One realizes the cultural importance that some records have had when almost forty years pass and there are still groups that are inspired by that music and write songs that sound exactly like the models. This is what happens when you launch Warlust, which is the new LP from the American thrash metal band Black Mass (not to be confused with a couple of other death metal formations with the same name). After the usual intro with war sounds and air raid alarms, these guys start playing their title-track and in a few seconds, you’re projected back in time in 1982, when Italy won the football world championship and Metallica released their influential debut album Kill Them All. And that’s the exact reference for Black Mass’s style of thrash metal. The homage to the model arrives at the point that some of the songs of Warlust could have been published on the Metallica’s album and, at least for what regards the style, no one would have noticed any particular differences.
Despite the fact that Black Mass’ music is strongly resembling that of the legends of thrash, their album still has a number of interesting elements. First of all I was really impressed by the power and the lethal precision of the rhythmic component. The bass, in particular, really looks like a machine gun: it’s shots at supersonic speed but with impressive accuracy. Cristian Azevedo‘s bass and Alex Fewell‘s drums push like crazy in all of the songs of Warlust, and this gives the third member of the band, singer and guitarist Brendan O’hare, the possibility to release a pack of riffs of great impact and effectiveness.
Another aspect that I liked about Warlust is its essentiality: basically in the LP there are two groups of songs, separated by a nice interlude with the Rosemary’s Baby melody, and in each of these groups we have a sequence of tight and fast songs, without frills but played really well.
Warlust is one of those records that basically replicate the sound and the style of one of the most famous references of thrash metal, but which ultimately offers an uninterrupted sequence of exciting and very enjoyable songs to listen to. My score for the LP is 6.5/10, where the half point is a special appraisal to the skill of the bass player.
My favourite songs are the title track Warlust, High Priest in Black, and Bible Stomp.
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