Sometimes you read something about a band what makes you very curious. I read
some nice words in a magazine about the new album of U.K. based thrash combo
Reign of Fury. In 2012 the band released 'World Detonation', a good album, but
somehow it didn't impress me so much that I was overwhelmed by it back then.
Curious as I am, I listened to that album once again and I must admit that it is
a nice record, but it doesn't have the same class yet as 'Death Be Thy Shepherd'.
Almost everything on this new album has improved. The album sounds better, the
songs are more interesting, the guitar melodies a little less Iron Maiden like
and also singer Bison Steed has developed his singing. Imagine a James Hetfield that
can really sing and you have an idea of what to expect from Bison. He even
places a grunt on occasion.
album starts with an over 9 minute track, that doesn't bore me at any moment. There
are not a lot of thrash bands that can write such a long track without losing my
attention at all. Sure you hear riffs reminding of the big U.S. thrash bands in
the eighties like Metallica and Testament, but when halfway twin guitars
and a solo passes by in Dragonforce style they got me convinced that this is the
new thrash hope for the U.K., Evile and Sylosis have to watch out for them!
Critics will say for sure that some songs have a lot in common with Metallica in
their 'Ride' and 'Master' period, but come on, Metallica hasn't written songs
like Reign of Fury does on this album since then. If Lars hears a ballad like
"All Is Lost" or the closing title track he wished it would be his...
Besides some really heavy riffing and the gang shoutings, the melodic and fast
guitar soli are another big advantage, John Priestley and Ed Fury Westlake are
excellent musicians and all is completed by the tight rhytmn section of Paul
Bielby (bass) and Magic Dave on drums. "Gates of Sanity" is a thrash granate
with riffs in Slayer mode, but due to the singing style of Bison and the melodic
parts never sounds like a copy. Another highlight for me is "The Love of a
Dying God". At the beginning the combi of the drumming and the guitar riff
sounds a bit against the grain, but it sounds great and after that it turns out
into a mid eighties Metallica/Overkill sounding fast track completed with gang
shoutings. The intro of the last track shows that early Metallica is a big
influence of the band, but compared with Evile the band sounds a lot more
original and interesting in my opinion. The combination of melody, crushing
riffs and the interesting solos in well written songs make the difference.
Because my colleague writers rate albums they like with figures between the 95
and 100 on a regular base, I can't stay behind in doing also to let you readers
know that this band really means business and that this 'Death Be Thy Shepherd'
will be one of the best thrash albums this year.
early eighties thrash fans that like good melodies and well written songs - this
is a must buy!