I’ve had Awake the Riot, the sophomore album from German thrashers DUST BOLT for several weeks now, and would have reviewed it then were it not for a bunch of albums already in the pipeline. But this is my totally free week to listen to and review WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT, so as a result I’ve been cranking this one all night getting ready to share it with you all. I also interviewed guitarist/vocalist Lenny B. recently, so look for that soon as well. Let me start by saying that there’s really no new ground being broken here. But that’s OK because this record sounds like it could have come straight from a party in my old friend Mikey’s basement anywhere from 1986-1988. Hell, look at that cover art! Everything from the arrangements to the execution just reminds me of a much simpler and happier time, the band channeling their inner KREATOR and SLAYER, among others, across these twelve tracks.
As many of you know, I love big, sprawling epics in the vein of early METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN, so one of the first songs I was attracted to was “The Monotonous – Distant Scream”. At 7:14 it certainly didn’t feel that way because it really goes through a metamorphosis from the clean and soft intro to a dirty, meaty, mid-tempo chug that continues until roughly the 3:00 mark and then it’s off to the land of speed, riff and solo-wise. Opener “Living Hell” and “Soul Erazor” are all-out thrashers that scream early SLAYER, only with better vocals. I told you these guys were fucking great, didn’t I? “Beneath the Earth” has a little bit more to it than some of the other songs featuring a nice layered intro before the madness takes ahold and it takes a decidedly darker turn.
One thing about drummer Nico R. is that he is seemingly everywhere at once, especially with his fills and his overall attacks and patterns, making for some very entertaining listening to see what he’s gonna do next. This is really evident on “Agent Thrash” which was definitely a favorite as was “You Lost Sight” sprinkling in some punk with the overall thrashiness, even going so far as to include gang vocals on “Sight”. Another one that really had me wanting to wreck shop was “Eternal Waste”. There is something so primal in the drum beats and chugging riffs that makes me wanna howl at the moon and hurl shit off my roof with no thought to the consequences. Don’t worry, I won’t.
“Worlds Built to Deceive” is another strong one, but because of it being placed so far back in the tracklist I’m worried some people won’t fully appreciate it. This song should be more up front, I think. And I wasn’t too wild about closer “Future Shock”. It’s actually one of those long tunes that is very repetitive and gets a bit monotonous, but that’s really the only blemish on an otherwise very, very solid thrash metal record that I highly recommend checking out. DUST BOLT are very much the real deal, and on Awake the Riot they have proven themselves extremely worthy of taking up the thrash mantle. The album comes out on June 10 via Napalm Records so get yours!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Beneath the Earth”, “The Monotonous – Distant Scream”, “Agent Thrash”, “You Lost Sight”, “Eternal Waste”