So many years ago that I care not remember exactly how many, I met two fine, young men from the Basque country via the Annhilator forum. A bunch of folk who all admired the skills of one Jeff Waters met at the Wacken festival and stayed in the same camp, and the two Basque youngsters were among them. These two guys were extremely passionate about music and they had a band going on. It was called Legen Beltza, and it was a good band. They released four thrash albums, which weren’t bad at all. After the release of the album entitled ‘Need to Suffer’, the band split, though. Why, I don’t know.
After the split, guitarist Ekaitz (also called Stormy) kept making and exploring music, among other things as live guitarist for Angelus Apatrida. The latest project he’s involved in is called Extinction and the three-piece, completed by bassist Andoni and drummer Ivan, have now released a 28-minute effort called ‘The Dark Matter’.
Over the course of this 28-minute disc, the trio march through a diverse representation of heavy music. First, there’s a typical, dark intro piece with thunder and stuff. Nothing shocking there. Then a piece of Slayer inspired modern thrash with growling vocal (the title track), an eerie, atmosphere-filled tune with a touch of folkloristic chanting mixed with full-on thrash metal (Amegabeko Iluntasuna), an effect-laden instrumental piece, which could have been conjured up by Trey Azagthoth (Zagadka), a piece that is approaching Machine Head’s turf of long thrash ballads (Father to Son), then the tune Voyager, which is simply a Spanish (ahem, Basque!) guitar and a baryton chant on top – very nice – again, lot’s of atmosphere. To conclude the release, Extinction serve an effective and very Lamb of God sounding mid-tempo thrash ditty. Excellent stuff.
‘The Dark Matter’ is a collection of seven well-wrought pieces of music, and what it first and foremost is for me, is a band that desperately wants to show that they master diversity and several aspects of a genre. They do that – they make things sound authentic and real, and the songs are, in fact, excellent, and they definitely manage to create an atmosphere of brooding darkness and eeriness throughout.
A longer running time would probably have given Extinction a chance of creating a more clear red line through these diverse songs, and that is actually one of my very few pain points. Another would be that it could be interesting to hear the title track and Father to Son with a Robb Flynn type singer rather than a growl, but, hey, that’s a detail!
This release is well-worth checking out for those of you who like thrash with a twist and lots of atmosphere. Go get.
01. Pioneers of the Deep Abyss
02. The Dark Matter
03. Amaigabeko Iluntasuna
05. Father to Son
Playing time: 28 minutes
Release date: 2nd of July, 2015