Released: 2015, Suspiria Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Raze obviously got their fill of old school Teutonic and American thrash during their formative years in northwestern Spain. The A Coruña-based quartet's debut full-length is a veritable celebration of vintage Destruction, Kreator, Nuclear Assault, Testament and Megadeth.
From the end-of-the-world thematics to the slashing riffs and mosh-worthy hooks, turbulent rhythms and compositional complexity, pyrotechnic guitar leads and gang-sung choruses, Mankind's Heritage has the look, feel and sound of something from thrash metal's late '80s/early '90s heyday. That bassist/frontman Macaco's nasally growl is a dead ringer for Marcel Schirmer – aka Schmier - from Destruction only seals the deal, especially on the likes of “L.O.B.”
Mankind's bold, crystal clear production is really the only distinctly contemporary nod as the band wisely avoid the common “rethrash” rough-and-tumble trap, which usually only serves to make the music sound like karaoke. Instead, it is as big and brash as it is brazen, which shows that newish band or no Raze certainly have some balls - and makes what might have otherwise been an unremarkable album quite likable.
Despite the overall familiarity of the band's sound, these guys play it like they mean it and with plenty of gusto. It may be reverential to a fault, but Mankind doesn't seem nearly as calculating as lot of revivalist thrash, nor as lazy. Instead, it seems more a product of Raze's off-the-beaten-path naiveté than contrivance, and they can certainly be cut some slack for that.