Review Summary: Bonded by Blood cleary throw a few back every now and then to old 80's thrash metal. But hey, that's a good thing!
Thrash isn’t dead. Despite what you may read or hear, thrash is still alive and kicking. To those who claim it died in the late 80’s, this isn’t so. The genre has had its ups and downs (a noticeable down would be during the 90’s and the nu-metal explosion), but it’s coming back, this time fueled by bands hell-bent on returning to its roots. Surprisingly, many of these bands, rightfully dubbed “retro-thrash” (bands like Evile and Flesh Made Sin), have meet staunch resistance from purist metal heads, who view them as bringing nothing but clean production and recycled riffs to the table.
Unfortunately for them, they don’t get to enjoy Bonded by Blood’s EP "Extinguish the Weak" for what it is: an exceptionally well-executed thrash album that praises Bay Area metal, mainly Exodus (their name should’ve given them away). It doesn’t matter that this came out in 2007, because it sounds like it’s ripped straight out the glorious year of 1986. Fueled by a desire to bring back the intensity and fun of thrash, Bonded by Blood will spit right your face and not give a damn (just like how thrash should be).
"Extinguish the Weak" is a rather short EP, clocking in just less than 17 minutes, and there are really only four real tracks (one being an intro and the other being a bonus track). However, in those four actual tracks, you’ll be treated to head banging, 80’s Bay Area thrash, reminiscent of early Exodus and Overkill. The intro, “Asphyxiation”, sets the tone with a ridiculously dumb, yet awesome, quote of “What happens if I choke someone…do they die"!
” before distorted guitar meets crazed bass lines and pulsing drums, and just like that, “Immortal Life” comes thrashing in heading straight for the jugular. Alex Lee and Juan Boogie waste no time in showing off their chops at playing jackhammer riffs, as their riddled with palm mutes and quick branch offs that thrash became famous for. Even Aladdin’s vocals mirror those of the past, as he opts to use more of a shouting tone rather than the now-traditional growl that’s become more popular in thrash acts.
As "Extinguish the Weak" churns on, be prepared for some whiplash. The beat and crazed rhythms created by drummer Carlos Cervesa set the stage on every track, more noticeably on “Taste the Destruction”, where his double-bass will easily crush speakers. Even RuDo, the bassist, shows off his chops occasionally, especially with his fills on “Feed the Beast”. Backed up by RuDo’s thick bass, Alex and Juan churn out riff after riff, whether they be laced with speed on “Taste of Destruction”, or a bit more intricate and chainsaw-sounding such as on “The Evil Within”, these two produce on guitar. Their solos as well are as every bit chaotic as something Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King would write, as they fly all over and hit the whammy-bar frequently. Aladdin usually complements these two perfectly, as his vocals tend to mirror the riff at the time. His vocal range isn’t going to win many awards, but he suits the style of music so well. On “Feed the Beast”, easily his best performance on the EP, he quickly attempts to instigate the listener with a snarl of “Come get some!
There’s so much to like about "Extinguish the Weak". Even the lyrics, which have never been a strong point in thrash, are just plain fun. “Feed the Beast” attempts to rally listeners to “extinguish the weak”, while “Taste of Destruction” has the stronger-than-all feel going on with lines of “Crush your opponent! Smash his beliefs!
” It should be pointed out now what the bonus track is: it’s the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song, thrash style. Its level on the “awesome scale” is through the roof, as the boys put just as much energy into that track and they did with this whole EP. Not to mention that if you wait another 30 seconds after the song is done, you’ll be treated to an impression of Arnold Swarzchenegger apparently getting off to porn.
Bonded by Blood recently signed with Earache and are expecting to put out a debut soon in February, and with such a strong EP, the metal community should take notice. The only thing that really might disappoint some is how short this EP actually is, since it’s over faster than the blink of an eye. These guys are out not to redo the genre, but take it back to its wild roots. It’s loud, it’s fast, it’s fun, and that’s what thrash was all about, and Bonded by Blood’s "Extinguish the Weak" is an ode to the good times.
Overall – 4/5
All of them. Shell out 5 bucks (that’s all it costs, even with shipping) and get the whole thing.