Feeling a bit under the weather and in need of some good ol’ Thrash Metal action to get that blood pumping? Meet WRECK-DEFY, a Canadian Old School Thrash Metal band. Founded by guitarist Matt Hanchuck in 2016, the latter has managed to find some legendary musicians to back up his vision. We have Aaron Randall (ex-ANNIHILATOR frontman) on the mic, Greg Christian (ex-Testament) for some explosive bass work, and latest addition Alex Marquez (ex-DEMOLITION HAMMER, SOLSTICE, ex-MALEVOLENT CREATION) on the drums for every upcoming live show/future recordings (the studio work was done by Dave O’Neal). This impressive line-up will be releasing an album called “Remnants of Pain” at the end of this month (27th of September). Excited yet? Great, let’s have a look at what the band has in store for us.
WRECK-DEFY call themselves an old school style band, and I would say they definitely have those bragging rights. The sound has all the ingredients dearly loved by old and new Thrash Metal fans: fast no nonsense riffs, explosive hammering drums, and downright angry vocals. So, first and foremost, I had myself a very nice 80ies throwback listening to this album. Being born in the 90ies myself, a record like this makes it possible to rediscover a sound that otherwise might have been a bit lost to me, and I am sure this works for even younger metalheads as well. I say this because some of us, such as myself, may have been lucky enough to be introduced to this awesome genre by their parents at a young age, but there are at least as many metalheads discovering it on their own. Bands like WRECK-DEFY give us the great opportunity to bring that old school sound into our lives (again).
The main difference with the Thrash movement from the 80ies is, like Matt Hanchuck said himself, the production value of this record. Mixing and matching was done by another familiar name in the genre, Juan Urteaga (TESTAMENT and MACHINE HEAD albums), which makes the album’s production quality beyond question. Unsurprisingly, with this bunch of talented musicians, every single track is polished to near perfection. The opening track – “Killing The Children” – is one of my personal favourites, because it wastes no time displaying WRECK-DEFY‘s assets, and you immediately feel like you have been invited to a Thrash fest that will keep on going strong until the very last note of this album. The TESTAMENT influence cannot be missed in those powerful, manic riffs.
After this killer opener, the band rages on and never lets go, up until another favourite of mine called “Looking Back”. This one is where they hit the brakes for a while and another, more melodic side is shown. This vibrant melodicity really hits the spot, giving the listener some room for introspection before the record takes off again at full throttle. Aaron Randall‘s vocals are another extraordinary asset taking the whole sound to another level. I already knew he is a great vocalist, but on this record he almost sounds superhuman at times. He conveys the anger behind the lyrical themes incredibly well, and is such a perfect fit for the band’s style.
Let me conclude this review by simply stating that this is an album you just cannot miss out on this year. It has that amazing Thrash sound that is not so easy to find anymore these days, staying true to the golden days of old while adding a modern twist to keep up with current times. Add lyrics that deal with contemporary issues in society such as war, addiction, tyranny, etc., and you have a fantastic Thrash cocktail that will linger in your mind for years to come.
1. Killing the Children
2. Broken Peace
4. Looking Back
5. 18oz of Chrome
6. The Divide
7. Art of Addiction
8. Angels and Demons
9. Blackend Cloth
Aaron Randall – Vocals
Greg Christian – Bass
Matt Hanchuck – Guitars
Dave O‘Neal – Drums (album)
Alex Marquez – Drums (live)
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