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With the current 21st century resurgence of thrash metal's new found popularity in a younger generation of music fan inescapably ubiquitous within the scene, aided by bands like Trivium and their huge success, the timing is perfect for new Earache compilation 'Thrashing Like A Maniac'. Featuring 16 tracks from Earache bands, other labels and unsigned acts, the CD serves as a veritable opportunity for discovery of up-and-coming talent for both the thrash connoisseur and younger fans of the genre alike. Press materials state that the involved bands' "combined MySpace plays total over half a million" - it is perhaps indicative that thrash is once again set to become metal's hegemonic subgenre. Opening track is the debut appearance of new Earache signing Bonded By Blood with 'Immortal Life', loaded with palm muted guitar riffs and impressive leads, which aptly sets the tone for the other 15 songs, each of these also infused with thrash metal's classic traits. In fact, there lies the only weakness of such a compilation - with bands pertaining to a specific genre and its associated idioms, originality is all too often sacrificed in their affiliation with the genre. In other words, if you don't like thrash metal, then the compilation will undoubtedly bore with its stylistic repetitions between most of the songs. On the other hand, 'Thrashing Like A Maniac' contains a plethora of great tracks full of dextrous playing and skilled musicianship that comes highly recommended to every thrash fan, young and old. A highlight of the release is 'Corrosion' by Sweden's female fronted Decadence, featuring the guttural delivery of Metallic Kitty's growled vocals a la Angela Gossow and mixes a retro thrash vibe with more contemporary sounding metal elements in a refreshingly progressive fusion. Also impressive is 'Resistance is Futile' by Nottingham based unsigned band Deadfall, with its unashamedly retro influences executed in a technically precise pastiche, and interposed with passages of mid tempo groove thrash. Although not included with the promo copy sent for review, 'Thrashing Like A Maniac' apparently also comes with a free 24 page thrash fanzine 'Speed Merchants' which includes interviews with all of the compilation's bands. Additional to the standard CD edition, 'Thrashing Like A Maniac' is also being released on orange vinyl (limited to 200 copies) and regular black vinyl (limited to 800) which is apposite for the retro nature of the music contained thereon. Overall, an essential purchase for the thrash enthusiast.
Compilation Album
Review by Mark Holmes
21st Jan 2008
1) Bonded By Blood - Immortal Life; 2) Evile - Thrasher; 3) Municipal Waste - The Art of Partying; 4) Dekapitator - Deathstrike Command; 5) Fueled By Fire - Massive Execution; 6) Decadence - Corrosion; 7) Warbringer - Total War; 8) SSS - Overload; 9) Gama Bomb - Zombi Brew; 10) Merciless Death - Exumer; 11) Deadfall - Resistance is Futile; 12) Lazarus - Last Breath; 13) Toxic Holocaust - War is Hell; 14) Mutant - Psycho Therapy; 15) Violator - Atomic Nightmare; 16) Send More Paramedics - Twilight of the Flies
"...a veritable opportunity for discovery of up-and-coming talent for both the thrash connoisseur and younger fans of the genre alike."