|Black Metal, Thrash Metal
January 14th, 2015
Release length: 20:12
First of all, Black Thrash Bastards is a strictly analog recording slapped onto compact disc. There’s no denying this was recorded on a tape medium in a manner reminiscent of early d.i.y. demo tapes from the eighties of recording set in a practice room, but a little more refined through modern day technology that automatically reduced the amount of noise in the background. The proof of all this lies towards the end of the release. Cracks, pops, and what sounds like general tape damage come through the audio on “Black Thrash Bastards” and “Satanic Whispers”, confirming Eternal Armageddon definitely take the underground tape trading approach with this one, not to mention the white noise hiss in the gaps between tracks.
Audio quality out of the way, Black Thrash Bastards is a relatively short recording that boasts some fairly standard, yet well executed cuts for the Black/Thrash genre. The loud hum of the bass chords stand out nicely in this raw mix, outweighing the dulled distortion of the guitars, especially towards the end of the gloomy instrumental piece “Darkness Shalt Reign (Intro)”. It’s a nice set-up, but what follows on “Hate Reincarnated” presents a sharper side to the band backed by slightly distant rasps in the vocals and fantastic drumming. Since the group is only a three-piece now, the guitar solos are a bit vacant, but given how short this one is you won’t really pay any mind to that. “Satanic Whispers”, however, is a much slower, groove heavy piece that comes off a bit ritualistic, more so in the chorus than the chugging main verses that are fairly sinister for what they are. You can even pick up on some of the group’s regional roots in the guitars approaching three minutes in. That is if you can look past the static jolts from recording on, or transferred from what sounds like a damaged tape, which are so loud and sudden they not only make you jump from the dull tickle to your ear drums.
There is a cover of Sodom‘s “Blasphemer”, which greatly takes advantage of the raw audio quality, not to mention even sounds a little louder. It’s clear Eternal Armageddon is having a blast playing something from one of the more obvious influences of their sound this go around, especially when listening to the title track “Black Thrash Bastards”. It’s a far more aggressive piece with plenty of catchy Black Metal grooves amid some furious Thrash Metal input, and even a hint of Crossover approaching the three minute mark. The main issue is that, by that time, the song could have easily ended, and probably should have. There is a lengthy build up to the guitar solo about four-and-a-half minutes in, only to pick up speed heading into another bout with the chorus once more. While it isn’t poorly executed by any means, it definitely feels like the band was trying to be a little more on the epic side, adding some unnecessary fat when it should have been trimmed and allowed to end where it felt natural.
From sounding like a practice room cassette deck recording (which it more likely was) to paying homage to bands like Venom and Sodom, Black Thrash Bastards is a love letter to the first wave Black Metal groups in almost every way possible. The problem is that it seems to stick a bit too close to those initial designs, rarely straying from the overly beaten path to forge a name or sound for themselves. Not counting the decent gloomy introduction, Eternal Armageddon present three compositions that, aside padding the title track out a bit too much at the end, are pretty good overall, though nothing truly unique. If anything, it screams of a newly formed band (or in this case reformed) that still has some growing pains ahead of them. After some more exploration and refinement, there’s no doubt Eternal Armageddon will stand a stronger, more refined group. As for now, Black Thrash Bastards is a raw display of the band’s intended direction, and one fans of the genre can appreciate.
01. Darkness Shat Reign (Intro) – 2:45
02. Hate Reincarnated – 3:32
03. Black Thrash Bastards – 6:05
04. Satanic Whispers – 4:55
05. Blasphemer (Sodom cover) – 2:56
|Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10