Brit thrash survivors Holosade barely made a ripple on the metal scene in Britain in the eighties when they first had a tilt at the metal title in their homeland, and, though there’s some spirited progressive thrash to be had on their ‘comeback’ album Anastasis – particularly the epic last track Detonation to Oblivion, which is by some way the best thing here – it’s hard to see anything being different in 2021.
The band deliver an honest set of unvarnished heavy metal that’s high on perspiration but a little light on inspiration; sensibly the band have shied away from adding too much of a modern feel to the record – there aren’t many death grunts or double kick fusilades to be found, preferring for the most part to stay in the lane of Metallicaesque chug, leavened by the odd Megadethian flourish and the huffing and puffing of vocalist Philip de Sade.
If this all sounds a bit mundane it isn’t always – Rise is a fairly robust piece of thrash that features some fine duelling from guitarists Paul Trotter and Adam Ironside, not to mention de Sade’s most commanding vocal performance of the album – but for the most part songs come and go at high speed and full of intent but without the real ability to follow through to deliver fully realised memorable songs. Even thrash metal in it’s purest and best sense relies on melody and vocal hooks, and there just aren’t enough here to reward repeated listening. And whilst the raw production undoubtedly adds punch to the guitars, it leaves de Sade out on a limb and sounding a bit too exposed for comfort in a number of places. Even a default bellow as strong as his needs a bit of production backup every now and then…
Still, these songs will go down a storm when live actions resume I’m sure, and you might still want to give these lads a chance if old school thrash is your thing despite my dribblings – good luck to you, and indeed Holosade!
Anastasis releases on May 28th