Released: 2008, EmanesMETAL Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
We all still remember songs like "144,000 Gone" and "Taken by Force" by Agent Steel that were both featured to the band´s classic SKEPTICS APOCALYPSE album - right? Those two particular songs were originally recorded by a band called Spectre, which only recorded one 3-song demo in 1983. The two founding members of Spectre were the brothers Phil and Tony Sardo who can be thanked for writing those hundreds of times played 2 instant classic Agent Steel live numbers. Since the year of 1983, time has truly flown...
15 years later, in 1998 precisely, the Sardo bros formed a new band called Thrustor, which was supposed to be a continuation of the original Sceptre, both vision- and music-wise. The guys started penning songs like "Steel Heat", "The Omen" and "Nausea" that all combined elements from a blistering speed - and thrash metal, added with a relatively technical edge of playing. A year later, the band´s debut album, NIGHT OF FIRE, was released on the small Black Astola label.
9 years have passed by since the release of Thrustor´s debut, and now it´s time for a re-release of the album (with 2 bonus demo tracks), which a legendary metal producer Neil Kernon (Nile, Cannibal Corpse, Nevermore - just to name a few) has also re-mixed.
First off, thanks to a French label EmanesMetal Records for understanding the importance for this re-release of the album. It´s a great thing to notice that there are still some labels around the world nowadays that swear by the name of old-school metal.
Secondly, it would have been truly a shame if no one had re-released Thrustor´s debut to a wider circulation. NIGHT OF FIRE, containing 12 songs (2 bonus demo tracks being excluded from the promo version), is a fine mixture of speed, thrash and heavy metal, played with an uncompromising old-school style that automatically pushes a listener some 20 years back in time. Every time I´m spinning the album, I don´t know why it happens but Ohio´s power thrashers Destructor´s name pops up in my mind (like a more tamed version from them). Perhaps that´s caused by some similarities both of these two fine speed / thrash acts have in their sounds, representing that vintage old-school style that at least most of the old-timer metalheads love in our gut. What I find a great thing about Thrustor´s album is that it captures that mid ´80s metal vibe so deceptively well that one could easily think NIGHT OF FIRE could have been recorded during the golden times of the speed´n´thrash metal boom in the ´80s. But on the other hand, can you expect anything less from the guys who have penned down songs like "144,000 Gone" and "Taken by Force"?
In all honesty, NIGHT OF FIRE is an album for all the fans of Speed and Thrash Metal of the mid/late ´80s. In my humble opinion the Sardo brothers have managed to take some of the best bits from that particular era in question into their songs, making the album stand out on its own merits - mixing sheer aggression and power of Speed and Thrash Metal with some ear-catching melodies that stick out from this opus effortlessly, penetrating into your brain cells in a somewhat addictive way.
"Steel Heat", "The Omen" and "Nausea" are all very solid triumphs of the ´80s Speed and Thrash Metal that undoubtedly go down well for most of us. A song called "Sceptre" bows in Priest´s direction shamelessly, and sounds a bit like Priest´s song "Rabid Fire" from the beginning of the song (just listen to the guitar rhythm in it), so it´s even safe to say Priest´s influence in Thrustor´s sound is also undeniable.
I can hardly find much else to say about their kinda familiar and safe sounding NIGHT OF FIRE album. This is all around very good Speed and Thrash Metal, played straight from the heart and soul the way only a certain generation of metalheads can do right and convincingly enough. Do yourself a favor and definitely check this album out!