Thrash Metal is alive and well in 2014. The old guard of OVERKILL and EXODUS just put out career-defining albums, and some of the young guns like HAVOK and WARBRINGER have been levelling stages for about a decade now, sometimes on the same bill with their influences. And then you have some REALLY newer bands like DUST BOLT who just blew me away the first time I heard them. Well now you can add Galicia, Spain’s own STRIKEBACK to this ever-growing list. This is thrash with a capital T! I’m not sure which of my metalhead friends on Facebook posted one of their songs later one night, but as soon as I heard it I made it my mission to get their self-released debut Share Your Hate, which is available now.
I gotta tell ya, if this thing was done independently, they certainly didn’t skimp on the sound quality and production. Everything is tight and on point with these guys. The riffs are biting and totally reminiscent of all those killer bands we grew up with. Vocalist Liber has the perfect voice for this music and the duo of Aleks and Rafa on guitar are indeed a force to be reckoned with. “Revolution” is the perfect example of what STRIKEBACK does well. And that is give you slamming, pit-inducing tunes that make you go hard. “Share Your Hate” has a nice chug-chug feel to it while bassist Pilar and drummer Sebas make sure they are loud and proud in the swirling chaos of things. We’re starting to see more bands paying attention to the rhythm section in the mix, thankfully.
The full-on attack of “Kill or Be Killed” is a definite highlight of the record, again largely to the bass and drums thumping along with that rapid-fire riffage and Liber’s vocal attack. And the following track “Supremacy” will have you swear you’re living in the Bay Area and it’s 1989 all over again. What the hell just happened? I dunno man, just roll with it! Once again, this is Liber’s song, and don’t you forget it, as it’s arguably his best performance on the album. And don’t look now but there’s Pilar throwing his bottom end around again!
The record opens quietly for a bit before “Breathing Fire” comes in like the proverbial dragon doing just that, slowly and deliberately, then blasting you furiously for the rest of the song. “Strike Back” is very TESTAMENT-like and I can totally see Chuck Billy singing this one. Actually, this punch is sorely missing from parts of their last record, but anyways, it’s a great one. We move onto “Bringers of Destruction” a fitting name because this one just fucking jams it down your throat till you acknowledge your defeat at the hands of these Spaniards. Closer “This is Thrash” is a lesson in how to write thrash metal in 2014 while adding just the right amount of NWOBHM, Sebas’ drumming making it another album favorite.
Eight songs of pure, unadulterated, no-bullshit metal. They get in, get out, and leave you wanting more. Get to know STRIKEBACK, ladies and gentlemen. If Share Your Hate is any indication of things to come then this band is gonna be around for a long time.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “This Is Thrash”, “Kill or Be Killed”, “Supremacy”, “Bringers of Destruction”, “Strike Back”