American metalheads Seax have been around for a fair while now, with new album Fallout Rituals being their fourth full-length release.
And whilst the band’s press people are keen to emphasise the heavy metalness of Fallout Rituals, alluding to long-lost ‘cool’ record labels and a sense of history, the relentless attack of what would doubtless have been called ‘Side Heavy’ had Seax actually released something on Mausoleum in 1984 is a whole lot darker and heavier than the band’s ‘people’ might have you believe.
Carmine Blades’ King Diamond-informed shrieks and yells have a whole lot more in common with Exodus frontman Paul Baloff, for instance, than any bespandexed German or Belgian you’d care to name, giving the overall feel of the music a much harder edge. And whilst drummer Derek Jay carefully refrains from an over reliance on double bass prowess there’s still very much an old-school thrash feel to his drumming. Similarly the superb guitar work of Hel and Razzle have more in common with Force-era Onslaught than Cutty Sark or Helloise. Obviously this is a much better state of affairs for all concerned, but especially so if you’re an old thrasher like me.
But whatever the band actually sound like, when they hit the target there can surely be few to touch them in in today’s speed metal scene in terms of sheer ferocity, and, if you’ll excuse the pun, violence and force. Interceptor is quite frankly astounding, a bowel-rumblingly heavy tour de force that’ll remind you why everyone loved the first Anthrax album so much, and it’s going to find a regular gig entertaining the neighbours surrounding my palatial Peckham funhouse for a little while to come, I can tell you.
If I have one criticism it’s a slight lack of variation in the material – although I acknowledge that the whole point of the band’s schtick is to mount a relentless metal assault at all times – but that’s just an old man talking really. If you love old school thrash of the sort that used to appear on the Speed Kills compilation albums then you’re quite simply going to mess your hi-tops when you get your ears around this. Thrash til death!
Fallout Rituals is released on April 5th.