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domenica 23 agosto 2015

Expenzer - Kill the Conductor

#FOR FANS OF: Groove/Thrash Metal, Pantera, 4Arm
After a near two-decade career as Metalcore outfit Pigskin, the Swiss group reformed into thrashers Expenzer and offer up the first release under the new moniker, ‘Kill the Conductor,’ which almost begs the question why bother to change the name based on the similarities of the different bands? They do tend to play pretty similar material, groove-based Metalcore with Thrash tempos and riffing, though the band here on this version is clearly more of a truer mix between straight Groove and Thrash here without the Metalcore influences here with the band’s insistence on the violent chugging of Groove taking center stage here and then playing them in more Thrash-based patterns. This style never really offers the chance to really showcase anything in terms of variety or experimentation in terms of the music offered, though, so the album can seem to blend together at times with the charging grooves and blistering rhythms being way too same-sounding after the first couple of tracks or so. Intro ‘Bitter End’ offers a great starting point here with incessant chugging grooves, swirling thrash rhythms and dynamic drumming offering up plenty of power and vicious rhythms that all make for a fine, vicious start here. The title track features more straightforward grooves and vicious riff-work pounding throughout the rapid-fire razor-wire rhythm work that manages to fall just short of the greatness of the opening track, while both ‘Dying T-Rex’ and ‘Pelvic Fin’ going back to the original track of vicious rhythms, pounding grooves and dynamic riffing that move it along at a great pace with its razor-wire riffing keeping this one moving along nicely. ‘Play for the Deaf’ offers one of the most vicious opening grooves on the album and continues on throughout here piling on one impressive riff after another that easily makes this the album’s highlight piece while displaying slight traces of experimentation and technical prowess that’s not usually seen in Groove Metal. The banal ‘Amorphous Flowing Ice’ feels like any number of other tracks on here with the simple riffing and vicious grooves offering largely plodding mid-tempo rhythms that flow by without anything of value despite one of the few brief solo leads in the album, ‘Erase It’ offers a streamlined, simplistic take on their already simplified material and comes off nicely because of that, and ‘Unicron’ blasts through some vicious riffing and pounding drumming that makes for a rather enjoyable effort overall mixing the groove as solidly as it does here with the electronics and industrial touches. ‘Light Speed Heart Beat’ is yet another solid Groove-filled thrasher with plenty of violent energy and a decidedly pitched second half that has a few nice twists and turns, while the epic ‘Silence of the Amps’ brings forth a twangy series of guitar-work that leads into extended, drawn-out series of solid groove-filled thrash riffs with the return of the razor-wire leads furthering the running time here as it plods along in a strangely mid-tempo break for the most part. Lastly, the cover of The Haunted’s ‘Chasm’ serves well enough at maintaining a vicious energy and aggression inherent in the original and really could’ve been an original effort created here which is a fine farewell here. It’s main problem though is just the fact that it’s way too familiar to everything else in here. (Don Anelli)

(Self - 2015)
Score: 75