Friday, December 2, 2016

Teleport – Ascendance

Sci-fi is all the rage in thrash and death metal right now. It seems every new band popping up is building from the groundwork laid by Vektor in thrash, and numerous dissonant death metal groups. Few of these bands, however, toe the line between thrash and death metal successfully, often opting for one or the other (Ripper coming to mind as an example of a band that can play both sides). Perhaps the band that does both sounds most successfully is Slovenia’s Teleport on their new EP “Ascendance”.

Unsurprisingly, this EP is filled with head-turning riffs that are use jarring rhythms and inharmonious intervals to create truly weird music. Teleport switches between channeling bands like Immolation and Phobocosm to their thrashier counterparts in Voivod and Coroner. And speaking of the latter band, they are the most obvious comparison for Teleport. The vocals on “Ascendance” are remarkably similar to Coroner’s Ron Royce in part because of their tone, but also because they are slightly hidden in the mix, resulting in a shrouded, mysterious atmosphere all throughout the record. While nobody has ever successfully emulated Coroner, Teleport has a number of moments that come close. 

Though this album plays both sides of the fence, “Ascendance” definitely leans more towards thrash metal than death. Many riffs have a charging pace, with more dissonant chords sprinkled in (ala Vektor). The most impressive example of the band’s riffing abilities comes in the middle of “Realm of Solar Darkness”, when Teleport hits light speed and unleashes some of the fastest riffs of the EP. With that said, there isn’t a weak moment on this EP. While the sci-fi technical thrash/death metal styles are certainly being overdone these days, Teleport stands out as one of the few truly unique groups. Even if you don’t like this style all that much, the strong links to Coroner’s music make “Ascendance” a worthy listen!

Be sure to check out and like Teleport on Facebook!

Highlights
"The Monolith"
"Realm of Solar Darkness"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%. 

Written by Scott

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fabulous Desaster – Hang ‘em High

Hang ‘em High” is the first record for German thrash metal band Fabulous Desaster. Taking obvious influence from Exodus, this is one band that definitely worships old-school thrash. This means that the music is a little bit predictable, but the end result is an exciting, inspired record. The most obvious Exodus influence comes from the band’s vocalist, who has one of the more animated thrash metal voices of recent years. Much like Zetro, he relies on an aggressive snarl that occasionally goes into more extreme territory.

The more subtle nod to Exodus’ music is that fact that nearly every second of “Hang ‘em High” sounds like the band is about to jump out of their skin. This album is beyond energetic, and consistently maintains a furious pace. Fabulous Desaster rarely slows down, making this a fairly quick 40-minute listen (especially since the band’s singer is constantly spitting out lyrics). Though I want to criticize the band for having a slightly weak guitar tone with not enough low-end, it fits their spastic sound. Solos are plentiful all throughout the album, and range from being semi-coherent to getting much wilder. “Thrash Bang Wallop” and "Customized" even have room for a bass solo. 

Like many modern thrash bands, Fabulous Desaster’s weakness is that their music tends to blend together. It isn’t a lack of variety that hurts, but simply that more memorable songwriting is needed. However, the band’s overall sound is distinctive enough to make them more than just another thrash band in the crowd. Few of their peers have as much enthusiasm, and an even smaller number have a vocalist who is anywhere near as unique as Fabulous Desaster’s singer. The band ticks all of the other boxes needed for enjoyable modern thrash: tight musicianship, good production (though “Hang ‘em High” isn’t quite as processed or perfect as a lot of other releases), plenty of gang vocals, and an endless supply of riffs. Some might be quick to write them off as another Exoclone, and they are undoubtedly very similar, but Fabulous Desaster’s music is already most suited to those who just can’t get enough thrash metal!

Be sure to check out and like Fabulous Desaster on Facebook!

Highlights
"Death Is Loud"
"R.I.P. (Rest in POWER)"
"Thrash Metal Symphony"

Final Rating
3.8/5 or 76%. 

Written by Scott