Reckless Tide - Helleraser
Armageddon Records
Thrash Metal
11 songs (46:44)
Release year: 2006
Armageddon Records
Reviewed by Dylan
Freshness is somewhat of a double-edged sword in metal. No matter how excited you may get at the next Hate Eternal release or the next Darkthrone disc, you pretty much already know what it will sound like, regardless of how good the quality may turn out to be. Extreme black and death metal bands have a tendency to do this, while newer bands like Between The Buried And Me and the utterly unpredictable Unexpect are so bent on spastic technicality, many listeners just can’t take it. So what does all of this have to do with a relatively new German thrash band like Reckless Tide? It’s simple: they manage to provide a very familiar, well-done thrash assault, without having it come off as being stale or forced.

From the first razor sharp, triplet-laden opening riff of Vicious Tide – Chapter I, to the gang shouted chorus of Evolution, to the solid drumming found in all the tracks, its obvious these guys borrowed from the best in thrash. The musicianship could not be considered overtly technical by any stretch; for the songs have to come first, and that is one thing they do very well. Simple song structures, packed with pummeling verses, memorable choruses, and sizzling energy make Helleraser remind you of the glorious 80s thrash wave long gone. Evolution is one of the best tracks on the album, for it exemplifies all the things that this band can do well. After a short drum intro, the slithering riffs take charge as The Gathering-era Chuck Billy-esque vocals shout through your speakers. Not quite guttural enough to be considered death metal, but rough and raspy enough to still kick more than enough ass. Vocally, this band brings another influence to the table, with a voice that makes me think of Kreator's Miland Petrozza if he had decided to put more melody into his voice. Symbiont (Welcome To My World) is a great example of how a chorus can be carried by these guys. If only more thrash bands could take a cue from duel vocalists like Reckless Tide’s own Andrew Troth and Kjell Hallgreen…(sigh)

Helleraser as a whole lets many influences shine through quite nicely. Listen to the first few seconds of Madness Within and tell me you don’t hear the pervasive influence of Exodus shining through. Speaking of Exodus, their last two efforts more specifically, this album is chocked full of groove. Every chorus is full of headbangability and melody, making them very worthwhile and digestible. Guitarists Susanne Swillus and Oliver Jaath know how to keep it aggressive, simple, and catchy, which should keep even casual thrash fans quite pleased.

Production-wise, things are still done quite nicely. No, it doesn’t sound like Andy Sneap’s latest project, but the production still fits the retro feel of the album. The only major flaw I can think of is track 6, Kleemahendeabte. What at first sounds like an average ballad quickly turns into a thrash rendition of every nursery rhyme you have ever heard. At least it shows that the band has a sense of humor, but this really should have been included as a bonus track, not jeopardizing the flow of the album by being thrown right into the thick of it. So, the bottom-line: who is this album for? Anyone who enjoys melodic thrash riffing, grooves that allow the mind to absorb them after one listen, and fresh dual vocal attacks, all wrapped in a familiar old-school package, should definitely pick this one up.
Killing Songs :
Vicious Tide, The Preacher, Evolution, Symbiont (Welcome To My World), though all have something to offer.
Dylan quoted 81 / 100
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