Torn Fabriks, Mind Consumption (Firecum Records 2021)

Thrash trio Torn Fabriks breaks through with a fresh EP clocking music for mass consumption.

From Lisbon, Portugal, the band is Jorge Matos (guitar), Ricardo Santos (bass, vocals), and Paulo Soares (drums). They appear to have sprung out of the ether, coming together from the bands Sindicato da Terra, Morbid Death, and Rageful. They play a familiar brand of traditional thrash, in many ways on the edge of what we used to call speed metal. Fast and straight-forward, it is music for the masses.

The EP has six songs and it runs a bit over twenty minutes. There is noticeable filler throughout but there are also healthy portions of tasty shreds which are worth the wait. You can hear social and political commentary in the lyrics, but the bigger draw is the catchy music and that is what fans will be drawn to and remember, I think.

Mind Consumption is out now. The record label has a CD version, and there are a few single tracks available at Bandcamp – the entire EP will probably be up there soon. It is worth a little bit of searching.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://tornfabriks.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/TornFabriks/

Firecum Records, https://www.firecum.com/product-page/cum-039-torn-fabriks-torn-fabriks-cd

Torn Fabriks, Mind Consumption (Firecum Records 2021)

Wreck-Defy, Powers That Be (Punishment 18 Records 2020)

Canadian Thrash super crushers unload their third album on the unsuspecting cosmos with devastating effect.

If you don’t know about Wreck-Defy, it is time to catch up. Peopled by Aaron Randall (vocals), Matt Hanchuck (guitars), Greg Christian (bass), and Dave O’Neal (drums), this band is a juggernaut. There are a lot of great heavy music created in Canada that flies under the radar in the US – don’t let that happen here.

Fragments Of Anger was the opening volley in 2017, followed by Remnants of Pain two years later. This music laid the groundwork for the new album, which is my favorite so far. Loaded with inventive riffs and lashing lead breaks, Powers That Be has staying power.

There are nine songs and an outro piece, all starting with the ripper, “Beyond H8.” A catchy guitar flips the switch and then the roiling speed kicks in. An innuendo here, an homage there, and blistering guitars all around. The title track follows up on the opening aggression, settling in for the long haul with steady determination. Every track is a demonstration and a display of technical acumen and creative resourcefulness. Choosing favorites isn’t easy, but I am going with “Space Urchin” for its blatant disregard of the seen world and “Scumlord” for exactly the opposite reason. The themes and stories are different from one song to the next, but the Thrash lives in every corner (except for the last track, which is a melancholy wave goodbye). No beats are missed here – high marks all around.

The digital is out, and there is vinyl to be had as well. Links below. If you are making a 2020 Thrash list, this album better be on it. Highly recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://wreck-defy.bandcamp.com/album/powers-that-be

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Underground4560/

Punishment 18 Records, http://www.punishment18records.com/

SubLevel Records, https://sublevelrecords.bandcamp.com/

Doc Gator Records, https://www.docgator.com/

Wreck-Defy, Powers That Be (Punishment 18 Records 2020)

High Command, Everlasting Torment review (Southern Lord 2020)

Following up on the success of last year’s Beyond The Wall Of Desolation, High Command release new music.

In the frozen expanse of six long winter months every year in Massachusetts, idle hands led to the creation of heavy music. Conjured and fostered by Ryan McArdle (guitar) and Kevin Fitzgerald (vocals), the music created by the band is labeled crossover frequently for its combination of heavy influences and elements from speed to torn metal.

The EP is two songs, and the motivation for the music is summarized as follows in released materials. “In an age of mystery where knowledge is shared through steel, Everlasting Torment offers two fables of esoteric savagery. Gaze upon the sanguine dawn where ancient lands were carved by ice and stone. Scream for mercy as you bear witness to an arcane god’s unquenchable thirst for bloodshed. Ride the frost winds north to the fantastical lands of Secartha. See where the madness began…” That sets a mood, doesn’t it. Let’s listen to it.

“Everlasting Torment” is first up, walking into the room with a meaty riff and an eastern mysticism we used to hear occasionally in Dio-related music. A minute in, however, the speed kicks the table over and it is all adrenaline. “Sword of Wisdom” is even eerier up front, with threatening aural effects and again a dark and menacing marching heathen army intro. When the switch flips this time, the rolling thunder is completely different and has a surging insistence that is further plead by argumentative percussion. The lead guitar work is searching and whimsical, breathing a jet of fire on the sizzling embers. The song goes out wicked, and you can tell there is more to the story. I can’t wait to hear what comes next.

Everlasting Torment is out on Friday, December 4th from Southern Lord at the usual places for downloads. Triple B Records is releasing a vinyl version in a few weeks. Recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://highcommand.bandcamp.com

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/HighCommand

Label, http://www.southernlord.com

Label Bandcamp, http://southernlord.bandcamp.com

Label Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SLadmin

High Command, Everlasting Torment review (Southern Lord 2020)

Review of Ifreann, Desecration (Independent, 2020)

Thrash is alive and well, and one band that shows this truth is Ifreann. Their newest release, Desecration, is available now.

The band originally came together about five years ago in Scotland. There have been a number of lineup changes resulting in the current five members, Ian Gil (vocal), Ben Sanders (guitar), Alina Levanova (guitar), Jacob Nicolson (bass), and Euan Henderson (drums). Judging by the 2020 music, these musicians sound like they’ve been playing together for a decade so the adjustments have been good moves.

After releasing a couple of singles in 2017 (“In Satan We Trust” / “Poisoned Minds”), the band’s first EP, Unearthly, came out in 2019. The four songs on that album are solid thrash work, and the opener, “Mirror of Sanity,” is in the regular Spotify rotation for me. It is a hard-hitter, and the thrash sensibilities of the writing are complemented by clever innovations in rhythm and bridge.

Now we have Desecration, which gives us four new songs. Track 1: “Of Blade and Black Wing” is straight ahead thrash. It is reminiscent of the music on the Unearthly EP in that regard. Very solid and memorable. “Raised In Hate” follows and has a more medieval feel to it, with a rolling crunch, sing-a-long crowd bark opportunities, and a Primus-inspired bass line up front. The main lead break is on the symphonic side, with a technicalist wiggle on the back and the return of that amazing bass line right after. Great composition. Next up, “Messiah,” which is very heavy and harsh, with a cognitive seriousness that presses on your throat. “Crushed By Tyranny” is the closer, and a fitting one with its message. The music is a swirling storm of guitars in the middle surrounded by a staccato rhythm fortress, front and back. Desecration overall is a little broader musically than the earlier releases and at the same time it maintains the band’s signature sound.

Ifreann has a few scheduled live dates in the UK coming up in June so let’s hope things have returned to a somewhat normal pace by then. The new EP, the Unearthly EP, and the original singles are all on Spotify, and you can get the EPs at Bandcamp and other streaming services, too. Go get you some. This thrash’ll get your blood flowing. Recommended.

Links.

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/IFREANN.THRASH/

Bandcamp, https://ifreannmetal.bandcamp.com/

Review of Ifreann, Desecration (Independent, 2020)