Twelve tracks, twenty nine minutes of music and not an ounce of flab or fat to be seen. BAT certainly walk it like they talk it, cramming in an average of four riffs per every one of those thirty minutes, maintaining a high speed barrage of primitive, utterly irresistibly filth-fuelled speed metal hell along the way.
The cognoscenti among you will already be familiar with BAT, whose bestial Primitive Age demo was put out by Hells Headbangers a couple of years ago – all of the tracks on that release are reprised here – but for those of you for whom this is first contact – welcome, you lucky people.
This three piece (featuring Ryan Waste of Municipal Waste notoriety on bass and vocals, guitarist Nick Poulos of Volture and Godlike D.R.I. drummer Felix Griffin) take a basic mixture of Venom, Warfare and Motörhead, mix in a bit of NYHC and d-beat for good measure and finish things off with a dash of NWoBHM – but only when it’s absolutely needed. If that sounds like a tried and tested formula well, it is, but it’s rarely done with such convincing authenticity as BAT manage to pull off here. Rule of the Beast is an absolutely thrilling standout track, thrashing like it’s 1985 without a hint of irony or post modern parody, but if I’m honest it’s only just a little bit ahead of the rest of the material up for perusal.
You Die is a breakneck slice of punk metal fury, whilst Ritual Fool is slower and, dare I say it, groovier, though not in a bad way; The fact of the matter is whatever track you happen to listen to guarantees a ripping time, and the only drawback I can think of is Wings of Chains’ comparative brevity – although leaving the fans wanting more never did anyone any harm I guess…But whatever the length of WoC, this is essential listening for old thrashers, punks, hardcore kids and metalheads alike.
Wings of Chains is released by Hells Headbangers on June 10.