Unless I missed a memo over the last few years or so, metalcore doesn’t really appear to be a thing any more. Well, at least from the thrash-influenced perspective, as more and more bands pile on from the hardcore bandwagon, some even evolving into the visceral deathcore movement. Metal has left me jaded nowadays, as the trend seems to emphasise brutality in your music, in guitar tones and how much venom and vengeance you can saturate your lyrics with, bores me. In my personal opinion, there’s very little innovation any more, as clones after clones emerge and dump themselves on top of the landfill. So when metal bands that are flashier, play faster and hark back to a time when proficiency on your instrument was key, it opens a window on a stagnant genre climate.Germany’s Wild Zombie Blast Guide are no doubt obsessed with the living dead and modern society, but they reinvigorate that spirit of thrash metal that many recent bands seem to be ignoring. There’s some interesting ideas such as backing samples and the inclusion of a banjo in one song, but then they also trope into a few modern cliches such that sub-bass explosion that seems to be the equivalent of the Black Plague. Yet there’s a healthy camaraderie and optimism in their message, despite their subject matter. The switching of vocal styles between hardcore superstar, guttural death metal frontman and gang chants in the same song is also refreshing to hear, as highlighted by Birds Of Prey. In between tasteful electronic gasps for breath, some killer guitar chops and an anthemic chorus, the song is a testament to skill-based guitar-orientated music, played at such a pace, it could rattle spinal discs out of place. 2014’s Salute The Commander is a celebration of all that is good about metal, and is life-affirming to boot musically and mentally.
Salute The Commander and their 2012 self-titled debut can only be found on their Bandcamp page for a reasonable asking price.