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Lestregus Nosferatus > Lastregus Nosferatus > Reviews

Extreme vampire thrash - 60%

robotiq, May 25th, 2023

This is one for fans of extreme thrash. Lestregus Nosferatus sporadically recorded a few demos throughout the eighties and nineties but never gained much momentum. I presume they were a side-project rather than a 'proper' band. The lack of consistent recording schedule and the number of members passing through their ranks suggests a lack of internal cohesion. They have long been connected to a bigger Atlanta-based thrash band, Hallows Eve, with various members of that band joining them over the years. That said, the only member in common on this debut demo is guitarist Steve "Skullator" Shoemaker (who played on the first Hallows Eve album before joining Mike Browning in Incubus).

The music is good. This demo is full of tight, well rehearsed thrash with good riffs and a sense of supernatural goofiness. The easiest comparison in terms of riff and song structure is “Hell Awaits”-era Slayer, but I could also compare it with Possessed, Dark Angel, Kreator (“Pleasure to Kill”-era), and the aforementioned Hallows Eve. There is some punk/crossover in there too, such as on the shortest song ("Sin"), which reminds me of Cryptic Slaughter and the likes. There is enough chaos and unpredictability to keep things from sounding stale.

The song-writing varies. “Vlad Tepes” is great, besting what most American thrash bands were doing by 1988. The vocalist sometimes sounds like a snarlier, angrier Jeff Becerra, but he also uses an occasional higher pitched wail (which sounds awesome). "Messenger of the Bell" is good too, the middle of the song boasts one of those speedy transitions into a massive stomp that Kreator perfected. “When There's No More Room in Hell” might be a little too ambitious at twelve minutes long. Perhaps it could have been trimmed or recycled into two or three songs. It is a statement of intent nonetheless.

The production sucks. Everything sounds muffled, cheap and quiet. I have no problem with dirty lo-fi recordings in death and black metal, but thrash is a different beast that benefits from definition and clarity. The band’s ability and enthusiasm is evident, but this is one of those recordings that begs for a proper studio. Unfortunately, the band never made it to that level. Subsequent demos brought more elements of death and black metal into the sound, but the thrashers will like this one best. Lestregus Nosferatus had massive potential as an extreme thrash band.