Thrash Hits

Articles by Rob McAuslan

Live: Roadburn Festival @ Tilburg 013 – 09-13 April 2014

April 29th, 2014

Opeth 2011 promo photo Thrash Hits

Roadburn Festival describe themselves as “Europe’s leading underground festival for psychedelic, avant-garde, doom or any other variation of leftfield sonic pleasures that push the boundaries of music.” It’s that offering that brought Rob McAuslan over the sea and back to the festival for his third consecutive visit – this year featuring line-up choices and a day of curation from one Mikael Åkerfeldt.

Six Things We Learned At Roadburn 2014:

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Album: Autopsy – Tourniquets, Hacksaws and Graves

March 21st, 2014

Autopsy 2014 promo photo by Courtney McCutcheon Thrash Hits

Autopsy
Tourniquets, Hacksaws & Graves
Peaceville Records
21 April 2014

by Rob McAuslan

For all the talk that gets bandied around, you’d be forgiven for thinking that every band needs to be on some ceaseless quest for progress. It simply isn’t true; not everyone wants to ‘push the boundaries of what’s possible in music’, or whatever other guff gets spouted around this conceit. Autopsy did their innovating as one of the very earliest bands at the birth of the death metal scene, and their particular brand of gore-flecked nastiness has proven hugely influential for the best part of thirty years. Why fix what’s already broken in the best possible way?

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Album: Slough Feg – Digital Resistance

February 19th, 2014

Slough Feg 2014 promo photo Thrash Hits

Slough Feg
Digital Resistance
Metal Blade
17 February 2014

by Rob McAuslan

As long-time leader of Slough Feg and a founding member of Hammers Of Misfortune, Mike Scalzi’s credentials are well and truly established – nine records with this outfit since 1990 speaks volumes to his tenacity, if nothing else. After two decades of relative obscurity, Metal Blade picked them up last year, which should hopefully ensure that one of metal’s best-kept secrets at least get a fair shot with their latest release.

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Album: Grand Magus – Triumph and Power

February 3rd, 2014

Grand Magus 2014 promo photo Thrash Hits

Grand Magus
Triumph and Power
Nuclear Blast
31 January 2014

by Rob McAuslan

Grand Magus have proven they know what makes for a good heavy metal record more than a few times already, with the likes of Iron Will and Hammer Of The North displaying a band so well-versed in the art of The Mighty Riff. Triumph Of Power may not mess too much with what’s become a bit of a formula, but that doesn’t matter in the face of what they present us with each and every time.

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Album: Hell – Curse & Chapter

November 29th, 2013

Hell at Bloodstock Open Air 2013 by Gary Wolstenholme Thrash Hits

Hell
Curse & Chapter
Nuclear Blast
25 November 2013

by Rob McAuslan

The slightly clumsy play on words in the title aside, there are few missteps in this second album to spring following the rebirth of NWOBHM legends Hell. Resurrecting a long-lost band is potentially fraught with issues around quality, but their last release laid those sort of fears to rest quite handily and lead to some truly excellent live shows over the last couple of years.

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Bands

Album: Hail Of Bullets – III: The Rommel Chronicles

November 6th, 2013

Hail Of Bullets promo photo Thrash Hits

Hail Of Bullets
III: The Rommel Chronicles
Metal Blade
29 October 2013

by Rob McAuslan

Only one man has ever caused me to reconsider my attendance at a death metal show through the sheer sickening weight of his damped powerchords – Paul Baayens of Hail Of Bullets, Thanatos and Asphyx. To my mind, that’s how death metal should feel – it was always meant to be nasty, uncomfortable music, in keeping with its lyrical content and overall aesthetic.

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Album: Monster Magnet – Last Patrol

October 24th, 2013

Monster Magnet 2013 promo photo Thrash Hits

Monster Magnet
Last Patrol
Napalm Records
18 October 2013

by Rob McAuslan

Monster Magnet have had a bit of a hard time these last few years. Whilst their last album, Mastermind, was more than decent, it still  felt like a brief flash of hope through a murk cast by a string of below-average releases and some terrible live shows. It raised a pertinent question – was Mastermind the light at the end of the tunnel, or Monster Magnet surfacing for the third time?

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Album: Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen

October 18th, 2013

Ihsahn 2013 promo photo Thrash Hits

Ihsahn
Das Seelenbrechen
Candlelight Records
21 October 2013

by Rob McAuslan

Whilst the metal press at large was seemingly entranced by Ihsahn’s fourth solo album Eremita, gushing flowery adjectives all over the show and proclaiming it “Album Of The Year” and such, it left some of us a bit cold. Sure, it had some nice songs with some good riffs and all that sort of stuff, but it lacked a certain something, something that’s taken until this latest release to properly place.

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Bands

Album: Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came

October 10th, 2013

Justin Broadrick Thrash Hits

Jesu
Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came
Avalanche Inc.
24 September 2013

by Rob McAuslan

If you don’t follow Jesu too closely, it’s easy to get a bit confused by their output. Justin Broadrick’s presence is the only constant, with their releases swinging between ethereal puffs of minimalist misery and full-bore industrial metal. Their albums are for the disenfranchised Godflesh fans craving that trademark crush, with their EPs being where the ghosts of songs manifest themselves around gentle drum programming and breathy, barely-there murmurings. Everyday I Get Closer To The Light From Which I Came breaks that pattern by being a full-length ‘Jesu-gaze’ release.

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