Released: 2009, Metalworks
Reviewer: Stu Occupier
Virus were one of the pioneers of British Thrash Metal in the 80's, unlike many of their contemporaries they did not look to the USA to find inspiration, which helped shape them into the most aggressive metal band in the UK. This is of little surprise when you look back to 1986 when they were formed by Heston & Kaylor from the punk/oi! band Criminal Damage, soon joined by Hess and McFinlay.
In 1987 they released their first recording PRAY FOR WAR. A year later they released the album ‘Force Recon’ followed by tours with Megadeth, Voi-Vod, Kreator and Suicidal Tendencies’ to name but a few. The press had labeled them the bad boys of thrash metal, but then to be fair most of their gigs ended up in fights, drunken brawls & roadie punch ups. Their last album LUNACY from 1989 is an accepted classic of the genre, just listen to the album and you can see where many of the new generation thrash bands draw their influence from.
The band split up in early 1990 and that was the end of what should have been our greatest export to metal since Iron Maiden or Napalm Death. Then in 2008 Coke, now on vocals as well as guitar, decided to resurrect Virus with a new line up featuring Dave Sherwood on drums from Tiberium and Doreterna, Matt Cooper on bass from Cellbound and Sam Brandon on guitar from melodic death metal band Matron.
This prompted their old record label to issue a compilation on cd for the first time and with the band re-signed to said label are currently recording a new EP titled RAPED BY MUTANTS. It's amazing to hear just how good these old tracks are and how fresh they still sound.
Now im sure you know Municipal Waste’s ”Headbanger Face Rip?” but listen to “BSSD” and you can hear a very similar song indeed! “Lunacy” has a real swing to it with some great timing changes that would turn an Emo into a ‘Thrashaholic’ for sure.
You can detect the punk influence on “Pray For War”, it’s as violent as the title suggests and could have come off an old Discharge album. The all too short CD ends with “State Of The Art” from the album LUNACY, it is a classic track and should be essential in anyone's thrash mix on the old I-Pod thing.
Really wanted more tracks on this, would have loved for their version of the Munsters theme to have been included, but hey this IS better than nothing.
RECOMMENDED TRACKS: “Testify To Me”, “State Of The Art”