It may appear that Thrash Metal has become the new trend, as of late. All these newer bands have infected the genre like another disease spreading. These so-called thrash acts are playing heavier riffs, and claiming California 80's era bands as their main influence. Even the 'master of profits' - Metallica has reclaimed their old logo in an attempt to ride the lightning once more. Sadly, too many once great acts have reformed, but with a mere modicum of past glory.
Nearly two decades have transpired since Thrash Metal attained it's penultimate peak. Even so, the immortal life of thrash endures, and even though several new bands are returning with weaker, less inspired sophomore releases; some new bands like Fueled By Fire, Hatchet, & Dekapitator do have what it takes to survive. Enter Bonded By Blood.
These wasted youth may have what it takes to feed the beast, when it strikes back with a vengeance. Their lame name initially suggests their supposed lack of originality, or that they intend to mirror Exodus, but this is far from the case. In fact, they are not Exodus clones at all. They have much more in common with bands like Vio-lence, Death Angel, Heathen, & Lääz Rockit, especially vocally. Perhaps they should have dubbed themselves The Eternal Nightmare? They also show some similarities to lesser known Speed Metal icons like Powermad, Evil Dead, & Faith Or Fear.
When I first listened to them at their My Space, and then heard them on the Thrash Or Be Thrashed Comp., I did not find them to be anything spectacular. That compilation had too many overhyped bands like Warbringer, SSS, & Toxic Holocaust. Then, I was fortunate to find the two CD special edition at my local Best Buy for only $10, so I decided to give them another chance, and I'm grateful I did!
The tormenting voice of Jose "Alladin" Barrales really reminds me of Sean Killian of Vio-lence. I also hear some of Dave "Godfrey" White's Heathenish Breaking The Silence screams. There are even some James Rivera Helstar highnote attempts. There is also a hint of Michael Coons from Lääz Rockit when he sang on Know Your Enemy or Annihilation Principle. (N.B. if you relish the glory days of Lääz Rockit, avoid their newest - Left For Dead, at all costs!).
If there is inspiration drawn from Exodus, it is not from the thrashterpiece by which Bonded By Blood derive their appelative, but rather it is more akin to Pleasures Of The Flesh and Fabulous Disaster. Here is where the guitarwork really shines from these lads. Like the Toxic Twin guitarmonies of Gary & Rick, then, the lethal psychotic pulse of Alex Lee & Juan Juarez is menacing.
All this mind pollution aside, the one link they do share with their thrash ancestors is their sense of humor. This was a common staple in 80's thrash. Remember Vio-lence's - Torture Tactics EP, Anthrax's - I'm The Man, or M.O.D.? Well, Bonded's cover of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme is awesome! My five year old son loves it, and the solos are amazing!
Michael Rosen's excellent production, and Tom Martin of Lich King's cover art, along with some severely unusual punishing lyrics all serve to make this purchase worth the while.
So, if you celebrate the 80's Speed Metal Tradition, or if you are in search of a band who can recapture past glory, in an honest homage to their roots, pay attention to these uncivil servants who have now become Bonded by Blood.