One genre of metal I always have and always will love is thrash metal. From the riffs to the drums to the angry screamed vocals it has been nesting in my blood since 1987 and there is no cure. From the early days of METALLICA, MEGADETH, OVERKILL, and TESTAMENT, to today’s young guns like HAVOK and DUST BOLT the music is timeless when it’s done right. So with that in mind I present EXALTER from Bangladesh.
The band recently released Obituary For the Living through Transcending Obscurity Distribution which consists of three new songs and four from their Democrasodomy EP. Together these seven tracks make up one of the best old school thrash metal releases I’ve heard in a long time. The overall sound is like something us old guys would be spinning on our turntables back in ‘87 and that suits me just fine. But at the same time nothing sounds dated or stale, and each track is full of piss and vinegar.
Opener and one of the three new songs “Tortured Innocents” is something members of the old guard only wish they could write, it’s that damn good. The guitars and vocals of Tanim will cut you to the bone, while bassist Ani and drummer Afif pour salt in the wounds and set the very nerves on fire. “Surrounded By Evil” is the one Mini-Amps liked best and with good reason. It’s a head-pounder for sure. “Sacrificial Immolation” is as well, but there are some twists and turns that up the ante considerably.
When I first heard “Nuclear Punishment” I immediately thought to myself, “All new thrash bands better pay attention.” Because these guys are setting a remarkable standard. “Throat Cutters” is anchored by Afif’s rapid fire drumming and is one of those tunes that makes you want to throw a bottle through a window and then set the building on fire. There is a legitimate speed metal meets thrash meets punk vibe to “Thrash Resurgence” and the riffs slice and dice like Wolverine’s adamantium claws.
The disc ends with “White Phosphorous Shell” which is extremely heavy both musically and in lyrical content. It just punches over and over while at the same time making you think. I am so glad my good friend Kunal turned me on to EXALTER. And I am even more glad that Obituary For the Living is now in my collection.This is the best thrash record I have heard so far in 2016 and I’ll be shocked if something knocks it off its perch.. And if you’re a thrash metal fan it sure as shit needs to be in yours YESTERDAY.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM