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Guillotine
Blood Money
December 2008
Released: 2008, Pulverised Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

Three… Two… One… THRASH DAMMIT!!! Now let´s release this wild and relentless Swedish thrash assault called Guillotine next, and get their 2nd album, BLOOD MONEY, introduced to the rest of the thrash world, shall we?



Here are the facts: Guillotine released their debut full-length, UNDER THE GUILLOTINE, no less than 11 years ago on the US-based Necropolis Records. Since then… not a single word from their direction. Thought they were over… finished… R.I.P. Guillotine.



However, somewhere down the line in 2007, the Guillotine troops grabbed their weapons again in order to return among us with a thrash storm full of fire and steel.



Featuring two members from Nocturnal Rites (Fredrik Mannberg on vocals/guitar and Nils Eriksson on bass) and two other members from Persuader (Daniel Sunbom on guitar and Efraid Juntunen on drums), it makes one a bit careful and skeptical whether these 4 fine Swedish musicians - whose ´real' jobs are in totally different types of bands musically - can blend their main weapons for some real ass-wiping yet convincing (retro) old school thrash metal, as that´s what every thrash band tries to prove more than anything nowadays (talk about some retro thrash boom hype here!).



Worry not - F**K YEAH they can - and even so well that you start to wonder whether these fellows should say their goodbyes to their real jobs in their main bands.



I mean, unlike so many other ´new forces in thrash´, Guillotine truly manages to revitalize the sound of old school thrash on their 2nd output so effectively and intensely that you start feeling an urgent need to take your hat off to them after getting an injection of their brain-melting, old school thrash. When giving some serious spinning to BLOOD MONEY, a couple of band names seem to pop up every time over and over again - those names being Exodus and Kreator - perhaps with tiny portions from Sacred Reich, The Haunted and Destruction (note specially the vocal department courtesy of Fredrik. He simply MUST be Schmier´s twin brother or cousin at least…). All hostility and aggression that can be found from the songs off BLOOD MONEY fill the gap of some vital yet necessary elements that many of today´s ´so-called thrash albums´ miss badly. There´s luckily a noteworthy injection of both of these important elements easily available in Guillotine´s frantic thrash outbursts - plus, there´s a lot of aggressive and really vicious riffing on the whole album as well that is hard to resist. And if you cannot hear Mr. Holt´s spirit in for example a song named “Insanity”, then you simply been listening to crap for way too long. About the time to clean out your earwax, isn´t it?



Yes, Guillotine´s songs are mostly based on fast tempos that have been armed with mind-piercing riffings and striking melodies, but they can also slow down a little bit, like on a song called “Welcome to Dying (Death, Destruction and Pain)" proves - and which also occasionally reminds one of The Haunted in a peculiar way. The bottom line however is that Guillotine´s own recipe for a relentless and neck-snapping thrashing madness actually tastes surprisingly good, and I bet the majority of thrashers out there will enjoy them for both the savory and main course. So try them. I suppose you might like them a little bit, too… ;o)
Track Listing

01. Insane Oppression
02. Rebellion
03. Insanity
04. Liar
05. Die/Live
06. Skeleton City
07. Madness (instrumental)
08. Dying World
09. Welcome to Dying (Death, Destruction & Pain)
10. War
11. Our Darkest Day
12. Blood Money

Lineup

Fredrik Mannberg - Vocals and guitar
Daniel Sundbom - Guitar
Nils Eriksson - Bass
Efraim Juntunen - Drums

Other reviews

» Blood Money
by Luxi Lahtinen

» Blood Money
by Hanntu


Next review: » Guillotine - Blood Money
Previous review: » Guardians of Mankind / Merging Flare - Split CD-EP

Guillotine
Blood Money
May 2009
Released: 2008, Pulverised Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Hanntu

Well, who’d have thought that a band comprising of two members of Nocturnal Rites and two members of Persuader would end up playing thrash version 2006-7. Fredrik Mannberg (vocals/guitar) and Nils Eriksson (bass) started Guillotine as a side project to Nocturnal Rites, and they released an album wayyy back in 1997 called UNDER THE GUILLOTINE that was more under the radar than…under the guillotine. Between 1997 and now we saw Nocturnal Rites steadily go down the tube, and now, with thrash waxing at a zenith not seen since 1986, Mannberg and Eriksson decide to release a thrash album. Joining them are Daniel Sundbom (guitars) and Efraim Juntunen (drums) from thrash/power metal band Persuader.



Instead of the current trend of Bay Area worship, the Swedes have decided to exchange denims and hightops for bullet belts and leather jackets. They take their inspiration more from the German school of newer thrash, with Destruction and Kreator their particular idols. In fact, the composite of Destruction and Kreator pretty much describes the brand of thrash that Guillotine play, with a heavy dose of Exodus in certain parts. If you imagine THE ANTICHRIST-era Destruction with ENEMY OF GOD/VIOLENT REVOLUTION production values, you’ve probably got an accurate image of Guillotine. It of course helps that Fredrik Mannberg sounds uncannily like Mille Petrozza, right down to the opening scream/roar in the first seconds of ‘Insane Oppression’.



So. Slickly produced German thrash by a bunch of Swedish power metal musicians? Does it work?



It depends on what you want from your thrash. Mannberg and co. are fantastic musicians, which is pretty much a given. The overall energy is undeniable, albeit with quite a few noticeable weak parts, especially the previously mentioned opening roar on ‘Insane Oppression’, which is embarrassing in its impotence. Anyway, it sounds like thrash, looks like thrash, reads like thrash, so it must be thrash, right?



Yes, it’s just not very interesting thrash, other than the sheer Exodus/Kreator/Destruction worship and the novelty value of having four highly regarded members from two Swedish power metal bands. It’s like porn: you know it’s porn when you see it, but it’s indistinguishable from the nine thousand other cum spattered faces and fake orgasms. That’s not to say that it’s not great while it’s happening – you do the normal thing while it’s going on, i.e. jerk off (for porn) or headbang (for BLOOD MONEY), but at the end, you wipe yourself off and forget about it. And there, I think the porn analogy shall end.



With Eviles and Toxic Holocausts and Earache Records popping up everywhere with Ed Repka artwork, with old bands reuniting to try and achieve the success and acclaim that bypassed them in 1986, the thrash scene is booming – and it’s becoming increasingly harder to stand out. Guillotine have tried to worship the best, and probably have succeeded on their own terms. Get BLOOD MONEY if you like your thrash fast and compelling with good production and sound, but your search for originality will not end with Guillotine.
Track Listing

1. Insane Oppression
2. Rebellion
3. Insanity
4. Liar
5. Die/Live?
6. Skeleton City
7. Madness
8. Dying World
9. Welcome to Dying (Death, Destruction and Pain)
10. War
11. Our Darkest Day
12. Blood Money

Lineup

Fredrik Mannberg - Vocals/Guitar
Daniel Sundbom - Guitar
Nils Eriksson - Bass
Efraim Juntunen - Drums

Other reviews

» Blood Money
by Luxi Lahtinen

» Blood Money
by Hanntu


Next review: » Guitar World Magazine Staff (various) - Guitar World Presents: Metallica (Book Review)
Previous review: » Guardians of Mankind / Merging Flare - Split CD-EP





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