Trapped In Purgatory – Damned Nation [UK]
Released: Independently on January 29th, 2021.
A not-so-new thrash band from the UK, Trapped In Purgatory have described themselves as not a “reformation, but a rebirth”….which makes sense when you consider that 3/5ths of the band were members of UK thrashers Purgatory, who issued a series of demos in the late 1980’s.
Fast forward approx 30 years and Trapped In Purgatory have released their debut album, Damned Nation – about bloody time lads!
Was it woth the wait? Abso-frickin’-lutely!
Nice cover art too!
Paranorm – Empyrean Fire [Sweden]
Released: February 26th, 2021 via Redefining Darkness Records
Empyrean, the debut album from Swedish thrashers Paranorm, is a unique blend of thrash, death and progressive metal which delivers on all fronts!
An album which belies Paranorm’s relative infancy, the likes of “Edge Of The Horizon” shifts effortlessly from a delicate acoustic intro into to a blackened explosion of crunch and chug. Invigorating and entertaining, the surprises just keep on coming as Paranorm run the gamut of progressive thrash / progressive death metal influences without once resorting to plain ol’ piracy.
Paranorm have entered the world fully formed and, with Empyrean, the sheer abundance of ideas at their disposal have been expertly consolidated at the first time of asking. 8/10
Cryptosis – Bionic Swarm [Netherlands]
Released: March 26th, 2021 via Century Media Records
New boys Cryptosis have downloaded their cyber-thrash debut, and Bionic Swarm is every inch the world-beater most of us thought it was going to be!
We say ‘new boys’ but Cryptosis have actually been flogging that ‘frash’ horse for a while now; previously under the ‘typically thrash’ name of Distillator, who were a damn fine band in themselves. However, Distillator have resolutely transformed – upgraded in fact – into a Vektor-esque, cyber-thrash juggernaut that should dispel all notions that thrash, in 2021, is a moribund genre.
So much more than mere diversification, Bionic Swarm represents the second coming for these seasoned thrashers, one that replicates the cyber-transfiguration that has led Cryptosis to the transformative state they can be found inhabiting today.
With more atmospheric numbers such as the enthralling “Prospect of Immortality” nestling next to the ‘thrashier’ likes of “Decypher“, Bionic Swarm truly has everything a fan of progressive/technical futuristic thrash could desire; wholly exhibiting a perfect union of classic thrash tropes and the bold, experimental nature of Vektor.
Instantly reinvigorating a genre that very much needed a jump-start, Bionic Swarm is the perfect companion-piece to Paranorm‘s aforementioned Empyrean and Vektor‘s almighty Terminal Redux (2016).
The future of thrash is certainly safe in the hands of Cryptosis. 9/10
Honourable mentions: Acid Age – Semper Pessimus / Exist – In The Void We Last / Hidden Intent – Dead End Destiny / Performed – Moronia / Surgical Invasion – Aggression / Terrordome – Staright Outta Smogtown / Tortured Demon – In Desperation’s Grip / Velozza – Apocaholic