Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Violblast - Theater Of Despair


Labels: Hostlie Media
Formats: CD/Digital
Release Date: 11 Jan 2019

Tracklist:

1. Trivialization Of Murder
2. Theater Of Despair
3. New Orphans Elegy
4. Martyrs Without A Cause
5. Secret Reality
6. The Shadow No Longer Rests
7. Prevail
8. Broken Scepter
9. Painless
10. Scopaesthesic

There's some serious thrash metal stirrings going on in Europe right now. From Portugal's Toxik Attack, whom I featured recently, thrash has found it's way across the border into Spain and into the laps of Violblast. Okay, so they've been peddling their wares since 2012 (initially under the name Betrayer) but 2019 could be their year, thanks to their second full-length "Theater Of Depair", which was released by UK label Hostile Media in early January. 

Violblast’s thrash is technical and has a lot in common with that of their Italian comrades. Trivialization Of Murder also borrows from UK bands like Onslaught, especially with it’s mid-paced delivery during the verses and the semi-audible vocals. The lead-guitar work is something all-together more skin shredding though. The title-track is a lot more savage than the album opener, with blasting drums making their presence heard amongst the confidently played thrash. Confidence is one of the obvious plus points here for sure. 

At times their riffing is more akin to war metal; however, they’re certainly more approachable and songs like New Orphans Elegy exhibit both sides of their sound, as well as some great modern touches too. Another European influence that looms large on this release is German teutonic thrash. The kind that Destruction and Kreator are famous for and you can here it during the brutality of Martyrs Without A Curse. There’s no let up during Secret Reality either, though the melody that Violblast injects into it save it from being a pure straight-ahead bang-a-thon (not that it isn’t heavy).

The second half of the album starts with breakdown-like guitar riffs on The Shadow No Longer Rests, which is amongst the most modern sounding songs on “Theater Of Despair”. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, as it serves as a great song on its own terms and proves that Violblast are more than worthy song-writers. There’s still plenty of time to sit back and appreciate their craft and Prevail is an apt song in which to do it, as it’s where they truly prevail (no pun intended, really!). They may only be two albums into their career at this point, but you wouldn’t know it on this showing. 

When Violblast hit the loud pedal, they take no prisoners. Broken Scepter is filled with urgency and quality musicianship that’ll stop you in your tracks. It doesn’t stop there either, as Painless is not only the quickest song on “Theater Of Despair” but it’s also the most vicious and is over before you know it. I guess that’a one way to keep the momentum going! Album closer Scopaesthesic begins with a meaty mid-paced (almost doom-like) intro but morphs back into a thrashing assault shortly afterwards. It’s a great way to end a very strong album. Violblast is definitely another name to add to your essential band list. They’ve certainly won me over!

You can stream and download "Theater Of Despair" via Violblast's Bandcamp page below:-



CD copies are available from their store here - https://violblast.bigcartel.com and from Hostile Media here - https://hostilemedia.bandcamp.com/merch.

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