Now this is the first true thrash album I’ve had the chance to review on the site; it’s about time eh! This time around we’ve got the new self-titled record from the lads over at Besieged. I feel like the last decade or so has been a quite weak time for thrash metal as it’s been often foreshadowed by other sub-genres. Not just that, but I feel like some of the big thrash acts such as Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax etc just haven’t been putting out particularly great albums; what I’m trying to say is that thrash needs an injection of life. But not all is lost, because I think I may of just found that injection.
This record is unrelenting from start to finish. There are no weak power ballads, no corny commercial attempts; just pure thrash metal goodness. It’s aggressive, it’s powerful and it really is a throwback to the golden days of the genre. There is also an individual flavouring here, with the groups image being prominent in their sound. Each riff on this album is memorable and exciting; there is so much attitude and piping hot professionalism here.
The production felt incredibly solid for an unsigned act. The guitar tones felt pure and natural, the drums were hearty and wholesome, the bass was deep and brooding and the vocals forceful and strong. The most surprising aspect for me, definitely came with the drums. I so often hear unsigned records with really poor drum quality, or at the very least noticeably under produced ‘kicks & snares’, but here the drums are integral to the sound and boy do they do their job well. Each beat hit my stomach hard and fast, with clarity and style; huge props go to the producer here.
The only flaw I’d have to say, is that the vocals could of done with a bit of re-mastering, raising their amplitude in the mix just to front the verse sections slightly better; you only would of noticed this if you were looking for it however.
Personal favourite tracks for me are ‘Besieged’ and ‘Bloodbath on Floor 16’, mostly due to some fantastic musicality being shown throughout. ‘Besieged’ has some of the best progressions I’ve heard in metal all year and the decorative transitions are fantastic. The drum fills in both of these tracks would make any musician lick his lips. Also the guitar solo’s, how have I not talked about the guitar solo’s yet! The technicality in the arpeggio work and sweep picking is truly a delight to listen to; the guitarist have some quality skills!
Structurally all the tracks were in your basic thrash format, but I loved the inclusion of external sampling and ambient effects. From the intro interlude alone, there is an atmosphere of destruction and anger built. I also loved how the tracks were kept around an average of 3 minutes, the perfect length for a thrash track in my opinion. Their weren’t any glitzy, elongated areas to fill the run-time; every minute felt necessary and relevant.
Overall a great EP for thrash fans everywhere. All my expectations were blown away and I can only smile when I think of the future of this group.