Thursday, June 2, 2011

Speed\Kill/Hate - Out For Blood

Out For Blood
Hammerfist Records

Seven years is a long time between releases, but that’s exactly how long it’s taken ex-Anger On Anger/ex-Fa-Q/current Overkill guitarist/backing vocalist Dave Linsk to put together a new album from side-project Speed\Kill/Hate. As expected, a lot has changed since the band released their debut effort ‘Acts Of Insanity’ way back in 2004, with the biggest change being the band’s line-up. This time around, Linsk has assembled an entirely new look Speed\Kill/Hate, with Mr. Grim vocalist Bob Barnak, ex-Ripping Corpse bassist Dave Bizzigotti and ex-Sindrome drummer Tony Ochoa now enlisted members of the New York City based outfit.
But outside of new members, it would appear that Speed\Kill/Hate have undergone a bit of a sound change as well, with their latest album ‘Out For Blood’ (Released through Linsk’s own label Hammerfist Records) sounding far more aggressive than anything from their debut, both on a musical level and in its production values (Linsk recorded and mixed the album himself at his own SKH Studios).
The band don’t waste any time getting straight down to business, with the opening track ‘No Remorse’ (The first song on the album to be given the promotional video clip treatment) blasted out in a frantic pace, and with plenty of aggression. Although there’s nothing particularly innovative about Speed\Kill/Hate’s brand of thrash, there’s a lot to be said for the energy at which the band deliver their crushing riffs and the relentless pace at which the rhythm section maintain throughout. Vocalist Barnak also proves to be an asset to the band, with his vocals accentuating the seething hatred and venom the band are clearly trying to present through the music.
With barely a breath taken between tracks, the band swiftly serve up another punishing slab of grooving thrash metal in ‘Breeding Hate’, before slowing the pace a little for the Pantera meets Overkill sounding ‘Written In Blood’ and ‘Behind The Mask’ (Which bring to mind a cross between Slayer and Pantera in places).
For the remainder of the album, Speed\Kill/Hate doesn’t stray too far from the template already laid down by the opening four tracks. But while that hardly sounds like a glowing recommendation, the great thing is that the band doesn’t let the high quality dip at any point either, with tracks such as the fast paced ‘Slain’, the intense blast of ‘Brotherhood Of Arms’ and the thrash/death metal influenced closer ‘The Cleansing’ representing the best tracks from the remainder of the album.
Speed\Kill/Hate isn’t offering up anything new or groundbreaking with their tried and true take on the modern thrash sound. But what the band does deliver is first class thrash from start to finish, without a single weak moment evident for its entire thirty six minutes.
For thrash fans, ‘Out For Blood’ well and truly delivers on its promise, and comes highly recommended to those who enjoyed Overkill and Onslaught’s recent releases, and fans of quality thrash in general.

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© Justin Donnelly