Review Summary: Black Thrash from Southern California. Didn’t know my home state still had it in them.
Usually people from Southern California are lazy and unproductive, being one myself, but Witchaven seem to be on the ball with their musical game. Starting off in 2006, they’ve already released two demos, two compilations, one EP, and one LP entitled “Terrorstorm”. These busy bros are wasting no time in bringing their talents to the forefront of metals most acclaimed bands. “Terrorstorm” is basically a solid attempt at fusing the style of old school thrash/dm such as Morbid Angel, Darkthrone, and Destroyer666 with darkened elements such as Mayhem, Marduk, and Blasphemy.
“Terrorstorm” is an album about rebellion and explicit disgust for our current humane system; which is basically what thrash has always been about and should always be about. Tracks like “Absolut Profit” and the album opener “ADD” are filled with thought provoking lyrics such as “From the moment you're born, they begin to take control”, and “Is life worth living if you're living in Hell? When the mind is confined to a prisoner's cell”. These lyrics are done very tastefully and the music very well. Never loosing speed or album push, vocalist Demolition Henry has an amazing ability to shred fast tremolos while matching death vocals at similar rates.
For a modern thrash album the production is very fitting with an almost lo-fi like presence but still remaining clear and crisp. The balance of these two entities makes this album very accessible to both long time black thrash fans and new. The musicianship and compositional arrangements are top notch. The riff changes and tempos pushes are very notable in tracks such as “Ardent Lust” and “Confagration”, which contain some of the most effective techniques in the genre. Blazing fast tremolos and solos reign in these tracks which are perfectly integrated into the show by drummer Rony, who has serious skills on the kit. Rony keeps the drum riffs very interesting by using a well balance of fills, blast beats, and innovative drumming patterns; amongst which he is never afraid of showing his abilities, but in a very mature type of way. “Ardent Lust” shows Rony working every part of the kit with perfection and creativity.
While the tag of “black” in this thrash album is very fitting, thrash-like elements take make of the show but the “black” feel is always present. “Damn of the Unholy” favors more thrashy aspects such as blazing blast beats and fast alternating power chords, but within a few moments the same track is switched up with hard hitting, in your face, appregiatted tremolos. Some tracks tend to balance out the black thrash while others like “Empty Chasm” are almost pure black metal. Another notable aspect of “Terrorstorm” is the tasteful use of skits that fit the lyrical them very well. The end of “Confagration” contains a skit about a story from our societies drug user who posted an add about selling a baby for $1000 just to get more meth. These grim news-like reported stories give the album good flow and only add to the darkened disparity that is present amongst itself.
This album is highly recommended to both thrashed and lovers of black metal as almost every “positive” element is present from both. For those who are not familiar with the black thrash genre this is the perfect album to get into. This album not only offers some of the best music the genre has to offer but is also almost never boring; due to the amazing compositional skills of Witchaven. They have made a solid dent in the expectations for modern thrash coming out of Southern California, as well as straight up black metal.