Album Review – Mutank / W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. EP (2017)

They have a lot of thrashing songs that have abbreviated titles, and they kick some serious ass with their old school music and hardcore attitude.

They have a lot of thrashing songs that have abbreviated titles on their menu, and all those songs will certainly put you to slam into the circle pit with their endless electricity and catchy melodies. I’m talking about Canadian Crossover/Trash Metal act Mutank, who have just released a new EP titled W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. (which according to the band means “We Have Alotta Thrash Songs That Have Abbreviated Titles”). Displaying a kick-ass old school cover art by Andrei Bouzikov (Holycide, Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch), W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. is not just a set of five amazing Crossover Thrash songs, but it’s also a follow-up to the band’s 2014 debut album M.E.C.H. METAL, which carved Mutank’s name in the Montreal Thrash scene and led them to play at Wacken Open Air that same year, as well as a taste of what’s to come as the band will have a full-length album to follow the EP later this year.

Inspired by Megadeth, Overkill, Iron Maiden, Municipal Waste, Mike Patton and the golden age of Thrash Metal, this Montreal-based quartet describes their sound as a “T-Rex skateboarding down a volcano”, which is exactly what you’ll find in W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. “Our upcoming EP W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. sort of started as a joke. I just thought it would be funny to force an acronym for ‘what’s that?’ and I came up with ‘We Have Alottta Thrash Songs That Have Abbreviate Titles’. From there we came up with the concept of an EP with a bunch of forced acronym titles. The EP itself was written somewhat conceptually with the individual songs being very short thrash songs that come together to make one longer progressive thrash track, which harkens back to the title since we don’t even know what it is! We have a ton of new material in the works as well, people can expect new stuff sooner rather than later!”

In the opening track, titled  L.I.F.E. (“Lament Infinity, Forlorn Eternity”), we’re treated to the sharp, thrilling guitar riffs and solos by Costa Skoulikas and Lee Whiskey in one minute of old school Thrash Metal, warming up the listener for I.D.I.O.T. (“I’ll Do It Over Tomorrow”), with its sick lyrics being nicely declaimed by lead singer and bassist Stephen Reynolds (“My brain’s a backed-up toilet / Can’t function cuz’ somebody soiled it / The posterior of prosperity / Thoughts too inbred to decongest / They’re unrelated so it can’t be incest / As I plunge into depravity”), whose rumbling bass also adds an extra kick to the song. Slam into the pit, have a beer with your buddies or simply bang your head nonstop to this uncompromised and electrified tune, before Mutank brings forth more shredding and thunderous bass lines for our avid ears in the faster and more hardcore mosh pit-generator P.O.P.U.L.O.U.S. (“Price Of Progress: Ugly Little Organisms Undermining Society”). This awesome composition sounds like the Thrash Metal played by Anthrax with Mutank’s own touch, turning it into the best track of the EP in my opinion.

F.O.G. (“Frailty Of Genius”) can be summarized as a minute and a half of pure madness led by the groovy beast by drummer Ahmed Daas and the inebriate vocals by Stephen, who once again sings the song’s old school demented lyrics with all his strength (“I walk around saying “It’s too late” / I know it ain’t / I guess that’s why I hold my breath under the water / ’til I come back up and drown in air”). And D.E.A.T.H. (“Divine Evaluation Awaits Thee Human”), the longest of all tracks, is also the one with the highest amount of complexity, showcasing thrashing guitars and a badass attitude, with Stephen and Ahmed sounding simply bestial with their bass and drums, respectively.

In ten minutes, Mutank slam more than several bands in their entire careers, and that says a lot about the overall quality of the music found in W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. You can get to know more about Mutank and their wicked acronyms and abbreviations at their Facebook page, listen to their high-voltage music on YouTube and on SoundCloud, and purchase W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T. through their BandCamp page. I was trying to come up with a fun abbreviation to conclude this review, but you know what? Leave those to Mutank, as they definitely know how to condense words and, more important than that, amazing music into their short but extremely fun compositions.

Best moments of the album: I.D.I.O.T. and P.O.P.U.L.O.U.S.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Boonsdale Records

Track listing
1. L.I.F.E. (Instrumental) 1:01
2. I.D.I.O.T. 2:06
3. P.O.P.U.L.O.U.S. 1:40
4. F.O.G. 1:33
5. D.E.A.T.H. 3:50

Band members
Stephen Reynolds – vocals, bass
Costa Skoulikas – guitar
Lee Whiskey – guitar
Ahmed Daas – drums

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Album Review – Bombnation / Night Invasion (2014)

A nonstop heavy music party that will fulfill your inner desire for old school Thrash Metal.

