog rock and even some power metal, which I don’t care for, haha. Blake is definitely a black metal guy who also likes piano driven music. Thrash is the one element that brings us all together, and the songs I’ve written have elements of the other genres that the band is into. That’s why it works.

Thiking of Voivod and Coroner, Anacrusis or Death... Some of your influences are famous for changing their sound drastically. Do you see that in the future of Vektor or not and basically do you even think that much ahead?

Sometimes change is good if it’s in a positive direction, or if it’s for the growth of a band. It sucks though when bands completely change their sound in a bad way, like to become more radio friendly or completely changing their sound/genre. It is a shame when bands have a good thing going and totally fuck it up. That happened with a lot of great metal bands that transitioned from the 80s to 90s. As far as I’m concerned, Vektor will never change the elements that make our sound. I think we are lucky because our sound encompasses a lot of ground, and we’re able to go into a lot of places that other bands can’t. If anything, we’ll just keep exploring and expanding our boundaries while remaining true to ourselves, our sound, and our fans.

You come from Arizona, a state known for in thrash for Flotsam and Jetsam, Sacred Reich and Atrophy. Are these names significant in the thrash scene there? Did they play a role shaping your sound?

They’re still significant bands, but they don’t really influence the scene here. I was actually writing most of the songs from our early recordings while living in Portland, Oregon, so they didn’t have any influence on shaping our sound. Most of the metal bands here in Arizona are influenced by Swedish death metal for some reason, haha.

Recently you annouced that you would be moving from Arizona. Why leave AZ? Where do you plan to go and why there?

We’ve reached a plateau here in Arizona. It’s in the middle of the desert and there aren’t a lot of places we can tour around here. The nearest big city is a six hour drive for us. We’re planning on moving to the east coast of the U.S. The cities are much more condensed there and it will be a lot better for touring and growing our fan base. We’ve done all we can do here and we’re ready for more.

This move suggests that you are taking this band seriously enough to relocate. What are your goals as a band?

Our goal is to continue spreading our sound like a disease. We take the meaning of our band name from the biological definition. A vector is an organism that spreads a disease. We all take this band very seriously and we’d like to continue growing. We have an uncontrollable urge to create new and unique music, so I don’t see us stopping as long as we have a pulse.

Any plans on touring? Especially Europe?

We want to tour the world, and bring our music to life for all the people who have asked us to play in their countries. Europe will most likely be the first stop outside of the U.S. We were so close to touring Europe this winter, but it fell through at the last minute. We’ve already been offered a couple times to go over there, but we couldn’t ever afford it. Plane tickets are expensive, and our label is too small to help pay for tour support. We’re looking to get signed by a bigger label and a booking agent to help us out with these things. We’ll get there soon.

You obviously knew while drawing it that the logo would make everyone think "Voivod". Don't you think it sends the message that you are a Voivod worship band?

I never thought it would be a very big deal, but it definitely turned into one. The logo throws some people off, but maybe that means they haven’t actually listened to our music. If people want to be lazy and base their opinions on nothing but aesthetics, that’s their loss. The logo fits our sound and we’re keeping it. A lot of the thrash bands have similar logos to Nuclear Assault or Metallica with the spikes on the letter ends, and a lot of black metal logos look similar, but they don’t get disproportionate attention for it. It’s pretty funny when you think about the hypocrisy.

It is obvious that the past ten years there is a huge activity in thrash metal, with new bands popping everywhere, releasing albums. What do you think triggered that resurgence?

I noticed that there were a lot of re-released albums from the thrash masters of the 80s around that time. I also noticed that bands like Destruction, Kreator, Exodus, and Nuclear Assault had started touring more. I think a big part was that metal got extremely stupid by the end of the 90s. Nu metal was so fucking awful, and I think a lot of people finally started to realize it. I wish Nu metal never happened, but maybe some people needed metal to go into that shitty extreme to see that it wasn’t the right path to take. I am glad to say that I never liked any of that shit.

What are the bands you think stand out from this so-called new wave of thrash metal?

Havok and Evile. Toxic Holocaust is fucking awesome as well, but I don’t consider Joel Grind to be a part of the “new wave of thrash metal” because he has been doing it for so long before thrash became trendy.

What do you want to see from this new wave? Do you think it has a future?

At first, like back in 2004-2005, I didn’t feel it was very genuine the way a lot of bands were just trying to emulate or relive the 80s. But, it seems like some of those bands are growing up a little, finding their own sound, or simply dying out. I worry about it because it is something that I really care about. I don’t want it to become a fad that dies out and turns into a joke because there weren’t enough bands that brought anything new or interesting to the table. The future depends on the bands. They need to impress fans and people enough so there will continue to be a scene. People will get bored if they keep hearing the same old shit over and over again.

Top lists:

Name a few, from the top of your head, of your favourite thrash bands/albums

Destruction- Eternal Devastation
Kreator- Terrible Certainty
Aspid- Extravasation
Nuclear Assault- Handle With Care
Assassin- Upcoming Terror
Slayer- Hell Awaits
Vio-Lence- Oppressing the Masses
I could go on forever. There’s too many to mention…. haha

Favourite Voivod album?

Killing Technology

Favourite new thrash album/band? (Vektor does not count!)

Toxic Holocaust- Evil Never Dies
Evile- Infected Nations

Read the review for Outer Isolation

(*): "Heat Death" is what most scientists believe will be the fate of the universe as all galaxies drift apart from each other while the cosmos continues to expand. That or the Big Crunch but I thought it would be neatly appropriate to declare my "THRASH TILL DEATH!" mantra with a science twist in Vektor's case. Funnily enough, Erik Nelson (Vektor's guitarist) thought I was referring to death by Arizona's heat! :)