Spanish thrashers Holycide return with their sophomore album (that’s 2nd album, for those of us that don’t live in the good ol’ U.S of A) and it’s quite a politicised one, to boot!
Opening with a 90 second compilation of some of the many ‘interesting’ things that POTUS Donald Trump has had to say since he sat in the hot seat, we think it’s safe to say that these guys are not big Donald fans. Launching into the title track, “Fist To Face”, then compounds first impressions as Holycide go straight for the throat and are hardly complementary when it comes to the yellow-haired buffoon. Political diatribes aside, this track is a rip-snorter, a full frontal riff fest that launches at 100mph and does not let up for its duration. The band are working bloody hard here and it should be noted that vocalist, Dave Rotten, has a definite John Tardy (Obituary) style with hints of Mille Petrozza (Kreator) thrown in; an interesting vocal style for a thrash album but it works….and this is the same Dave Rotten of old-school Spanish death metallers Avulsed after all!
Once the title track has finished with you, there are nine more of the bruising fuckers waiting int the wings but here’s the thing, there’s not much variety on this album to sink your teeth into. Each track seems to follow a set thrash formula – fast, thrashy verses with a slightly slower, catchier chorus section and solos to follow.
This is no bad thing, we hear you cry!
True. But by track 6, “Trapped By The Crappy Trap” (yes, that is the song title!), you’re kinda left craving something a little different. In fact, by the time the album is over, you’re thrashed out. Sure, Fist To Face is a fast-paced rollercoaster ride but it would benefit from a little change of pace here and there, to help temper the journey.
We digress, back to the ‘concept’. If any more proof were needed of Holycide’s disdain for the ‘Leader of the Free World’, then just take a look at that album cover (see below). It gleefully depicts Big Don on the receiving end of a vicious pummelling from a rather handy looking Mad Max-esque humanoid creature. Strong, but very unsubtle imagery there!
So, where does that leave us?
Well, the album’s production definitely encapsulates the Euro thrash vibe, with a slightly more underground sound that’s not as polished, or as clean, as the majority of the output from the other side of the Atlantic and it’s perfectly serviceable. The pace is pretty damn frantic from start to finish but, as we already discussed, there just isn’t much diversity…..which will certainly suit some hardcore listeners, while leaving other’s left struggling to stick with it.
Album highlights? Hmmm. Well, the title track and “Napalm Sweet Napalm” ever so slightly rise above the rest; but only just. The remainder is pretty interchangeable but certainly aren’t lacking in power. Overall, Fist To Face won’t be the greatest thrash release of 2020, but we guarantee it certainly won’t be the worst, either! 6/10