Friday, November 22, 2013

Blackrat - Whiskey And Blasphemy - Album Review

Year: 2013

The problem with many of the Thrash Metal bands these days is that most of it sounds very contrived and forced. The basic difference between the thrash metal back in the 80’s and the thrash metal today, is that back then, the music had a passion and the bands playing the music sounded like they were having fun. That is lost out on most of today’s thrash bands. However, that being said, there is still a hand full of bands that are bringing back that old school passion through their music. The latest album by Canadian act Blackrat is a fine example for this.

Blackrat is a not a pure Thrash Metal band. Their music contains a whole lot of Black Metal and the right amount of Crust Punk. Reading the mere description of this combination of elements alone, had me panting like a dog in heat. But nothing prepared me for the tight delivery that is present on ‘Whiskey and Blasphemy’, the band’s debut full length.

The performance on the record is as tight as a nun’s cunt. Apologies for the blasphemous language, but repeated listening to this record has caused the contagious blasphemy to spread within me. This three piece’s music has something that eludes many bands these days: it has a soul and a very dark one at that. The thrashy riffs and the blackened atmosphere, along with the punk impatience, amalgamate to give a high energy, satan worshipping, binge drinking soundtrack.

It is not hard to figure out that Blackrat have fun in doing what they do. The entire album rides on high adrenaline from start to finish. The guitar riffs of Ian Lemke are some fine black thrash licks and the loud bass work of Stu Loughlin brings to the music the much needed heavy feel. Together, these two unleash tracks that are dark, while at the same time, are very hard to sit still to. The vocals are as sickening as the lyrics uttered by them. The rhythm is well maintained by drummer Russel Shanahan, whose fast beats and start stop passages bring a sense of urgency to the music.

The production on this record is reminiscent of many albums that were released as part of the second wave of black metal and this really caught me off guard. While bands today go for clean production jobs, these guys have kept it grimy and dirty. The dark and blasphemous atmosphere created by the production suits the music perfectly. Blackrat has managed to capture that old school feel through their song structures and production. This album sound like it would be comfortably home in the late 80’s.

The songs are not complicated in the least. Rather they are short and simple in their structure. What makes these song work is the execution and delivery. Though the entire album clocks in at only 28 minutes, every minute of ‘Whiskey and Blasphemy’ is ridiculously enjoyable and downright fun. The band’s interests can be summed up in a few words: Satan, Booze and Sleaze. That is all that is needed for a good time, right?

If there ever was, a perfect soundtrack to worshipping Satan while holding a beer in your hand, then this it.

Rating: 86%

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