Readers of this blog already know how many words of appreciation I have spent in these years for the quality of Spanish metal, and therefore it’s absolutely not a surprise for me that the first good thrash metal album that I have heard this year comes from Spain.
Violblast, from the province of Girona, are active since 2012 and have published two full-lenght studio albums to date. Their last record, called Theater of Despair, contains ten violent and brutal tracks which carry a truly out-of-the-ordinary amount of aggressivity and wrath. Their music style sits close to the border between thrash and death metal. We enjoy in their music a vocal section and an articulation of some riffs that is clearly oriented towards death metal, but the speed and immediacy are those we can find only in the best contemporary thrash metal. The recipe is finally enriched with a light touch of groove, which is for many parts just perceptible.
Beyond the stylistic considerations, however, the best aspect of this record is that the music seems to come out direct and spontaneous, song after song, as if someone had removed the cap from a barrel containing gas at very high pressure. It’s a violent flow of hot metal that brings with it the urgency of striking and knocking down anything that is found along its path. In a scene that sees many bands playing thrash metal as a celebration of the masters of the past and which in most of the cases produce albums that result flat and unexciting, finally there is a young formation that expresses the best of this genre without having models to imitate.
The line-up of Violblast is a classical quartet with two guitars, drums and bass. Bassist Andrés Perez is the one who sings, and his voice seems perfectly suited with the music played by the band. Santi Turk and Sebas Silvera, the two guitarist, made a solid work both on the rhythmic part and for the solos. Drummer Sergio Ruiz is precise and effective.
In summary, this is a formation that has already achieved an excellent level of musical maturity: these guys know how to play fast and brutal thrash and, most important, they really know how to transmit emotions with their music. The only aspect that doesn’t convince me in full of Theater of Despair is linked to those moments of the album (just a few, fortunately) in which the fury of their sonic assault slows down and the band makes an attempt to produce sort of atmospheric passages. In my opinion these are the parts of the LP where their music loses its effectiveness, I prefer them when they push like crazy on the accelerator pedal.
My rating for the album is a solid 7/10.
My favorite songs are the crushing opening track Trivialization of Murder and Secret Reality.