Dead Head

Swine Plague

Album Type:
Release Date:
5th June 2017
Record Label:
Hammerheart Records
Total Tracks:

BOOOOOOMMMMM! Right in your face! If you regularly listen to albums at maximum volume, you had better turn it down, otherwise your speakers will explode. This is how Slayer, Kreator, and Exodus were in their early days. Honest, dirty, aggressive recordings, not completely cleaned of little mistakes. On top of that, the album’s production had them sounding as heavy as a whale. Did the new Kreator album with too many melodic pieces disappoint you? Then this is the perfect remedy. Do you find all the albums of the New Wave of Thrash bands and the Bay Area look-a-likes too overproduced and polished sounding? The new Dead Head album Swine Plague is the cure.

Sure, you can hear where this Dutch band got its inspiration and influences from, but they do it in their own original way and hit the nail on the head with this release. I doubt if there will be a heavier and more aggressive thrash album this year. On the 2009 album Depression Tank, Ralph de Boer handled the vocals, but I’m glad Tom Van Dijk has returned. Tom’s aggressive singing style sounds very familiar and similar to his younger days. Both Ronnie and Robbie play one howling, furious solo after another, and the riffs saw, shred, and scrape song after song. From start to finish, the tempo is very high, but with enough mid-tempo pieces to make the songs sound even heavier.

The album starts with the fast opener ‘Helhuizen’, named after a small place in Holland. In ‘Dühr’ you hear an example of the heavy mid tempo I mentioned earlier. After that, it is old school nasty thrash that blows you away. The only resting point is the short interlude ‘The Reformation’, after which ‘The Gates Beyond’ goes through the sound barrier. Kudos to drummer Hans Spijker for that!

I have been a Dead Head fan since their second album Dream Deceiver, which I think is still their best. However, Swine Plague comes in second for sure. Being a fan and being Dutch perhaps doesn’t make me the most objective person, but I am sure that if this record was from a thrash band from another country, I would be just as enthusiastic and blown away. Swine Plague  is the heaviest thrash album I have listened to this year, and I have listened to quite a few! You don’t believe me? Buy this swine and you know I’m not talking shit.


01. Helhuizen
02. Dühr
03. Palfium
04. Fortress Of Greed
05. The Awakening
06. 13 Close
07. The Day Of The Devil
08. Spanish Horse
09. The Reformation
10. The Gates Beyond
11. Eternity Destroyed
12. The Battle Of Europe

Playing Time: 47:30

Tom van Diijk. – Vocals, bass
Ronnie Vanderwey – Guitar
Robbie Woning. – Guitar
Hans Spijker – Drums

Reinier de Vries
About Reinier de Vries 383 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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