Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Turns up the force. - 85%

Diamhea, August 26th, 2015

My familiarity with this project is courtesy of Sven Fischer, whose tenure with Rage during the '90s made me a fan, since his riffs held together some of the band's greatest records in their (arguably) most underrated era. Pyracanda as a project is also a red-headed stepchild, adopting something along the lines of a speed/thrash jaunt as opposed to the more ballistic, begrimed attitude of Kreator, Sodom and the usual suspects of the period. The most apt descriptive term I can summon to describe this German five-piece is "tight." Fischer and Dennis Vaupel generate some of the better skittering, terse rhythm configurations that sound like early Testament meets something more abstruse like Znöwhite or Metal Church. A pretty endearing and engaging mix, with only obscurity dampening its unerring impact.

Imposing correlations aside, Two Sides of a Coin is a downright fun record in the sense that the band never sacrifices melodic appeal and/or earworm vocal arrangements for belligerent posturing. Not to downplay the visceral tendency of the riffs themselves, but to me, the vocals are the primary appeal here. Nefen is simply all over this thing, espousing manic rants alongside a more polished cleaner timbre; all the while managing to touch on most intervals in between. The latter half of the record manages to hurl more than a few curveballs, not limited to "Dreamworld (Goodbye Mary Ann)," which sounds like a pseudo-singalong companion piece to Artillery's "Don't Believe." In fact, Two Sides of a Coin sounds eerily reminiscent of By Inheritance at many points, which alone should give it a high level of credence.

With Nefen's echoing grit manning the ship, guitars work up and down the aforementioned thrash/speed intersection with above-average results. The band rarely slows down enough to work up a good mosh, but this matters little when the quality retains such admirable consistency. There is also an abundance of gang shouts, which are incorporated into the songs' existing framework exceptionally well, because as mentioned above, the vocal lines are quite competently arranged. The lyrics are more laugh out loud funny than memorable, but it works fairly well considering the upbeat and unhinged aesthetic being presented here. Standouts are without a doubt "Top Gun" and "Rigor Mortis," while some of the longer tracks on the B side play up that more developed, Artillery-esque slant I cited earlier. The production values are also startlingly appropriate, with Gehenzig's kit popping off the cuff with praiseworthy accuracy. The guitar tone itself is quite snappy and direct, befitting of the taut and rigid riffing patterns employed throughout.

Two Sides of a Coin just totally kills, and finds itself among esteemed-enough company enough to be called a forgotten classic. While the undeniable talent of at least one of these musicians went on to decent success with both Rage and the pop band Sub7even, Pyracanda as a project sort of wallowed in thrash purgatory like so many other acts, eventually changing moniker to Ilex and managing one more record before calling it a day in the mid '90s. Regardless of that, and its inferior direct successor Thorns, Two Sides of a Coin is a thrash record that deserves to be heard, if only for its enchanting adherence to everything sans the kitchen sink. A barrel of fun, to be sure.