Schizophrenia – Voices
Reviewed: February 2021
Released: 2020, Independent
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Remember when Kreator circa ’86-’87 was the fastest and most pissed off sounding band you’d ever heard? That was the same vibe I had listening to VOICES, the debut EP from Belgium’s Schizophrenia. One of the many releases from last year that I’m just now catching up with, VOICES is a tightly wound thrash metal machine that’ll have you digging your acid wash jeans and high top sneakers out of the closet.
Far from the schmaltzy retro thrash glut that was all the rage not that long ago, VOICES comes across as a much more serious and competent contender. The EP’s 5 tracks are concise nuggets of sonic violence that place substance over style, with standout cuts like “Perpetual Perdition” and “Beyond Reality” packing an ungodly amount of precision speed picking and thoughtfully assembled riffs. Vocalist Ricky Mandozzi has a meaty rasp that borders on death metal-lite, but isn’t that far off from Sadus/Morbid Saint territory and adds some extra weight to the already ultra-heavy procession of tunes. As each track progresses in a dizzying frenzy of circle pit fanaticism, it’s abundantly clear that these guys have done their homework and understand the source material as well (or better) than the thrash scene’s elder statesmen.
At the risk of sounding dismissive (not at all the intention), there’s nothing revolutionary with Schizophrenia’s brand of metal – but what they do, they do exceptionally well. Fast, heavy, technically proficient, and unflinchingly brutal, VOICES is a collection of some of the best thrash metal tunes that’ve hit my speakers in a long while. VOICES is available now through Schizophrenia’s Bandcamp page (where it’s available for a pittance), do yourself a favor and check it out now.