(Axel Stormbreaker has rounded up some badass 2022 thrash for you today.)
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…”. Oh, enough with that crap already. Not that I bear any distaste for the Christmas spirit, or any celebration for the matter. We just deserve every day to be considered a holiday, if only for breathing the toxicity of life, whose tarnished beauty you gotta grab by the hair in every waking moment.
Only thing certain, if you’re looking for fun, you just gotta stop bitching about it and go ahead to make some yourself. Because, simply, if you won’t help yourself, no one else will even bother. So, to be a good Samaritan, I thought I should lend you a hand instead, in order to compile a playlist for your ultimate fun metal party. I present you 2022’s filthiest thrash metal singles; solely, the utterly obnoxious kind that makes you feel like a total badass.
Speedpussy – Motorpriest (digital single)
Yeah, the band’s called Speedpussy, and no, they ain’t from Nashville, just from Chicago, Illinois. After all, it’s a fair guess their point of choosing an outrageous name was to deliberately provoke all kinds of nauseating comments. Should I compare “Motorpriest” here to other thrashy bands, I’d say it’s got that good ol’ Motörhead fun we dig in Speedwolf, as well as the flesh-ripping ferocity we encounter in bands such as Hellripper and Trench Hell. The main difference is they prefer to invest in crystallized dynamics that only augment their rock & roll groove.
That being said, you don’t need to tell me you might still feel (a tiny bit) reluctant to chin up and go suggest them to your beer buddies. For reasons all too obvious to explain. But, rest assured, they’ll drop that funky grin the very moment they’ll hear how fast a dumb band called Speedpussy can roll, trash, spit, and, generally, tear apart their speakers’ “interior surroundings”. Success is guaranteed.
Goat Rider – Aokigahara (digital single)
Here’s another prestigious band from the exotic, yet infamous lands of Costa Rica! I dunno about you fellas, but were I a snobby rockstar prick, I’d feel the gravest shame upon finding out there are high school kiddos out there who play better than I ever will. Because Goat Rider‘s debut High Speed from Hell (besides being just excellent) infused a substantial dose from both the early Venom and Bathory days, straight into the raw crudeness of ’80s Japanese hardcore punk.
Of course, later on, they did explore other territories of the eastern punk culture. Either by deriving their inspiration from the late ’90s crust-punk era, or from the (relatively) mainstream side of ’10s punk rock. One may, in fact, claim here that the said process elevates 2022’s digital single “Aokigahara” as their most mature effort to date. But saying it that way sounds so phony, so let’s put down instead how it takes guts to look Japan’s Abigail straight in the eye, especially when zero fucks are given for trends and all sorts of outdated postures.
Witchnight – Trumpets of Revelation (digital single)
Argentina’s Witchnight digitally released “Trumpets of Revelation” in 2021, but since I heard it last year, I’ll call it a 2022 release instead. What we have here is: Awesome looking Hellhammer-worship band picture — check. Subsequent promising new album called Old Steel Breath on Witches Brew Records — check. Cult references in the Leather Nun(n) vein for the cover art alone — multi-check.
And while I haven’t listened to any of their 2022 album’s tracks (besides “Tyrannical Warlock”), “Trumpets of Revelation” alone captivates the essence of the very primaevality found in early Sodom, Destruction, and other such ancestors of the blackened thrash subgenre. We don’t need to simplify how it’s dusty aesthetics lack zero vitality, or even care to hold any energy back, as they sound as if racing like fucking madmen to an impending doom is all too certain. We’re talking about high octane metal here, so armed to the teeth, I’m rather reluctant to believe any of you goats out there won’t sense a compulsion to play it repeatedly.
Hellripper – The Nuckelavee (digital single)
We did mention Scotland’s Hellripper, didn’t we? I’m under the impression we did. But you weren’t informed that Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags is scheduled to be out the 17th of February (2023), by Candlelight Records. Or that they premiered its first single in 2022, which makes that track alone too eligible for a last-minute inclusion.
Any impressions made by “The Nuckelavee” indicate the upcoming album could turn out to be a shocker for the old-school fans of the extreme. As James McBain chose to derive equal portions of youthfulness, as much from playful thrashy riffs, as much from the epic expressiveness of Necrophobic’s mid/late era. The guitar work speaks for itself, as it’s all about calculated, elaborate constructs, while spilling zero bullshit in between the lines. Taken into additional account production values that are obsessively calibrated between the band’s thrash foundations and the remaining aspects of its character, we are in for an engaging treat bound to spin on our turntables for quite a long while.
Terrörhammer – At Dawn We Attack (premiere/digital single)
Serbia’s Terrörhammer has been featured before, specifically on NCS‘s Seen And Heard feature. And since the guys here know their shit all too well, you’ll excuse me for borrowing their own words for a description:
From their name alone, you can guess a few things about the music of these Serbian “Necro Speed Hooligans”, even if you haven’t heard them before. And you can make some more guesses based on the name of their new song “At Dawn We Attack” from the forthcoming album Gateways To Hades (more guesses).
I’m a big fan of the beefy bass and the thudding and clattering drums in this song; and equally so of the frenzied riffing and scorching vocal fury. The fretwork is fast — jittering and darting and blaring in a semblance of super-heated madness. Geared toward punching your adrenaline glands into action, the music is feral as hell, but damned catchy too. And the delirious soloing is so hellishly glorious. Feel free to scream “ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK!” right along with the demon vocalist.