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Sex, Vodka & Thrash Metal - 99%

Metal_Thrasher90, June 21st, 2013

This album was originally recorded in 1989 with Leszek Szpigiel and Polish vocals, but the English version with Tomasz Zwierzchowski didn’t see the light of day until 1991. They choose a completely different, peculiar vocalist to replace Szpigiel – most of Polish singers you could hear back then never sounded very professional or stunning (Marek Łoza, Mariusz Sobiela, Irena Bol, etc.) actually. So the band decided to follow still the previous musical path, taking a similar direction. Tomasz Zwierzchowski was the chosen vocalist for the new record and the lyrics as well got into different issues. As you can guess from the Jerzy Kurczak cover painting and the title of some tunes, Wolf Spider got horny, just like their pals Destroyers and Kat. I don’t really know what Polish thrashers put on their vodka, but it definitely turns them on – in fact this could have been almost a conceptual record about lust, depravity and vice!

They wrote straighter, raw thrash songs with violent riffs and scandalous verses. However, their sound is still technical, progressive and complex; the impressive instrumental passages are pure talent and virtuosism on “Verge Of Sanity”, “It’s Only Vodka” or “Homeless Children”, tracks plenty of skilled variations on the riffs and the tempo that only experienced professional musicians could attempt to play. The result is absolutely perfect and outstanding, specially guitars parts are immaculately executed and memorable, and their riffs become extremely brutal, lethal and hyperactive on “Mafia”, “Down The Drain” or “Terrorists”, which are terrifying lessons in total headbanging thrash. And when the speed increases, like on “Sex Maniacs”, “Sex Shop” or “Puppet”, then you have no other chance than breaking your neck and mosh like crazy. The terminal velocity on those songs is brilliant and totally controlled, we are not talking about a bunch of chaotic hardcore blast beats, this is pure art and the culmination of years of practice. All the elements on the tunes: the raging double-bass drum rhythms, the incredible tempo changes, the massive killer riffing and the shredding solos are executed with precision and talent. But not only speed can be found on these numbers, the handful of breaks on most of them let the band space to play long instrumental parts on which guitars synchronize as good as their admired Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, and their raw hooks, skilled pull-offs and several string techniques along with their dynamic pickin’ parts will impress and shock you immediately. There’s not a single weak spot or bad song in this pack, and it’s no surprise, after all this is Polish thrash so what did you expect?

With this album, Wolf Spider they reached an even higher level than before, not only in the way the music is performed but the tough song-writing task is so easy for them to accomplish, they even seem to enjoy making it as complex and difficult as possible. There’s a disappointment here though, the reason why I’m not giving this album the maximum rating is Zwierzchowski’s voice. The instrumental parts are supreme; I wish I could say the same about the vocals but Tomasz is most of the time out of tune, becoming weaker and weaker and more inconsistent and unlistenable on each word, unable to reach the notes. I don’t know how many auditions they did to find a proper replacement for Leszek, I just don’t want to imagine how awful must have been the other singers that didn’t get the job if Zwierzchowski was the best choice (check out the Polish versions of these tracks on the Metal Mind CD reissues bonus tracks featuring Szpigiel, with a completely distinct feel). Apart from that, the splendid guitar work of both Dariusz Popowicz and Piotr Mańkowski must be highlighted – their fast fingers are insatiable and hungry for more and more riffs on the whole record, their creativity never seems to end. Drummer Tomasz Goehs made a fantastic performance as well, with no mistakes and going wild on the fasters moments of this extraordinary exhibition of technical thrash. Maciej Matuszak seems to be another frustrated guitarists relegated to play bass, although his skills and versatility defining rhythms are effective. Another big difference from the previous record is the more notable, crude backing vocals, reminiscent of the powerful throats of Scott Ian and Frank Bello from mid-80’s Anthrax sound. And it’s clear Tomasz Dziubiński knows how to produce rightly, all instruments sound as loud as they should and strenghtful enough to make this thrash record unforgettable. What about the lyrics? Sex! Sex! Sex! Thrash and lust, always an amusing combination of pure fun and enjoyment as you can check here.

Sex, vodka and thrash metal, that’s what you will find and it won’t disappoint you. Nobody did it like Polish thrashers by that year; don’t forget it was 1991, the time when some infamous abysmal black album killed the subgenre turning it into commercial pop for radio stations. But fortunately, Polish groups kept away from the popular fashion and trends to concentrate on their genuine roots and never sell out. It’s remarkable that these Eastern Europe bands stayed loyal to their original sound, even making it more evil and aggressive while most famous thrash heroes were becoming more sophisticated, melodic and sweet. Sadly, the Polish solid scene would get affected by the lack of commercial success and the grunge fever of the decade – only the strong survived (Vader, Acid Drinkers and Kat, basically). Unfair, so unfair.