Review Summary: Who needs subtlety when you're here to thrash?
The liner notes alone of Thrash Assault
by Michigan band Sauron could suffice as a review for the album. The thrash band (I bet your own personal speculations of what genre they could possibly be were killing you) explicitly states that they wanted to recreate the sounds the 80s that Destruction, Sodom, Kreator, Dark Angel, Slayer, and Exodus put forth. And, if albums were judged solely on whether or not they reach the band’s personal expectations, Thrash Assault
would be an undeniable classic.
Sauron wastes no time unleashing their maniacal aural persecution that will put your soul in a coma. Opener “Thrash ‘til Death” is pure Kreator worship of the best kind, and would blend seamlessly into Pleasure to Kill
. The band does not stray far from the formula found on “Thrash ‘til Death”, which ends up being both the albums greatest strength and greatest weakness. Sure, “Demonic Invasion” is Sodom worship in place of Kreator, and some of the songs have their Slayer or Dark Angel-esque moments, typically in the form of a breakdown, but as a whole the album feels like Pleasure to Kill
, Persecution Mania
, and Agent Orange
all crammed into one. Hell, there’s even a cover of “Total Death” on here! But you know what" Those albums were ***ing awesome, so by extension this album is also awesome. It would be just a little more awesome if there were a bit of variation.
Digging farther into the music, each member of the band contributes phenomenally. While the recording quality is fairly poor, it’s not unlistenable or annoying in the slightest. The riffs sound just muddy enough to give off that raw thrash feel, but not enough to hide the fact that these guys can shred your face off. And the solos, oh man the solos are super fast and clean, just a work of metal art. Seriously, if ever one of the Teutonic Trio would need a fill in guitarist, they should call these guys. The bass is audible, and doesn’t just mindlessly follow the guitar, which is always a plus. The drums do a spot on Kreator and Sodom impression, which works for the album but isn’t too flashy. The vocals sound like a deeper Tom Angelripper of Sodom, and like the drums, fit perfectly.
Included on the CD is a song that didn’t make the album, an instrumental called “March of the Vandals”, and the demo Prepare to Die
. The demo isn’t really worth mentioning on its own, because it’s basically a less focused Thrash Assault
with crappier production. It’s most definitely worth a listen every time you spin the album, but there’s really nothing standout on it. What I do want to take time to talk about, specifically to bitch about, is “March of the Vandals” and the lack of attention the band gave it. Why in the name of Dio and all that is good and metal in the world would you cut such an amazing track from the final album"! The liner notes mention that the band thought it wasn’t “Sauron enough”, which admittedly makes sense, since it’s more of a power metal/thrash combo than a brutal thrash assault. It’s unmixed, which shows, but here we have 7:07 of pure metal beauty with inhumanly catchy and headbangable riffs, some unrelenting thrash, plus it’s littered with godlike solos. If I could only listen to one song for the rest of my life, I’d have a hard time not picking “March of the Vandals”. It’s that good.
Subtlety is not Sauron’s strong suit, but it doesn’t need to be. With 7 songs (13 if you count the demo) of amazing Teutonic thrash worship, this album is more than enough to satisfy fans of brutal thrash metal. If you have the itch to thrash, Sauron is here to scratch it ‘til you’re bleeding and begging for more.
I’m still mad about “March of the Vandals”, though.