Ohioís VINDICATOR are right up there, if not better than the likes of WARBRINGER, GAMA BOMB, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, BONDED BY BLOOD or any of the other so-called retro thrash, New Wave Of Thrash or Thrash Revival bands. They combine Bay Area thrash influences with Teutonic thrash and a bit of NWOBHM. They even bring in a bit of the east coast thrash like ANTHRAX or NUCLEAR ASSAULT.
On their sophomore release, The Antique Witcheries (Heavy Artillery Records), VINDICATOR play raw, gritty thrash with catchy riffs. Gang vocals are used quite frequently and are done exceptionally well.
Their guitar solos rip and the drumming is tight.
The brothers Stown, Vic (rhythm guitar) and Jesse (drums) formed VINDICATOR after the demise of their previous band VIOLENT STORM. They are joined by ex-black metal vocalist Marshall Law, Kidd Chaos (bass) and Mick Mayer (lead guitar).
Lawís vocals are perfect for VINDICATORís style. His voice is not shrieky, but has a gritty tone to them and his lyrics are easily decipherable. Thereís nothing innovative about the song structures, but they know how to hang onto a great riff and ride it out. The riffs vary from song to song and seem to take on a meaningful formation of their own.
After the albums intro, "Gates of Inequity," "Beneath the Guillotine" kicks off in full thrash glory. "Quarry Rats" is a fun song with good melodies, leads and gang shout choruses. "Dead In the Water" has an an old TESTAMENT New World Order feel to it and is probably the best song on the record in my opinion.
The production is perfect for this type of thrash. Itís not too polished or overproduced and is just raw enough for an old school thrash band. Thereís no rewriting of the textbooks on The Antique Witcheries, itís just good old school thrash with a groove.
VINDICATOR are still just a bit unknown compared with the aforementioned bands, but If youíre a thrash fan, this is an album worth checking out.