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Before they released their debut, Blood Tsunami were an interesting prospect for me, as I was always a big fan of Bard ‘Faust’ Eithun’s previous projects (Emperor of course, but I was also fairly impressed by his take on punkish black metal with the Casey Chaos fronted Scum). Thus, I was suitably interested to hear quite what Bard and a group of relative unknowns could come up with in the thrash metal vein… but come 2007 and the release of their debut – I was left disappointed. I felt it lacked much in the way of interest whatsoever, and was let down by its lackluster song writing (especially after they cheekily named it ‘Thrash Metal’ – I was expecting some sort of crystallization of thrash purity that the name suggested rather than an album chock full of so much mediocre modern thrash). However, album number two ‘Grand Feast for Vultures’ showed more in the way of promise, with more effort clearly going into the song writing and overall vibe of the album summoning the depths of US & Teutonic thrash scenes and melding them into one beastly concoction.
So here is album number three – ‘For Faen!’ – translated from the Norwegian meaning ‘for fucks sake’/’goddamn it’, with ‘Faen’ also meaning ‘devil’ – thus it has multiple meanings, all of which work nicely for an album title of such raging thrash. Yes, this time around, they’ve really hit the nail on the head. I get a real feeling of enjoyment coming from the set of songs that make up this album, not only my own enjoyment, but enjoyment spewing from the band themselves – it’s like they’ve finally found their feet and are starting to produce the sort of music they wanted to from day one. The early parts of the opening track ‘The Butcher of Rostov’ certainly reminds me of the opening tracks that The Haunted used to do so well before they lost their way, but when the riffage really kicks in – it just goes up to that next level once more.
This is Blood Tsunami stripped down to the bare essentials, meaner, nastier and more vicious than I’ve heard them before. The album rips out of the speakers like an unstoppable force of machine gun fire, tearing through all those who dally too long like rabbits in headlights of the inexorable thrashings which rattle from your speakers, wielding ripping leads and controlled chaos drums like excessive sonic weaponry to the already lethal artillery of hell. There’s a lot of early Sodom & Destruction to be heard here, with fellow Norwegian’s Aura Noir’s harsh vocals and thrashing mentality rife throughout. At times I’m even reminded of the angrier side of the likes of ‘Tortured Existence’ era Demolition Hammer – there’s certainly a lot of unbridled rage here which runs fluidly through the shards of fast and crunchy palm muted riffage and maniacal lead work. To be honest I could name a shitload of modern bands who share similarities to Blood Tsunami’s blueprints, but if you trace them all back, you’ll usually come back to Destruction, Sodom, Kreator or Slayer. They worship the gods unashamedly – direct from source!
All the parts I felt worked well from their second album have been expanded upon and improved here. The riffage clearly owes a lot to the classics and has a nice old school feel about it – for me they sound like a completely different band to their uninspired debut, and I can’t fault the enthusiasm in which they shred their instruments into piles of wood chippings, flayed skin and shredded strings. I can recommend this wholeheartedly, even if you were unsure by the bands earlier efforts – this is most definitely a step in the right direction. With ‘For Faen’, Blood Tsunami sound like a band re-invigorated and ready to seriously lash some facial tissue from skull. Check this out.
Originally written for www.avenoctum.com
When I remarked four years ago how Blood Tsunami had created in "Grand Feast for Vultures" "one of the finest thrash albums of the decade" it came through an appreciation of their Kreator-tinged thrash that I was finding hard to expend on their contemporaries at the time. With the retro scene having quietened immeasurably since this Norwegian act remain and though no game-changer, "For Faen!" still represents a decent effort from Faust & co that makes a solid addition to the cannon of modern thrash.
Blood Tsunami make the most of a clear and heavy production through ten well-constructed songs that change tempo with an obvious base knowledge of the genre, though I'm hard-pressed to find here a song as good as "Horsehead Nebula" from the aforementioned "Grand Feast...". Vocally they have not changed, as the spitting howling Pete Evil provides the album a blackened vibe, but there is an added hardcore punk feel to the whole piece this time around which aids in the incessant speed attack. "Metal Fang" and "In the Dungeon of the Rats" are two examples of that, while elsewhere the fleet-fingered riffing of "Unholy Nights" and "Grave Desecrator" conjure up depraved thoughts of their countrymen Aura Noir. Instead of the lengthy forays of last time, the punk aesthetic results in three sub-2 minute tracks, the best of which "The Rape of Nanking" shoots out the traps like it has a rabid dog feasting on its balls.
What "For Faen!" is lacking against "Grand Feast..." is a touch of the unexpected, the sense that just because Blood Tsunami are pure fucking thrash metal they could still throw the listener a curveball. Thrashing as loud and proud as they do is not enough in this post-Vektor world where a substantial display of artistic bravado is required for the top marks but "For Faen!" has been getting a lot of listening time in these ears and hasn't let me down yet. For a veritable dose of powerful contemporary thrash devoid of many of the genre’s comical clichés Blood Tsunami are still a good bet to turn to.
Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net