Thrashing in the East
Nuclear Gaichal Recordings
Thrashing in the East presents two of my favourite Asian thrash metal bands on one CD, with Singapore’s Xanadoo and Japan’s Fastkill coming together to provide 8 tracks of good, thrashing fun. Xanadoo‘s 2010 debut full length album Black.Death.Grind.Shit! contained re-recorded versions of the tracks that were on the band’s previous 2 demos, Blood is Dirt and This Demo is Shit, and while the quality of the re-recorded versions were certainly awesome as fuck, the fact that it contained only 1 new track (Subterranean Hemorrhoid Blues) left fans craving for even more new material. Thrashing in the East is then that long-awaited antidote, with Xanadoo finally releasing 4 (well, technically 3) brand new tracks along with their Japanese compatriots Fastkill.
Xanadoo sets a rather serious tone, kicking off the split with Repression, and is quite a surprise to those who are accustomed to their tongue-in-cheek themes. But underlying the serious undertones the music is still the unadulterated, furious style of thrash metal that Xanadoo has crafted over the recent years. The pace that the band goes at is quick as hell, with the drums of Mahesha setting the pace and guitarist Zac and bassist Shiva easily keeping up with the insane speed. Zac spits out his lyrics with much hate and anger, giving the tracks an even more aggressive sound as well. While Repression and The Keyboard Warrior are rather typical of Xanadoo‘s style of music so far, Fuck Tiger Beer presents a rather different sound, with the playing style of Zac in particular bringing in a rather strong Abigail influence with the somewhat punkish overtones, and the alcoholic theme completing the comparisons to the aforementioned. The band ends their side of the split with a cover of Abigail‘s War 666, injecting even more speed and anger into the music, and is a worthy tribute to these gods of Japanese thrash metal.
As though the dosage of speed by Xanadoo weren’t enough, Fastkill begins their onslaught with a rough mix of Stench of Hell, off their recent full length album, Bestial Thrashing Bulldozer. The raw sound of this rough mix helps to bring out that high energy and intensity that is in the band’s playing, and is definitely a nice touch to the already devastating final version of the track. Toshio’s characteristic screechy vocals are still instantly recognisable, and so is the breakneck speed that Fastkill tends to indulge themselves in. The Tankard cover that they included, The Morning After is also catchy as hell, and the Fastkill-isation of the track makes it all the more catchy and infectious than before. With Fastkill‘s studio offerings often being so addictive, one wonders whether they are able to pull things off live, and the band proves it with the inclusion of 2 live tracks on their side of the split as well, easily showing that they are more than capable to pull off challenging tracks flawlessly.
Thrashing in the East is one hell of an exciting and enjoyable release, and while it is business as usual for speed maniacs Fastkill, the fresh tracks of Xanadoo definitely made this a noteworthy release as well. The craving is more than satisfied for now.