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Bywar > Abduction > Reviews
Bywar - Abduction

A close encounter of the better kind. - 88%

hells_unicorn, October 11th, 2012

Contrary to what might be otherwise stated, retro thrash is not a four letter word, though it can be a painfully passé grouping of 11 letters if a band doesn’t inject some sense of freshness into the already tried and true template that they are working from. For a number of bands, it has simply been sufficient to come up with a singular niche and to only occasionally mix things up a bit, resulting in an almost pure rehash of the stereotypical red vs. green vs. black scenario. Lost in this mix is some of that pleasant ambiguity that existed in the earliest days of the style, namely the 1984-1986 periods where the style was still possessed of a strong melodic character, though still pushing the envelope in terms of aggression and viciousness.

One particular band in the booming São Paulo scene that has produced a nice little varied mixture of olden styled thrash that incorporates pieces of the 3 warring camps of the 80s is Bywar, a band that pretty well predates a lot of the current players and even reaches back into that period where the much loathed 4th camp of grey thrash (aka groove/thrash) was the ruling sound. From their debut album in 2002, they’ve had a fairly close affinity with the red camp stylistically, including their native land’s forefathers Sepultura, but more so that of Destruction, particularly in the vocal department, but also generally in the way that their sound takes on a very slight power metal character and all but possesses the listener to sing along with the riffs as much as the snarled vocal lines.

All things considered, “Abduction” is yet another in an ongoing succession of consistently strong albums that reaffirm a more nuanced approach to the style, rather than the always fast and frenzied Teutonic character of Suicidal Angels, or the over-produced pomp of the modern sound largely taken from Exodus’ “Shovel Headed Kill Machine”. Barring a very cleaned up and punchy production sound, this album could have been released in the mid 80s and been right at home among the ranks of what Destruction and Kreator were churning out at the time, and may have proven to be a little more mainstream friendly given some slight hints at the catchy elements of the American sound normally associated with Heathen and Metallica at a few key slower parts.

It’s a bit difficult to obsess over a singular song or small group of them with an album like this, as the flow generally tends to be a steady diet of fast yet mildly restrained neck ruining goodness with occasional balladic elements here and there. Nods to Iron Maiden here and there such as the intro and outro of “Another Crusade” really bring home a nice change of pace from what is otherwise an extremely competent example of textbook Teutonic thrash. Nevertheless, when the band goes straight for the throat with shorter, less varied speed machines like “Handful Of Evil” and “Starchildren – Alien Concept”, the results are equally as captivating for the willing victim of sonic violence.

Basically this album has just about everything that a thrash junkie lives for, from dark lyrics about war, death, horror and the occasional alien abduction, to an impressive set of riff fests and raging guitar solos. The only thing that is a bit mysterious about this sort of album is why the hell Sepultura didn’t record it at some point within the past 12 years rather than the insipid rot that they’ve been passing off as original material. If I had the choice between being original or creating something of this caliber; I’d sooner surrender some distinctiveness in the name of quality.

Originally submitted to ( on October 11, 2012.