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Whoa, that terminator is pissed! - 80%

hells_unicorn, November 28th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Independent

Of all the bands to come out of the mid 2000s thrash revival, Bonded By Blood stands as one of the least subtle in a grouping of acts that boasts a great lack of subtlety. The name itself expresses an forthcoming expression of influence that points to some obvious outfits situated in the golden age of the Bay Area, though the band sports a sound that has been subsequently abandoned by the likes of Forbidden, Exodus, Testament and the Vio-lence crowd (under the moniker of Machine Head now) for varying strains of modernity. This is a band that makes no apologies about being an absolute throwback to a time when songs were fast to the point of being obnoxious, oozing with attitude, yet completely bereft of the mechanized and overly compressed sound that came to embody just about all of the remnant of thrash following 1992.

All the goodies that one would have expected from a mid 80s thrash monster are splashed all over the post-apocalyptic yet tongue-in-cheek EP that is Extinguish The Weak, from gruff driven and nearly monotone vocals, to flashy dueling solos and all the crunchy riffs to sate the insatiable head banger. The presentation, while clearly geared towards the west coast pedigree of the 80s, is tilted slightly in favor of the punk-driven mode of Nuclear Assault, featuring a fair amount of goofy humor along for the ride, which is something of a staple of revivalist bands in America (think Lich King and Municipal Waste). The only truly full length thrash machines to be found on here are "Feed The Beast" and "Immortal Life", both of which opt for a mix of fast and slow that is a bit more indicative of the band's professed Exodus influences, though they still lean a bit more towards speed than groove.

But despite the general shortness of the songs found on here, it's actually the ditties that showcases this band's prowess. The opening full song "Immortal Life", which is preceded by an extremely goofy yet fun intro ditty, showcases some impressive chops in the bass department before launching into a fun filled riff machine with a somewhat scaled back, yet still slap-stick oriented vocal performance. It's a thin line between being overly comical and being able to balance humor with some serious musicianship, but this band manages to pull it off. The closing "bonus track" is essentially a thrash cover of the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon theme, complete with all the obligatory references to pizza and Cowabunga, definitely not to be taken seriously, but a serious amount of fun in spite of itself.

It's pretty hard not to like a band like this unless one is predisposed to believe that thrash has nothing further to say on the subject of where metal is, and hopefully most are not so ridiculously cynical as to insist that a new generation can't have some fun with an older style. Bonded By Blood is unapologetic in their derivative tendencies, but they carry it very well with the right balance of fun and intensity. It's technical enough to provide the ear with a lot of needed auditory candy that is generally not to be found in the hack post-thrash crap spearheaded by Machine Head (the sad remnant of the once great Vio-Lence), but it's quite conservative when measured against the likes of Vektor. If bands like Lich King, Gama Bomb, Havok and Fueled By Fire are on one's radar, this band should be too, though this offering is essentially an appetizer meant to point to a greater banquet just a year away in Feed The Beast. Thrash in good health.

Ready to be annihilated? - 90%

overkill666, April 21st, 2008

I really like to see new thrash metal bands nowadays. It's all ways good to see bands attempt to bring back the 80's with their music. Bonded by Blood actually does a good job in idolizing old school thrash bands. The music is fast, and filled with energy. If you like to head bang, check out Bonded by Blood.

As I said before, Bonded by Blood plays fast, and is all ways filled with energy. Bonded by Blood has this talent for both vocals, and instrumentally. This is a good skill to have, if you are good at what you play. I'll go over these aspects in-depth.

This EP has a lot of interesting guitar work. The meat of the riffs are usually fast paced thrash style guitar riffs. These riffs can be compared to such bands as Exodus and Nuclear Assault. There are some more melodic sounds shown in 'The Evil Within', and it is a nice variation from the normal tone of this release. There is also a guitar solo featured on all of the full songs. These guitar solos show the talents of the guitarist, and sound very good. The bass work follows the rhythm guitar, and there is really no emphasis on it.

The drum work is the normal thrash style. There is a lot of variation on the double bass pedals, which usually means no constant pedaling. The drummer is good at playing nice fills, and interesting beats. There are no blast beats, which make me happy. In my opinion, blast beats in thrash are a bad idea. They show that the drummer doesn't have the ability to be creative.

The vocals are very different from the 80's era bay thrash. He doesn't do any of those high pitched screams, and only stays in his vocal normal vocal tone. I like to compare him to the singer of Exodus because they both do this. His vocals fit the music nicely, and he has some interesting screams.

