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Review: Joe Thrasher - Metal Forces
Joe Thrasher
Metal Forces

Label: Independent
Year released: 2009
Duration: 26:43
Tracks: 9
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: August 26, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Metal Forces

Rated 3.69/5 (73.85%) (13 Votes)

At last! Some 6 years after their formation, Joe Thrasher's debut is finally here. Until now I had to quench my thirst with their demo and the occasional local show. Well, it was worth the wait. Joe Thrasher don't fuck around: They formed the band with the admitted goal of having fun thrashing, and that's what Metal Forces is all about – hell, the title alone is a good indicator that this is not another social commentary-infested Thrash album – if you want the news, tune in to CNN. This is all about kicking your ass and making you smile during the whole ordeal.

100% gimmick-free Thrash is what's offered on Metal Force - pretty "straightforward" stuff, full-speed ahead from beginning to end. Interestingly, save for the occasional tiny hint of mid-80s Bay Area Thrash, I found myself unable to compare most of this stuff to anything else (whether that's real, or whether I'm just lost in the sea of Thrash in my collection is another story.) Their vocalist has a throaty/raucous voice that may take some getting used to for some, though for me it clicked right away. On the first few listens I was thinking a little bit of Overkill, but with a lower-pitched voice. Sometimes the vocal lines can sound a little "monotonous" for a bit, only to suddenly hit you with an insane scream worthy of the best 80s screamers – throws me off every time! :) On "SST", some of the screams even remind me a little of King Diamond.

Musically, well, as mentioned previous there's no gimmick here: This is all in-your-face, I'll-make-you-my-bitch Thrash. The music isn't overloaded, which – to me at least – makes appreciating the various instruments much easier. Unrelenting classic metallic riffage through and through, only interrupted on occasion by Matt's solos – some of which can practically lift you off your feet by the coolness factor alone – and sometimes it's just the pounding drums that take over, some major speaker rattling that'll pin you to the ground until you say you're sorry (er… OK, I've been thinking about my school bullies from 30 years ago lately… *cough*)

Not much to complain about here. The album is an independent release and the sound is a little low compared to, hmmm.. well, most of what I have on my playlist lately. It's not a bad sound – but it does have that little DIY feel to it – they got the instruments to sound clear and that's the most important part. At just under 27 minutes, the album is really on the short side, but better that than 50 minutes containing 20 minutes of fillers. All songs kick some serious ass, though I'm partial to "Underground" – the music is fine, but the word "underground" is repeated so often that it drives me fucking nuts (not to the point of skipping the song, however.) Tracks such as "Speed Kills", "Metal Forces" and "Marching" (a fucking poser-crushing hymn that has the potential of a live favourite – cool as hell) more than make up for these little details. If you're looking for some speedy, ass-kicking and unpretentious Thrash, then you can't go wrong with Metal Forces.

Other related information on the site
Review: Cries of War (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Cries of War (*Teaser*) (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Demo (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Demo One (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Joe Thrasher on April 18, 2004 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Matt Ingram (Guitars/Backing Vocals), Scott Wark (Vocals/Bass) and Jim Shurben (Drums) on October 4, 2009 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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