ALBUM: Shark Attack
LABEL: New Renaissance
GENRE: Crossover Thrash Metal
Here we have an 80's crossover thrash metal band from Portland, Oregon. Their name is Wehrmacht, which is pronounced "Vair-mahkt"; it's a German word for "defense force". Before disbanding, they bestowed upon us 2 thrashing gems that now seem to have been lost in the large amounts of thrash bands that appeared in the 80's, these albums being: Shark Attack (1987) and Biermacht (1989). After breaking up, Brian Lehfeldt went on to drum for another crossover band called Cryptic Slaughter, while Tito Matos and Marco Zorich created a new band called Spazztic Blurr (the words “Spazztic Blurr” can be seen spray-painted on the wall behind the man surfing the sharks on the album cover).
The members of the band were:
Tito Matos - Vocals
John Duffy - Guitar
Marco Zorich - Guitar
Shann Mortimer - Bass
Brian Lehfeldt - Drums
Shark Attack starts off with the title track Shark Attack. The intro to this song uses distorted guitars playing the "Jaws" theme song; slowly building up tension, in the background another guitar begins wailing on the whammy bar sometimes making the sound of an ambulance's siren. Suddenly, the listener's ears are assaulted by the fast and chaotic blast of drums and guitars. Soon things slow down, but that isn't for very long because you are once again attacked by the raging noise this time accompanied by the shouting vocals of Tito Matos. The whole song as with the entire album, is quite fast paced, only slowing down a few times for some intros, giving the us just a few seconds to rest our necks from the constant head banging that is compulsory when listening to this album. Most of the of the songs on this album are just slightly over 2 minutes, with one song, an instrumental called Fretboard Gymnastics lasting over 5 minutes.
The singing is pretty much very fast shouting and fast talking; it fits the music very well. He does add variety to his singing style, sometimes using a stop and go method of singing, other times just going balls out and shouting as fast as he can.
Brian's drumming is very fast and he bangs the hell out of his kit on this album. The beats are simple, yet affective and add to the aggression to this music. The drumming is full of fast paced blasts on the snare, which in some songs smacked at the same rhythm as Matos' shouting.
The guitars are loud, distorted, and yes, chaotic. Fast E palm muted notes on the 6th string, tremolo picking, and power chords. The solos are shred fests, fast picked notes, string bending, and whammy bar dive-bombs, very much in vein of Slayer
. Shann's bass isn't very audible, but we hear a nice bass line intro on the song Go Home.
Overall, this album is, yes I'll say it again, fast. Sometimes the instruments may seem sloppily played or just fast noise, and doesn't seem to sound very "professional". The production isn’t clean, and it isn't pretty, it's dirty and nasty, but for me, none of those things matters, each song is great and fun to listen to over and over again.
Barrage of Skankers
The only bad thing I can see with this album is the production, which I personally couldn't care about, as I'm not a production quality whore who listens to a band and then dismisses them because the music 'sounds like it's underwater" or "isn't clear enough! Boo Hoo!"
If you like fast, thrashing, aggressive, loud music then get your hands on this album. It is truly a classic and needs to be heard by all people who like thrash metal.