Despite not being huge on the global thrash radar, the Greek thrash scene has been consistently strong with numerous bands following in the footsteps of their German/American musical inspirations. Now a new band, Biotoxic Warfare, have thrown their hats into the ring, and after just two years are due to release their debut album. Could Lobotomized be what it takes to shove Biotoxic Warfare into the global thrash metal market?
It’s hard to be a thrash band and not have some similarities to the bands that broke through in the 80s. Whether on purpose as a homage or accident, the opening to the album had me racing away to listen to Slayer’s Criminally Insane. Not that it’s a bad thing, Criminally Insane is an excellent song and it wet my appetite for a dose of thrash.
Returning to Lobotomized, Biotoxic Warfare’s heavy European thrash influence in the music is obvious from the offset. The more aggressive riffing on display is more at home on a Kreator release than an American style album, while the vocals are lower and angrier, again more like the German thrash scene as opposed to the higher US style.
It’s not a cheery record by any means, there’s no hint of a Municipal Waste style party song, nor the fun lyrics of Gama Bomb. It’s small wonder though, as the lyrical content doesn’t particularly lend itself to partying. To quote the band “Lyrically the album opposes strictly to any religious fanatics and cults who use their lies to control every human being with ambitions to reign upon arrogance and false reality created by religions worldwide since the dawn of time.”
I know metal band vs religion isn’t exactly the most unique of concepts, but I tend to grant exception under certain circumstances. Considering Biotoxic Warfare come from a country where blasphemy laws still exist (though obviously with far less dire consequences than some other countries), you can understand why they want to rally against religion a bit more than a teenager at home in the middle of England, whose main foe would be getting sent to bed without dinner.
The production is a big surprise from a debut album, the riffs sound meaty while the drums properly thump. I know there are some that miss the raw 80s sound, but in my opinion, when producers started cranking up the low end in thrash releases, the sound became a whole new kind of heavy. This heavy sound is evident here, and combined with the furious musicianship and angry lyrics, the overall sound of Lobotomized is exactly what a fan of Euro thrash wants.
A key bit of praise I should throw in is that there is little to no recycled Metallica riffs, which is always welcome. I love Metallica but if one more modern thrash band rips off the Blackened riff, Lars is going to have to start suing folk.
With just eight tracks clocking in at around forty minutes, Lobotomized doesn’t overstay its welcome, nor does it go on long enough to require an irritating thrash ballad so that the listener can rest their weary ears. Instead we get eight shots of pure aggression, and sometimes that’s all you want from a record. No pretention, no over the top effects, just pure and simple thrash.
Similar to what we said in our recent Battle Beast review, the band aren’t really treading on new ground. This is their debut album though, and if their debut is this strong, just think what their third album will be like once they’ve properly found themselves.
At the end of the day, it’s not an album that’s going to convert people to the genre, but if you’re a thrash fan, you’ll more than likely be all over this. Sounds good on speakers, sounds great in headphones and live you’ll probably not really notice as you’ll be busy in the pit.
Lobotomized will be released on the 19th January via Slaney Records, for more, visit the band on Facebook