Reviewed: November, 2020
Released: November 27, 2020 Punishment 18 Records
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
There are a lot of bands that can call themselves old school thrash but that label can sometimes be misleading. Bulgaria’s Terravore wants there to be no misunderstanding, they play real thrash bordering on death metal. Formed in 2015, they have released numerous demos, singles and splits but their sophomore full length, VORTEX OF PERISHMENT, will drop on November 27; almost 3 years to the day from their debut. This is my first experience with this band so I’m going in blind. I never know what to expect with modern thrash but what I found here was actually quite surprising. Not only are they truly old school thrash, but these guys are no joke…they mean business!
Thrash is one of my favorite genres. I was there during it’s infancy and I remember the first time I heard the speed and ferociousness of Slayer, or the monstrous riffs of Kreator’s early albums. Terravore give me that feeling several times while listening to this album starting with the opener and first single “Poltergeist.” The intro of the song almost sounds like a modern Kreator intro until the riffs arrive and kick you in the teeth. The vocals go back from mainly death growls that remind me of Martin Missy (Protector) to thrash shouts but it’s the riffs just pummel you. The solos are also standouts on this album. Very melodic, they are pulled off flawlessly with a really nice guitar tone. This gives you a taste of how this album will play out. The best part of this album is how the songs were constructed. Sometimes a band has a bunch of great ideas but they do not turn into a cohesive song. VORTEX OF PERISHMENT is full of great ideas that are well executed and that translates into killer songs.
Another test of their songwriting ability is just by the pure length of the songs. This album has few songs under five minutes but no where on the album does it drag or have you wishing for it to end. “Carnal Beast” is a prime example. Coming straight for your throat from the start but as you dig deeper there are many layers to this song and each idea flows coherently. Then comes that godly solo. I love the guitar tone on this album. As we dig deeper into the album, it becomes apparent that we are in the filler free zone. Even the 1:43 instrumental did not feel forced or out of place. It just set you up for the beast that is “Decapitating Lead.” You also find out that they can write a song under five minutes because “Army of Rancors” is under three minutes but kicks your ass all the way through. Then there’s the closer, “Journey to the End of Time.” This is eight and a half minutes of epic thrash. Nothing sounds forced nor are they trying to hard to fill the space. Instead the song flows through each part, only really slowing it down in the middle. Once again another tasteful solo adorns this song. This was a really bold move to make a song this long but it paid off.
With multiple demos, splits, singles, EPs, etc. it is still impressive whenever a band creates something this good on their second full length. It is obvious that Terravore are hard working band. I was really impressed with what I heard on this album. The songwriting was top notch and the guitar work was flawless. I have not heard anything else by this band as of yet but I will surely be checking out their back catalog. I’m also very interested in where they go next. Keep an eye on this band.