Between 1985 and 1992, the Speed Kills compilation series was a celebration of the best young metal talent on offer, featuring now legendary bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Venom, Death, Bathory and Celtic Frost across 6 essential volumes! You know it, you loved it, Speed Kills was damn near essential and now, 24 years later, Music For Nations are bringing back Speed Kills with Volume VII.
Set for release on 2nd December and featuring original artwork by Daniel P Carter and liner notes from legendary rock journalist Malcolm Dome, Speed Kills is back to bring you the finest of the UK’s new breed alongside a few familiar faces from the past! This is how you discover new music….
Starting with the decidedly dark and devilish noise created by East Anglian agitator’s The King Is Blind, their exclusive contribution to Speed Kills is the rather beefy and boisterous “Throne Of Skulls”. A startling indicator of what to expect from their forthcoming 2nd album, “Throne Of Skulls” is an ideal opener and a death/thrash colossus truly living up to their self-coined ‘monolithic metal’ moniker. A heretic anthem that actually delivers! 8/10
If you thought Speed Kills VII would focus solely on thrash/speed/death metal you’d be mistaken and the semi-symphonic black metal of London’s Formicarius offers a thrilling alternative. However, “Lake Of The Dead” is no lo-fi blitzkrieg of blast-beats and barely audible tremolo riffing! Oh no, these guys deliver a clean, crisp and short, sharp shock to the black metal solar plexus; immediate, accessible and yet still decidedly black metal in flavour. Originally released in 2015, “Lake Of the Dead” may already be familiar to fans of the UK underground scene but its inclusion here is understandable….Formicarius are destined to make waves! 7/10
The return of Acid Reign in 2015 was a glorious occasion and one that has, so far, resulted in one new track, the modern thrash classic in the making that is “Plan of the Damned”. We covered this outstanding song on its release and suffice to say we love it more now than we first heard it! Starting out as a Sabbth-esque exercise in elephantine riffing, the band take a scuzzy drudge through achingly heavy riffs led by H’s raw – and still irresistibly unique – vocal delivery before segueing into an all-out thrash-fest at just over the 3 minute mark. Grinning yet? You should be, this is high quality thrashin’ from a UK thrash institution and Acid Reign sound more vital than ever. Also, considering they originally featured on Speed Kills Volume IV back in 1989, their inclusion here was mandatory! 9/10
Amulet are a throwback to the glory days of the NWOBHM, classic heavy metal delivered in inimitable Brit style with humour, attitude and a penchant for simple yet effective riffing. “Highway Man” is heavy metal 101, plain and simple. Bang that head like its 1980! 6/10
As far as up and coming carnage-bringers go, Divine Chaos are the real thrashin’ deal and there’s a bug-eyed intensity to “Ignorance Everlasting” that corners you, spits in your eye, kicks you in the cock and makes you feel glad for the experience! Taken from their outstanding A New Dawn In The Age Of War, Divine Chaos have been causing a scene for nigh on a decade now and their place at the forefront of the modern UK thrash scene is well earned. 8/10
Akercocke may be one of the more familiar names on Speed Kills VII but their recent return from obscurity was a welcome one and “Inner Sanctum” is a gratifying reminder of why they were so revered in the first place. A progressive black metal masterclass in contorted rhythms and multi-faceted personalities, “Inner Sanctum” surprises at every turn….the new album is sure to be a game-changer! 8/10
Dungeon‘s speed metal from hell channels the unholy noise that erupted from Germany in the mid 80’s and this retro blast of unrefined noise is the kind of track that would have been nailed on to the very first Speed Kills! “Death From Above” is nefarious and nasty, which is just as it should be! 7/10
Voices defy description at the best of times but “Petrograph”, their post-punk meets avant garde metal offering found here, is an atypical melding of disparate styles and it’s fuckin’ brilliant! You could take Killing Joke and Into the Pandemonium-era Celtic Frost, smash ’em together in the vain hope of creating something spectacularly unique and you still wouldn’t come close to this madness. 9/10
“Full Power” is the only setting Desolator understand and their rollicking, rampaging, old-school speed metal thrash-out is perfect for Speed Kills! An Exciter meets Motörhead meets Venom work-out, Desolator operate in a time-zone permanently stuck in the mid 80’s and that, as you know, is no bad thing. 7/10
Further proof that Speed Kills in 2016 is more than just that thrash worship, the traditional black metal onslaught of Nine Covens closes proceedings in epic style. It’s grim, it’s relentless – if not a little repetitive – it’s black metal in its purest form. You’ll either love it or hate it. 6/10
The return of Speed Kills is vital and so much more than a trip down memory lane. Serving up a feast of UK talent that traverses genre and delivers both those that revel in retro sounds and those who forgo convention in favour of breaking boundaries, overall Speed Kills VII is a roaring success!