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Demolizer > Thrashmageddon > Reviews
Demolizer - Thrashmageddon

Missed opportunities - 68%

Felix 1666, January 4th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Mighty Music

"Copenhagen Burning" is the name of the opener of Demolizer's debut and to be honest I thought its lyrics deal with a historical event, the fires of 1728 or 1795 for example. Or the Danes take as their theme the completely unjustified bombardment by the English in 1807, which also ended in a major fire. But no, the text remains vague and anti-religious. What a pity, a missed opportunity. Unfortunately, this is not the only wasted chance. Missing opportunities are rather symptomatic for "Thrashmageddon".

It's always easy to praise an album to the skies - or to rip it apart verbally. "Thrashmageddon" is neither suitable for one nor the other. The quartet doesn't do anything seriously wrong, but can't inspire with great song ideas either. Thrash metal with minor borrowings from hardcore, somewhere between Fusion Bomb from Luxembourg and Toxic Shock from Belgium, can inject a very invigorating dose of music. In fact, Demolizer is not lacking in energy and joy of playing either. Only, too little sticks. "Bloodshot Eyes", for instance, has a good start with scratchy guitars, a fine riff, restrained drum rolls and cool double bass drums. But after about a minute there is a break and the atmosphere of the song is partly lost. Not a bad title, especially as the motif from the beginning returns - I just think the guys could have got more out of the basic structure.

Apart from such fundamentally strong songs, I am listening to a somewhat crude mixture of, for example, a punky, relatively pointless one-minute grenade, a thrash semi-ballad ("Until the Day I Die") and a piece called “Lost in Torment” whose eerie beginning was cut out of some Testament piece and slightly altered. Debutants of course have the right not to be completely stuck stylistically. In this respect, a stumbling through the various niches of the thrash metal hall of fame is forgivable. Nevertheless, a somewhat diffuse picture emerges in the end. However, the production is not to blame for this. This first business card from Demolizer sounds loud, direct, clear and sharp. The aggressive vocals and the noise level of the instruments balance each other out. Working together, they roll out the red carpet for a fine headbanging air guitar session, but unfortunately the cracking compositions are lacking for this. To illustrate it again with "Copenhagen Burning": its intro sets the stage excellently, but instead of an all-destroying blow, a very solid track follows, hectic solo included - nothing less, but also nothing more.

I like listening to thrash too much to give ambitious, carefree and energetic up-and-coming artists a bad review. My advice (which of course nobody really needs) would be to put a few catchy choruses on the next album. The true classics had choruses like "Time to run or fight, off the strike of the beast" or middle parts like "watch as flowers decay - on a cryptic life that died" which immediately captured the ear. If Demolizer manage to add one or two earworm parts to their next songs, nothing will stand in the way of a successful future. At the moment they haven't taken that chance yet.

Teutonic rage arrives in Copenhagen. - 79%

hells_unicorn, September 11th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Mighty Music

Whenever a discussion about the glory days of thrash metal comes up, Denmark is not often one of the countries to get much more than maybe a token mention. It’s understandable given the massive output from Germany and a smaller yet still respectable field of bands hailing from the U.K., but barring the obvious case of Artillery launching a series of formidable studio efforts from 1985 onward and maybe a few hardcore thrash nerds referencing the two albums put out by crossover trusties and Denmark’s answer to Wehrmacht Sliced Pimples, it was slim pickings outside of a small pond of obscure demos. But the tides and fortunes for the homeland of Mercyful Fate and Hamlet in the thrashing seas have been changing of late, with a number of solid acts raging out of the New Wave of Old School Thrash Metal such as Impalers, Battery, and Mental Coma fielding solid albums in recent years.

Amid this near 20 year renaissance of good old fashioned neck-ruining metal hailing from the birthplace of The Lego Group is a fierce thrash quartet dubbed Demolizer. Though two members of this fold cut their teeth in the fine art of riffing several years back under the name of Radtskaffen as a power trio with more of a 90s groove sound, they find themselves quite at home dabbling in faster and more intense territory. Their debut LP Thrashmageddon showcases a fold of musicians that has a penchant for more than a couple portmanteaus, namely a more extreme and aggressive form of thrashing that is fairly similar to the one often trotted out by Teutonic thrash mainstays Destruction and Necronomicon. It’s not quite a 100% copy of the sound of said bands, as they throw in a few technical and melodic moments more indicative of their forefather Artillery’s classic sound, but it’s difficult to miss the parallels between these songs and several heard on Metal Discharge and Inventor Of Evil.

While being an album that prefers to stay in the fast lane, there is a fair degree of buildup and development at play here that keeps one guessing. The opening anthem “Copenhagen Burning”, no doubt a nod to the scene in the band’s home town, opts for a slow and eerie sounding intro with a slight Middle Eastern vibe to it behind the guitar distortion before launching into a raging fit of riff-happy pandemonium. Though the general feel of this song has a clear mid-2000s Destruction template as its base, the garbled shouts and shrieks of front man Ben Radtleff and the fastest musical moments going on behind them also have a bit of a Frank Blackfire era of Sodom feel. Overall this song proves to be the most engaging and intricate offering to grace the album, providing a sort of varied introduction to what proves to be a reasonably varied, though largely aggression-based metallic excursion.

For the most part, the shorter the duration of the song, the more exaggerated the degree of high octane rage. Such blinding fits of venomous fury as “NTC” and the sub-minute mosh monster “Gore” end up blurring the line between the band’s professed style and something resembling the earliest incarnations of death metal, coming off as both highly dissonant harmonically speaking and also with a vocal display that comes off as over the top even when compared to Schmier and Angelripper. Things are slightly more nuanced on middle length crushers like “Bloodshot Eyes” and “Cancer In The Brain”, though they still spend a fair bit of time trying to break the speed of sound, while the somewhat deceptive “Lost In Torment” starts off in a dreary fit of balladry before kicking on the afterburners and ripping the listener’s face off. Overall, barring the longer and technical feel of the moderately fast “Built On Slavery” and the woeful slowness of ballad “Until The Day I Die”, this is a consistent stay at the thrash slaughterhouse.

It’s difficult to go wrong with an album like this if one is jonesing for the harsher side of the thrash metal coin. About the only thing that holds this back a bit is that they crammed a little too much into a relatively short album, resulting in songs that often find a really great idea but don’t hold onto it long enough to fully exploit it. Technically speaking, there is little to complain about between the frenetic riffing, varied mixture of melodic guitar bits and pummeling drum work, and flashy Frank Blackfire-inspired shredding (several solos on here sound like paraphrases of the genius that Persecution Mania exhibited every time the guitar took the lead), but it just feels like there should be a tad more staying power to these songs. That said, one could do a lot worse, and for playing largely in a style that has been imitated quite often since the late 80s, Demolizer definitely holds their own here.

Originally written for Sonic Perspectives (www.sonicperspectives.com)