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Anyone who's read my reviews will know that I'm not a big fan of thrash. It's a stubbornly non-evolving genre, and I like a little evolution. To make an impression on me, a thrash album has to be truly great. So it was with trepidation that I picked up Warbeast's Krush the Enemy after Metallattorney called it the best thrash album of 2010.
Warbeast is made up of Texas thrashers who have been around for a long time, and they're signed to Phil Anselmo's Housecore Records. Though they clearly have the chops of guys with a lot of experience, they also have that indefinable hunger that allows some younger bands to release inredible debuts. The music is not the mid-paced fare of old thrashers like recent Sodom or Death Angel--it's punishingly fast in every song. But they do take time to slow down and provide some melody for a few brief seconds here and there, providing a much-needed contrast that keeps the music from becoming one big blur.
Every instrument is expertly played and well-produced, making it feel like a superb live performance rather than a Pro Tools chopped-up and sanitized affair. As with all thrash metal, the guitar is clearly the star of the game, playing solo after solo after solo, and each one of them is interesting. The vocals remind me of Lair of the Minotaur, and the lyrics tend toward violence with a measure of misogyny.
Highlights include the title track, "Blackened Heart", and "Scorched Earth Policy", but every track is worth listening to. My only complaint is the awkward chorus in "Self Will Run Riot", but the opening bassline saves the song from being a disaster.
The Verdict: I don't usually listen to much thrash, but when it's really damn good, I'll make an exception. I'll make an exception for Warbeast's Krush the Enemy.
originally written for http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/