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Releasing their debut album under the title "Thrash Metal" makes it pretty clear that originality probably wasnt top of the list of priorities for Blood Tsunami, especially when you couple this with the wonderfully dumb manowar-esque artwork.
Sure enough, 'Thrash Metal' brings absolutely nothing new to the table, serving up a main course of Slayer and Kreator riffs, (one song is called "Let Blood Rain" for crying out loud) garnished with a sprinkling of Gothenburg flavoured melodic death metal a la At The Gates. There are a thousand other bands out there suckling at the swollen teat of Gothenburg death/thrash, so what makes 'Thrash Metal' worth listening to?
Put simply, its damn good fun. I bought this album for under a fiver expecting a healthy slab of dumb-but-enjoyable upbeat thrash, and that's exactly what it delivered. The drumming is perfunctory, although we can perhaps excuse ex-Emperor drummer Faust for being a little rusty as he only recently finished a prolonged jail sentence for murder. The screamed vocals, whilst perfectly enjoyable, are not hugely powerful, though they complement the riffs nicely. The album essentially consists of mid-paced chuggy thrash overlaid with Slayer-esque solos and is full of riffs that would not sound out of place on an early album by fellow Swedes 'The Haunted' although the songs here come across as considerably more upbeat. Its not hugely aggressive, and though it starts out farily fast, the album mellows towards the end, even resembling the more melodic parts of early In Flames in its more thoughtful moments.
As a package, the album is nothing this listener hasn't heard a thousand times before, but despite being pretty derivative the songs are well-written and still manage retain a charm of their own. Fans of Slayer, Kreator, Municipal Waste and The Haunted looking for some unpretentious, mid-paced thrash metal to bang their heads to are likely to get a kick out of this album, which whilst offening nothing new has enough enjoyable grooves, riffs and licks to stand up to multiple listens.
It can be picked up for around £6-7 on amazon and is well worth buying so long as you dont expect anything earth-shatteringly original!
To arrogantly name your album 'Thrash Metal' twenty years after the genre's heyday is never going to win an up-and-coming band a lot of friends in the metal community, and Blood Tsunami's recent debut is far removed from a thrash classic, or even a particularly enjoyable tribute. For a start, just like Venom's 'Black Metal' which predated that other genre, it doesn't even sound like authentic thrash, mixing elements of eighties American and European thrash (Slayer and Kreator in particular) into a foundation that's most reminiscent of modern melodic death metal, without the good bits.
This Norwegian band doesn't bring anything new to the music scene, even by combining these influences - which many superior death metal bands have already done to substantially greater effect. Most songs turn into a guessing game of spot-the-influence, from the Slayer riffs in 'Evil Unleashed' to the very Testament-like 'Devoured By Flames' and even the Manowar-inspired cover art. Pete Evil's rasping vocals lack any distinctive flair and become tedious as he fails to change his tone even when the music demands it, while Dor Amazon's guitar and Faust's drums are essentially typical thrash, with an emphasis on breakdowns rather than more creative riffs. The only real song to grab my attention was the ten-minute instrumental 'Godbeater,' but it lost it very, very soon.
1. Evil Unleashed
2. Let Blood Rain
3. Rampage of Revenge
4. Infernal Final Carnage
5. Devoured By Flames
6. Torn Apart
8. Killing Spree
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Evil Unleashed
2 Let Blood Rain
3 Rampage Of Revenge
4 Infernal Final Carnage
5 Devoured By Flames
6 Torn Apart
8 Killing Spree