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Whiskey, Smokes and Necrosis - 81%

TheStormIRide, September 16th, 2014

Combining the sleazy black punk of Midnight with the old school swagger of Motörhead and the primitive nature of Hellhammer, Italy's Bunker 66 return with their second full length of rocking heavy metal anthems, titled Screaming Rock Believers. The band struts through nine tracks of high octane, chest thumping heavy metal, leaving little room to ponder the finer things in life. Released through the eclectically old school High Roller Records on CD and vinyl (limited to 500 copies), Bunker 66's sophomore album will take you on a retrogressive hell ride back to a time when metal was metal and Tom G. Warrior was looking for romance in the classifieds.

Screaming Rock Believers boasts a rather muddy and dirty production that, rather than taking away the force of the music, gives a healthy dose of authentic old school vibes. Just to paint the proper picture of where these guys are coming from, they start the album off with a cover of Celtic Frost's “Seduce Me Tonight”, from their controversial album Cold Lake. It's a fitting homage, despite being from Celtic Frost's most maligned album, and serves to set the tone of the album to come. Filled with precarious speed metal influenced soloing alongside punked up guitar riffing that just oozes Fast Eddie Clark vibes. If it wasn't for Damien Thorne's strained and gargled vocal delivery (and the blasting breaks), I'd think this was the fathers of white line fever themselves.

Tracks like “Another Victim” interject some healthy blasting drums into the mix while “Ghetto Dwellers” and “On the Prowl” deliver enticingly thrashy riffs amidst the Motörhead-isms. As if a cover of “Seduce Me Tonight” wasn't enough to show their love, the band goes full on primitive with a Hellhammer flavored neanderthal stomp on “Cannons of Satan”. Where Bunker 66 really shines, though, is when they play rollicking hooks and a more laid back sound, like, the Judas Priest and Motörhead amalgamation that is “Screaming Rock Believers”. Despite what seems to be an eclectic mix of styles, Bunker 66 weaves everything together with the constant punkish riffing and tight as hell rhythm section.

Fans of early Motörhead, Venom and Celtic Frost should have a field day here, as Screaming Rock Believers has a little bit of what made each of those bands great. The slightly blackened touch and thrashing abandon amidst the rocking guitars and rollicking rhythms add a nostalgic flair of authenticity, reeking of the first wave of black metal. Lingering with that necrotic odor is the cigarette smoke and whiskey aroma of Motörhead; a palatable flavor when combined, indeed.

Written for The Metal Observer.