June 15th, 2011
Release length: 14:08
Black Moor Website
First up on the split is Metalian from Montreal, Canada, contributing “Airborne Assassins”. The song has stronger sound and influence from the earliest days of more technical Thrash Metal like Annihilator, but still holding some melodic elements and atmosphere comparable to NWOBHM acts like Judas Priest. It makes for an enjoyable sound, especially thanks to the more raw quality which leaves the songs to come off as if lost in time. The faster pace gives the song a bit of an aggressive sound, though the chorus moves at a much slower pace with stronger clean singing then the rest of the song as well as some backing falsetto’s that sound great. The guitar solo to the song isn’t the most amazing, and honestly feels a little dull for this track, but given it’s slower nature it does work and doesn’t really hurt the song in any way.
Next is the track “Raise the Flag” by now Nova Scotia-based Sanktuary, and it’s another pretty strong track. The production quality here is greatly improved, though still has an eighties feel to it, which is something that is captured by each band, just portrayed differently through clarity. This song sounds more like it takes from bands similar to Megadeth with a NWOBHM atmosphere, though clearly more Thrash oriented. The guitar solo here is pretty enjoyable, and the overall faster pace of the song really makes it feel a little more aggressive, though comes off more as a stylish interpretation of the early eighties Thrash Metal sound. This leads to a pretty strong closing track with Black Moor‘s contribution, “Awaken the Dead”. The song feels like a mixture of Metallica-styled vocals and some harmonies against a more traditional early Thrash Metal sound. It’s an interesting song and there’s really nothing bad with it. The production quality does feel a little dirtier then “Raise the Flag” but not by much, still capturing the musical atmosphere and attitude of the sound. The rhaspy vocals have some good harmonizations going on with plenty of energetic moments to them and the music throughout the song that really drive it all home, and a guitar solo that’s pretty good here as well.
While none of the songs really grip the listener or incite him or her to randomly start moshing on the spot, the songs are still solid and well executed from each band. Basically what you get on this compilation is three enjoyable songs from various ends of the early Thrash spectrum. It’s interesting to hear these bands together and how much they vary, especially considering how similarly inspired by the roots of the style they truly are. While the tracks may not be the most impressive throwbacks to the early days, they do show some impressive signs of bands who have a firm grasp on the history of Thrash and what they intend to go out and accomplish with their material. More then one song each would have been nice for recording as well honesty, as it just feels like more of a teaser that doesn’t quite show the potential the band’s may or may not present, though Tundrastruck does intice the listener to at least keep these bands on his or her mind, keeping an eye out for more material by the groups. This collective of old-school Thrash Metal will definitely satisfy those who miss the glory days of the style, and is definitely something well worth checking out.
01. Metalian: Airborn Assassins – 4:08
02. Sanktuary: Raise the Flag – 4:37
03. Black Moor: Awaken the Dead – 5:23
|Overall Score: 8/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Red Tentacle PR.