Rating4

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}Who doesn’t love the unparalleled heavy music from the 80’s and beginning of the 90’s? Those were definitely good times, when heavy music in general was the most fun thing in the entire world, thanks largely to all new bands born during that period who were able to blend the technique from traditional Heavy Metal with the undisputed attitude from Punk Rock, bringing forth what we know today as Thrash Metal.  Despite the nuisance that the music industry has become since then, and consequently the negative impact it has had on old school Thrash Metal, there are still some awesome bands proudly carrying the flag of true and honest heavy music, such as Canadian Crossover/Hardcore band Bombnation.

Founded in 2007 in “La Belle Province de Québec”, Bombnation do not hide their influences nor their goals with their music. Inspired by classics like Slayer, Anthrax, Nuclear Assault, D.R.I. and many others, and adding to their musicality some elements from D-Beat and Grindcore, those Québécois thrash metallers simply want to have fun and make life more enjoyable, and they indeed do it with their brand new album called Night Invasion. There’s nothing controversial, profound or melancholic in their lyrics: it’s a motherfuckin’ heavy music party, just the way old school Thrash Metal is supposed to be.

Fire Of The Night kicks off the album relying heavily on its harsh vocals, uprising lyrics, insane riffs and drums perfect for slamming into the pit. What really amazes me from the very first song of the album is the overall quality of the production, because although we’re talking about brutal music, it’s also very clean and pleasant to listen to. The following two tracks are the epitome of hardcore: Slayed By Slayer is a short but sick tribute to the most awesome Thrash Metal band of all time, and it’s impossible not to love its lyrics, especially when vocalist Mike Waters screams “Do you want to die!”, probably inspired by Slayer’s classic “Postmortem”; while War Beer Warrior (where do they find those song names?) was born to be a classic, sounding even more ferocious and more Slayer-ish than the previous song.

In the next track, Hops, Bombnation get closer to old school Exodus, especially its riffs, drums, and of course the guitar solo, followed by more sonic violence in Obituary, with its gory lyrics and anarchist vibe. Another brilliant tribute happens in Kreator’s Destruction Of Sodom, this time as you can see to the mighty Teutonic Thrash Metal. It is “extreme aggression” as the band says, with even its vocals being “adapted” to that type of music. Blackout Without Stout is another great choice for having a beer while getting into a sick mosh pit, and the title-track, Night Invasion, sounds more imposing, mainly due to its slow heavy riffs and great backing vocals, giving it an extra touch of wickedness.

I would definitely try the next song’s name, Kentucky Fried Seagulls, screaming its chorus with my mouth full of this “delicacy” from the hardcore cuisine, while Le D-Beat De La 50 doesn’t let the party slow down, reminding me of the Punk Rock played by Black Flag in their early days. Forget It is very similar to the previous track, but with some deeper vocals à la Chuck Billy, followed by one minute of pure devastation  with another great name, Pissed Off To Listen To Pop, as fast as violent as it can be.

The band doesn’t let the ball drop with the direct and raw musicality of Reggie’s Calling, and the pure old school Thrash Metal of Order666, where the band invites us to “Feel the power of Metal!”, followed by the violent Iron Whale and the even faster and more violent (if that’s humanly possible) Black Cable. Are you tired already? Because Bombnation still have to offer us some intense riffs and nonstop drumming in Astro Turf, a great mix of Thrash Metal and Hardcore by the way, and finally the last song of the album, In The Night, another tribute to that raw heavy music from 80’s, with highlights to its nice guitar solo,  strong bass lines, and an amazing high-pitched scream similar to what Tom Araya used to do in the first Slayer albums.

Take a listen at Bombnation’s new album at their official BandCamp page and you’ll see I’m not exaggerating when I say those guys are one of the most loyal bands to old school Thrash Metal in the world. And if you enjoy beer, mosh pits, and especially your life, simply go for it and you will not regret. I just have to find my old jacket full of Heavy Metal patches before I join the “Bombnation”, being proud of loving Thrash Metal so much.

Best moments of the album: Slayed by Slayer, War Beer Warrior, Kentucky Fried Seagulls and Order666.

Worst moments of the album: Obituary and Reggie’s Calling.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Fire Of The Night 2:33
2. Slayed By Slayer 1:36
3. War Beer Warrior 1:37
4. Hops 1:53
5. Obituary 1:53
6. Kreator’s Destruction Of Sodom 1:29
7. Blackout Without Stout 1:46
8. Night Invasion 2:22
9. Kentucky Fried Seagulls 1:50
10 .Le D-Beat De La 50 1:44
11. Forget It 1:42
12. Pissed Off To Listen To Pop 0:59
13. Reggie’s Calling 2:49
14. Order666 1:58
15. Iron Whale 1:15
16. Black Cable 1:42
17. Astro Turf 1:55
18. In The Night 2:26

Band members
Mike Waters – vocals
Whale – guitar
Jack – guitar
Dan – bass
Crocko – drums