Teutonic rage arrives in Copenhagen.
Whenever a discussion about the glory days of thrash metal comes up, Denmark is not often one of the countries to get much more than maybe a token mention. It’s understandable given the massive output from Germany and a smaller yet still respectable field of bands hailing from the U.K., but barring the obvious case of Artillery launching a series of formidable studio efforts from 1985 onward and maybe a few hardcore thrash nerds referencing the two albums put out by crossover trusties and Denmark’s answer to Wehrmacht Sliced Pimples, it was slim pickings outside of a small pond of obscure demos. But the tides and fortunes for the homeland of Mercyful Fate and Hamlet in the thrashing seas have been changing of late, with a number of solid acts raging out of the New Wave of Old School Thrash Metal such as Impalers, Battery, and Mental Coma fielding solid albums in recent years.
Amid this near 20 year renaissance of good old fashioned neck-ruining metal hailing from the birthplace of The Lego Group is a fierce thrash quartet dubbed Demolizer. Though two members of this fold cut their teeth in the fine art of riffing several years back under the name of Radtskaffen as a power trio with more of a 90s groove sound, they find themselves quite at home dabbling in faster and more intense territory. Their debut LP “Thrashmageddon” showcases a fold of musicians that has a penchant for more than a couple portmanteaus, namely a more extreme and aggressive form of thrashing that is fairly similar to the one often trotted out by Teutonic thrash mainstays Destruction and Necronomicon. It’s not quite a 100% copy of the sound of said bands, as they throw in a few technical and melodic moments more indicative of their forefather Artillery’s classic sound, but it’s difficult to miss the parallels between these songs and several heard on “Metal Discharge” and “Inventor Of Evil.”
While being an album that prefers to stay in the fast lane, there is a fair degree of buildup and development at play here that keeps one guessing. The opening anthem “Copenhagen Burning”, no doubt a nod to the scene in the band’s home town, opts for a slow and eerie sounding intro with a slight Middle Eastern vibe to it behind the guitar distortion before launching into a raging fit of riff-happy pandemonium. Though the general feel of this song has a clear mid-2000s Destruction template as its base, the garbled shouts and shrieks of front-man Ben Radtleff and the fastest musical moments going on behind them also have a bit of a Frank Blackfire era of Sodom feel. Overall this song proves to be the most engaging and intricate offering to grace the album, providing a sort of varied introduction to what proves to be a reasonably varied, though largely aggression-based metallic excursion.
For the most part, the shorter the duration of the song, the more exaggerated the degree of high octane rage. Such blinding fits of venomous fury as “NTC” and the sub-minute mosh monster “Gore” end up blurring the line between the band’s professed style and something resembling the earliest incarnations of death metal, coming off as both highly dissonant harmonically speaking and also with a vocal display that comes off as over the top even when compared to Schmier and Angelripper. Things are slightly more nuanced on middle length crushers like “Bloodshot Eyes” and “Cancer In The Brain”, though they still spend a fair bit of time trying to break the speed of sound, while the somewhat deceptive “Lost In Torment” starts off in a dreary fit of balladry before kicking on the afterburners and ripping the listener’s face off. Overall, barring the longer and technical feel of the moderately fast “Built On Slavery” and the woeful slowness of ballad “Until The Day I Die,” this is a consistent stay at the thrash slaughterhouse.
It’s difficult to go wrong with an album like this if one is jonesing for the harsher side of the thrash metal coin. About the only thing that holds this back a bit is that they crammed a little too much into a relatively short album, resulting in songs that often find a really great idea but don’t hold onto it long enough to fully exploit it. Technically speaking, there is little to complain about between the frenetic riffing, varied mixture of melodic guitar bits and pummeling drum work, and flashy Frank Blackfire-inspired shredding (several solos on here sound like paraphrases of the genius that Persecution Mania exhibited every time the guitar took the lead), but it just feels like there should be a tad more staying power to these songs. That said, one could do a lot worse, and for playing largely in a style that has been imitated quite often since the late 80s, Demolizer definitely holds their own here.
Released by: Mighty Music
Released Date: September 11th, 2020
Genre: Thrash Metal
- Bjørn Hjortgaard / Bass
- Max Petrén Bach Hansen / Drums
- Aria Mobbarez / Guitars
- Ben Radtleff / Guitars, Vocals
- Copenhagen Burning
- Cancer in the Brain
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Until I Die
- Lost in Torment
- Built on Slavery
Though being one of the more modest contributors to the golden era of thrash metal, Denmark is making the rounds of late with a number of solid up and comer groups, one of them delivering up a solid slab of modernized Teutonic fury after the mold of Destruction and Necronomicon.