The slaughter of all faiths… and the law… and greedy cash-hoarders. Open vats of radioactive slime. Flame-throwing tank attacks and skulls burned clean to the bone… and a tooled-up mutant coming for you next. The artwork by Andrei Bouzikov (Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch, Toxic Holocaust, etc.) sends a message, and the album title reaffirms it: Annihilate… Then Ask!
This is the debut album by Spain’s Holycide, a band originally conceived in 2004 by Avulsed’s Dave Rotten that eventually came to include guitarist Miguel Bárez, bass-player Dani Fernández, drummer Jorge Utrera, and guitarist Salva Esteban. They released their first EP, Toxic Mutation, through Xtreem Music in 2015, and now comes this new full-length with the war-torn artwork. Does the music live up to the carnage emblazoned on the cover? In a word, hell yes.
Okay, that was two words. Here are some more words, as an introduction to the album stream that we’re helping spread around today.
The album includes nine original tracks, plus a cover of the song “Losers” by Détente (from their 1986 album Recognize No Authority). Broadly speaking, the music is thrash — broadly speaking, because like every other fundamental genre of metal, “thrash” no longer means any one consistent monolithic sound (and really never did).
Holycide traffic in speed, of course, but it’s often the speed of rockets and bats rather than the speed of, say, a chopper on an open highway. It blazes, and the speed isn’t the only thing that blazes. The soloing is incinerating, too — frenetic, deranged, and fret-melting (and yet it’s silky smooth in its fluidity).
And true to the cover art, the music also has a kind of maniacal destructiveness as its core quality. It rampages and rips, with a kind of carnivorous aggressiveness that separates it from what you might think of as beer-swilling party thrash. A lot of that kill-and-destroy atmosphere is down to Dave Rotten’s feral, ferocious, lycanthropic vocal assault, honed in the demonic depths of death metal. Even the gang shouts have a murderous edge to them.
Thrash depends, more than anything else, on the quality of the riffs. The riffs here are electrifying. They spear the reptile part of the brain and then start injecting the juice in megawatt doses. The hard punch of the rhythm section amps the energy even higher.
So… enjoy the stream below, and prepare to be destroyed.
Annihilate… Then Ask! is being released by Xtreem Music on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette, as well as digitally. You can download the album here:
To order a physical edition, check this location: