Thrashin' the Neighborhood

rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Raising the Dead
02. Venom of the Beast
03. Roadkill
04. Breathless Birth
05. Black Bones
06. DC Pino [Bonus Track]
07. Stuck on the Shores of Hell [Bonus Track]

Hailing from different countries, but the same neighborhood, Montreal's REANIMATOR and California's MERCILESS DEATH have one big thing in common. Both excel at producing pure old school thrash that takes no cues from the 'core-inflected thrash style that's been done over and over again these past few years. On "Thrashin' the Neighborhood", REANIMATOR has not equaled the excellence of MERCILESS DEATH's "Evil in the Night", but that's only because the latter band has created one of the best unadulterated thrash releases so far this year (and will probably remain so by year's end). The "Thrashin' the Neighborhood" disc is simply a jagged slab of Bay Area thrash with a dose of the gnarly German style.

At 25 minutes and seven songs (though brief goof track "DC Pino", one of two bonus cuts, doesn't really count),the EP is the sound of a band that wastes no time in raising a ruckus and moving on to the next house for an evening of serious partying. Stripped down and totally organic, "Thrashin' the Neighborhood" is filled with the cutting riffs and untamed solos of guitarists Julien Lefort and Mathieu Allard, the barely controlled rhythms of bassist Maxime Cormier and drummer Frank Labelle, and the raspy screams of Petrick Le Pirate. Songs like "Raising the Dead" and "Venom of the Beast" speed along recklessly, interrupted only for vintage thrash chorus shouts. The quintet has neither the time nor the patience for compositional excess, preferring instead to smash 'n bash, and leave pretense to the pretenders. Don't let me mislead you into thinking that "Thrashin' the Neighborhood" is a thrash masterpiece; it's just a hell of a lot of fun and a no-bullshit thrasher.

I'm not sure what got these youngsters hooked on a style perfected during the '80s, but you can be certain that whatever it was has left an indelible imprint on their collective psyche. If forced to choose, I'd grab a copy of "Evil in the Night" before plunking down the bucks for "Thrashin' the Neighborhood", but try to snag a copy of both if funds permit. Along with fellow countrymen and label mates ANONYMUS, REANIMATOR is yet another example of the Montreal area's knack for producing quality metal, something that has obviously not been lost on the folks at Galy Records.

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