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Piranha - First Kill - 93%

Edmund Sackbauer, October 8th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, oZmosis records (Digipak)

Forged with typical Swiss precision Piranha are a young and hungry band finally laying waste with their full length debut “First Kill”. The band logo, the song titles, the cover – on the surface every detail screams “old school”. Once the play button has been hit this initial impression is confirmed with no doubts left. While maybe not the most innovative record this album is an awesome slab of energetic and heavy music offering a kick-ass and breath-taking rollercoaster ride.

Face melting riffs and lightning fast drumming delivered with precision and enthusiasm is what is on offer here. The main chops do not deviate too much from what some of the big heroes have already presented to the metal maniacs of the eighties and nineties. That being said Piranha implemented a few small twists and subtle variations to the familiar staccato chords by going up or down a keynote or shortly touching a trademark riff of a song again at another occasion. They have also thrown in some power metal and NWOBHM patterns into the mix to make sure to not be designated as pure copy cats.

The crunchy heaviness of the rhythm guitar is pitched against the fantastic harmonies of the lead guitar lending the whole affair a very uplifting atmosphere. The guys have a great feeling for hooky riffs and catchy refrains making each song as much fun to listen to as the one before. The songwriting is straight and on point without coming across as being too simple or boring. There are some really cool soloing sections but those parts are never overdone and they have been perfectly embedded into the flow of the respective songs. The same can be said about the drumming which serves as backbone to the music without being too chaotic or hectic at any point in time.

Singer André has the perfect voice for this kind of sound. Switching between an angry mid ranged snarling tone and a few high screaming and growling parts he delivers with a lot of passion and intensity. His pronunciation is actually pretty good compared to some other singers who are not native English speakers as well. The lyrics might be a bit bland in places but that somehow adds to the traditional feeling of the album. André is supported by his band mates who are delivering some nice backing vocals and gang shout choruses.

The production is raw and punchy without sounding too sterile. The mix is clear giving each instrument (even the bass) enough room to breathe. The overall sound is a nice mixture of using modern possibilities without sacrificing the old school vibes inherent in that kind of music.

“First Kill” is a fantastic piece of pure thrash metal played with a lot of heart and soul. This album is an easy recommendation for fans of that style and I look forward to checking out new stuff from the guys.