This Is Thrash, Bitch
Just like fashion, the world of metal has seen everything come full circle. With the death of the guitar solo in the late ’90s/early 2000s to a string of DJ accompanied nu-metal garbage, we are now seeing a new appreciation for technique in the Djent movement. But also, to a lesser extent, there is the denim-adorned neo-heshers that still wear 20+ year old Anthrax tour tees that only want one thing: speed. Sweaty mullets rejoice for there is Warbeast. In 2010 they released their debut, Krush The Enemy, that bared no shame in its almost lampoon-ish, over the top celebration in all things thrash. Now signed to former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records, Warbeast have a new offering in Destroy that arms its spike bracelets with an attempt to out windmill their previous efforts. Their success, however, depends on how many 18-packs you have on hand for this unrelenting chug-fest.
Right from the beginning, you’ll feel like sitting on the couch from Beavis & Butthead’s perspective–in other words, Destroy opens exactly how you’d hope it would. Cartoonish dive bombs, Hell Await’s era Slayer gallops, and harmonics that would make any Guitar World reader drool. The first track, “Cryogenic Thawout,” even ends with machinegun clatter in the distance. Why? Fuck you, that’s why. This is thrash, bitch. Now shut up and nut up for “Nightmares in the Sky.” If you’re not entertained by now, you’ve never listened to thrash in your life. Anyways, not sure how to describe these tunes without mentioning every single ’80s band with spikes and greasy hair, but it might just be easier to say that Warbeast is a conglomerate of them all, especially their work on Destroy, here. On “Nobody,” former Rigor Mortis frontman, Bruce Corbitt, power barks a cross between Gwar and Iron Maiden while guitarists, Scott Shelby and Bobby Tillotson Jr., trade loose cannon solos amidst double-bass thudding and group chants.
Halfway through the album and Warbeast continue to bash you about the head with the same inexorable vigor, with exception to “The Day Of…” which has a bizarre, sludge ballad approach to mourning our fallen soldiers and catastrophic war horrors. Besides that one pit stop, Destroy is everything metal purists want: no singing, tempos rarely below 200, ceaseless guitar crushing, kick and snare abuse, and borderline silly amounts of anger. Title track, “Warbeast” and “Blood Moon” are worth the price of admission alone.
However, there are a few minor issues with Destroy. For one, you’re not going to be surprised much. Other than some clever riff work and song structures, it’s still just another thrash album. Also, the production falls flat in some areas with some campy post-production audio samples. But, if you’re a sucker for speed and wouldn’t mind hearing something familiar yet far from groundbreaking, Destroy is a well-executed thrash effort that is, more so than anything, a fun way to spend forty minutes.