Bonded by Blood has apparent talent. The music they play is fast, heavy, and skilled. They are a good attempt at reviving some of the lost aspects of thrash. I'll surely be keeping my eye on this band, and you should do the same. Go pick this release up, it's only five dollars.

The message isn't clear yet - 50%

morbert, March 18th, 2008

Here we hae yet another thrash revival group from the US. Playing Forbidden and Vio-Lence inspired thrash metal with some Death Angel tendencies.

The material on this EP however isn't very consistent. After a rather generic intro opening song "Immortal Life" is easily the best song here. As said the inspirations are very clear. The basis is old Forbidden and Violence with a hint of Gothic Slam. Guitarwise it is a very strong song yet the vocals are nothing more than decent. On the chorus the rhythm of the vocal line is heavily inspired by Zerto-era Exodus. A pretty good song and a promising start.

Things start to go wrong on the second song "The Evil Within" on which the faster sections are enjoyable but it becomes obvious the band fails to deliver on the slower parts and gets quite dull. On this song the Exodus influences become clear in the riffs. The song has some good ideas but as a whole drags. "Taste The Destruction" has got some groovy sections reminding of Frolic-era Death Angel and some hardrock inspired fast riffing. This song is slightly better than its predecessor but still not close to "Immortal Life".

"Feed The Beast" marks a slight return to form and opens with a great Lightning-era Metallica riff and a great verse. The chorus unfortunately sounds tame and uninspired. On this song the vocals also lack some aggression and passion. A decent song at most.

It is obvious these boys can play and especially the drums and guitar solos stand out. The songmaterial however is something that has to be worked on with more care. The band thrashes but also puts too many groovy or slow sections into their music but not as good as Death Angel used to. I expected more from this band and I am curious if their upcoming full length debut will be better and especially more consistent.

Bonded to potential - 68%

BloodIronBeer, March 13th, 2008

What's this? A bunch of youngin's from California playing some good ol' thrash?

Well, if the name doesn't scream "we worship old school thrash", I don't know what does. A bit tacky to use that name, but nevermind that.

The first influence you'll pick up on is not Exodus though, but Heathen. Heathen and Artillery are the first two I see. Definitely sounding a lot like Heathen in the vocals. With some Mustaine in there at times. The riffs show a bit of influences from all across the board.

The drums are moderately fast, and punchy. The guitar's tone match the style well; the solos too. These solos show a bit of inexperience, in their perdictablity, but they have a lot of feeling to them. There's a lot of potential in that department. The production does justice to the old school. There's a few different kinds of vocals that are used here that I'm not fond of though - Mustaine-style talking, and some lower raspy vocals. In general the vocals aren't entirely to my liking. The songs goes through riffs and leads pretty quickly; a big plus there.

The two best tracks are Immortal Life and Taste the Destruction. But in general, all the songs are enjoyable.

They're definitely not breaking any ground, but if you're a big thrash fan, you'll probably want to check them out. They're still wet behind the ears here, but I think they show promise.

If I Choke Someone...Do They Die? - 85%

Slappy, January 17th, 2008

What we have here in "Extinguish The Weak" is a couple of tracks from a thrash band who clearly know what they're doing and know how to have fun. One can almost feel sorry for those who refuse to listen to these "rip-off" new-school thrash bands. Their loss.

The EP begins with guitar distortion and feedback on the intro track "Asphyxiation." Before long though, after a decidedly goofy (yet appropriate) quote (see title), the drums and guitar thunder in, backed by a very cool bass line. This builds up for a few seconds before the drums lead us into the first song on the EP, "Immortal Life." This song certainly wastes no time getting straight into some balls-out, in your face thrash. Not only are the riffs heavy as a giant block of lead, they're catchy as hell. Alex and Juan play with a kind of manic energy that compliment the vociferous pounding of Carlos' drums and crushing thud of RuDo's bass very nicely, and Aladdin's vocals fit the music perfectly. After being treated to a few blistering, yet tasteful, solos, the first track ends.

The following tracks are sure to give your neck no rest, as there isn't a mid-paced or even remotely disappointing song on the entire EP. You'll just want to bang your head through the the remainder of the album in a frenzied state of thrashy bliss. And listen again, and again, and again.

For a self-produced effort, the production is very clean. The guitars are crunchy and clear, the drums are sharp and thunderous, the bass is chunky and ACTUALLY IN THE MIX (too often is the bass drowned out by the other instruments). Everything is crisp and clear, and in very good balance with the other instruments; no one is too overpowering.

