Witch

Outbreak of Metal Vindicator / Metal Witch- Outbreak of Metal Vol. I (Slaney Records) 2009 

Vindicator
1. "The Dog Beneath The Skin" (3:45)
2. "Shock Trauma" (3:48)
3. "Humanarchy" (4:23)
4. "Old And Decrepit" (2:26)
5. "I Hate People" (2:03)
6. "U.S.S.A." (3:37)
Metal Witch
7. "Believe in the Power of Rock" (2:49)
8. "The Count has Risen from the Grave" (5:13)
9. "Valley of the Kings" (4:42)
10. "The Curse of the Wolf" (3:32)
11. "Ready to Burn" (5:37)
12. "Kiss My Ass" [live] (4:23)

Had just recently discovered Vindicator, having saw them perform at a local club. The band was tight and cranked out some crunchy thrash metal with a slight punk edge. I picked up their CD debut from their merchandise table, but noticed that there was a different line-up. I spoke to the band shortly after and they informed me of this release with the new line-up. This split EP features six "new" songs from Vindicator, including two cover songs. I am quite familiar with the Anti-Nowhere League song. Their version cranks up the thrash just like many of the 80's thrash bands use to do with classic punk songs. The "U.S.S.A." song I was less familiar with, but it's an equally good song with a big slight against the US government. The other four songs are all new and are prime thrash metal. Many of the new crop of thrash metal bands seem to be "thrash for thrash sake". In other words, it's speed and attitude over songwriting. Wile I can certainly appreciate the retro-thrash movement, I think bands like Vindicator have something many of the other bands don't have, they know how to write a hook. Classic bands like Slayer, Anthrax and Exodus knew how to do this. They delivered fast, crunchy thrash, but there was also something memorable about the songs as well. All four original songs included here are prime thrash metal delivered with a punk fury that made me smile as I recalled seeing the band on stage. Vindicator can certainly deliver the goods.

Also included on this split EP is Metal Witch, a European band that apparently formed in the 80's broke up for a spell and reformed in 1997. With a long history dating back to the 80's, I was surprised to find out that this is only the band's second release, their first being "Risen from the Grave" from 2008. Their style is a bit less frantic than Vindicator and has a sound that mixes thrash with a classic NWOBHM influence. The vocals are a bit more gruff and grating, which gives the band even more distinction from the preceding Vindicator tracks. First track, "Believe in the Power of Rock", reminded me of the School of Rock movie, not because of the music but because of the title. The song delivers a heavy assault of classic heavy metal with a big hook. Likewise, "Valley of the Kings" is a fast, heavy song with a killer hook that rides a fence between traditional metal and thrash. This song reminds me a bit of classic Metal Church. I wouldn't be surprised if this EP didn't do quite well for the band. 

"Outbreak of Metal Vol. 1" is the first release from the newly formed Slaney Records. I look forward to more great thrash and classic metal from this label in the future.

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