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As a remnant from the first wave of thrash, I think it is great that this style has been re-incarnated, and so close in style to how it was when I was a teenager too. The scene here in the UK is thriving, and also in the USA things are happening at a healthy pace, starting with the great Merciless Death album, then this masterpiece of neck-antagonising fury!!!
Lich King hail from Massachusetts but have a spiritual home right in the living rooms of bay area legends like Exodus and Vio-lence (both of whom have songs represented on here). It amazes me just how this has absorbed no influence outside of pure thrash, and is all the better for that. Right from the opening track, the self titled Lich King, this just blows me away. Its plethora of riffs and harsh vocals set the scene for what could almost be a regressive journey into my childhood!!!! The guitar sound is sharp and cutting, kind of like they are using electrified razor wire instead of strings. The mix and production are near perfect for thrash, being not too bass driven and brutal a la death metal or metal core style, but again they have encaptured the 80s sound here too.
This vinyl version contains 2 bonus tracks unavailable elsewhere and their is a die hard clear vinyl version of just 100 copies.
Highlights among the 12 tracks are the awesome Mascot War, a song about a massive raging battle between American breakfast cereal mascots and such vicious Metal band mascots as Sgt D, Vic Rattlehead and Eddie. An amazing concept for a song!!!!! The song itself is the newest on display here and if this is the direction they are going it bodes well for the future of my ears, but definitely not my neck!!! It is a fast and furious thrasher with some riffs that Gary Holt would have sold his anal virginity to write!!!!! The former instrumental track Cinderblock, has been given lyrics and is one of the bonus songs here, and it is an amazing speed metal workout. Another of my personal favourites is the instrumental track The Werewolf, and every time it comes onto my iPod, the howling wolf and pure speed metal opening riff makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. This is just how thrash metal should sound. Lich King have also paid homage to their forefathers as I mentioned earlier with covers of Exodus’s A Lesson In Violence, and Vio-lences Bodies on Bodies. Both of which were pretty amazing tracks to start with, but here they are re-worked with the Lich King magic and the result is astounding!!!! Absolutely none of the ferouciousness of the tracks is sacrificed in these versions, and I would even dare to say that the Exodus cover actually surpasses the original, something I would have said was an impossibility before I had heard this.
With bands like Lich King to fly the flag for the new wave of thrash metal, there is no way this is going to be just a flash in the pan resurgence for the style music I grew up with, I just wish I wasn’t so old and decrepit so I could throw away my walking stick and slam myself around my retirement home to its pure magnificence!!