This is definitely a band to keep your eye on (especially since they've been signed with Earache Records). I highly recommend this release to anyone who is a fan of thrash metal in general. There is something here for even the casual fan to enjoy. Its only five bucks. Shell it out. You'll thank yourself.

Pays homage to Bay Area thrash - 79%

SouthofHeaven11, October 29th, 2007

Thrash isn’t dead. Despite what you may read or hear, thrash is still alive and kicking. To those who claim it died in the late 80’s, this isn’t so. The genre has had its ups and downs (a noticeable down would be during the 90’s and the nu-metal explosion), but it’s coming back, this time fueled by bands hell-bent on returning to its roots. Surprisingly, many of these bands, rightfully dubbed “retro-thrash” (bands like Evile and Flesh Made Sin), have meet staunch resistance from purist metal heads, who view them as bringing nothing but clean production and recycled riffs to the table.

Unfortunately for them, they don’t get to enjoy Bonded by Blood’s EP "Extinguish the Weak" for what it is: an exceptionally well-executed thrash album that praises Bay Area metal, mainly Exodus (their name should’ve given them away). It doesn’t matter that this came out in 2007, because it sounds like it’s ripped straight out the glorious year of 1986. Fueled by a desire to bring back the intensity and fun of thrash, Bonded by Blood will spit right your face and not give a damn (just like how thrash should be).

"Extinguish the Weak" is a rather short EP, clocking in just less than 17 minutes, and there are really only four real tracks (one being an intro and the other being a bonus track). However, in those four actual tracks, you’ll be treated to head banging, 80’s Bay Area thrash, reminiscent of early Exodus and Overkill. The intro, “Asphyxiation”, sets the tone with a ridiculously dumb, yet awesome, quote of “What happens if I choke someone…do they die?!” before distorted guitar meets crazed bass lines and pulsing drums, and just like that, “Immortal Life” comes thrashing in heading straight for the jugular. Alex Lee and Juan Boogie waste no time in showing off their chops at playing jackhammer riffs, as their riddled with palm mutes and quick branch offs that thrash became famous for. Even Aladdin’s vocals mirror those of the past, as he opts to use more of a shouting tone rather than the now-traditional growl that’s become more popular in thrash acts.

As "Extinguish the Weak" churns on, be prepared for some whiplash. The beat and crazed rhythms created by drummer Carlos Cervesa set the stage on every track, more noticeably on “Taste the Destruction”, where his double-bass will easily crush speakers. Even RuDo, the bassist, shows off his chops occasionally, especially with his fills on “Feed the Beast”. Backed up by RuDo’s thick bass, Alex and Juan churn out riff after riff, whether they be laced with speed on “Taste of Destruction”, or a bit more intricate and chainsaw-sounding such as on “The Evil Within”, these two produce on guitar. Their solos as well are as every bit chaotic as something Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King would write, as they fly all over and hit the whammy-bar frequently. Aladdin usually complements these two perfectly, as his vocals tend to mirror the riff at the time. His vocal range isn’t going to win many awards, but he suits the style of music so well. On “Feed the Beast”, easily his best performance on the EP, he quickly attempts to instigate the listener with a snarl of “Come get some!”.

There’s so much to like about "Extinguish the Weak". Even the lyrics, which have never been a strong point in thrash, are just plain fun. “Feed the Beast” attempts to rally listeners to “extinguish the weak”, while “Taste of Destruction” has the stronger-than-all feel going on with lines of “Crush your opponent! Smash his beliefs!” It should be pointed out now what the bonus track is: it’s the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song, thrash style. Its level on the “awesome scale” is through the roof, as the boys put just as much energy into that track and they did with this whole EP. Not to mention that if you wait another 30 seconds after the song is done, you’ll be treated to an impression of Arnold Swarzchenegger apparently getting off to porn.

Bonded by Blood recently signed with Earache and are expecting to put out a debut soon in February, and with such a strong EP, the metal community should take notice. The only thing that really might disappoint some is how short this EP actually is, since it’s over faster than the blink of an eye. These guys are out not to redo the genre, but take it back to its wild roots. It’s loud, it’s fast, it’s fun, and that’s what thrash was all about, and Bonded by Blood’s "Extinguish the Weak" is an ode to the good times.

Overall – 79

Recommended Tracks:
All of them. Shell out 5 bucks (that’s all it costs, even with shipping) and get the whole thing.