Strike Master - Vicious Nightmare

Strike Master is a Mexican thrash band, formed in 2005, in Mexico City, Mexico. They released their first demo in 2005, entitled “Murder In The kitchen”, and then in 2006 they released another demo entitled “Rushed death”. Also in 2006, they released a split titled “An Outbreak of Evil Vol.IV”. 2006 also brought their first debut album “Up For The Massacre”. In 2008, they released an EP “Flexible Steel”. The next few years were also busy ones for the Mexican thrash outfit, 2009 brought the second full length “Vicious Nightmare”, in 2010 another split was released entitled “Thirsty Of Metal”. 2011 brought two efforts, a compilation and a full length album, “Re-Thrashing The Skull” and the full length “Majestic Strike”; very prolific band to say the least.

This review will focus on “Vicious Nightmare”. So without further adieu, BRUTALISM brings you “Vicious Nightmare”!

There has been an ever growing number of thrash bands, seemingly popping up every day. On any given day you can find a new thrash album/demo/ep making it’s way around the circles. This makes it extremely hard for bands to really breakthrough and create waves, because they have to create something special in order to jump ahead of the pack … and Strike Master has done just that!

Strike Master’s “Vicious Nightmare” is a slab of retro worshiping thrash. This can go terribly wrong if done poorly. This effort isn’t the most creative of work but it’s been done right.

Strike Master’s sound is deeply rooted in the Bay Area/Teutonic persuasion. The guitar work is chaotic, and coherent. This is key when creating thrash metal. Thrash metal’s whole sound relies on intricate, aggressive, and speedy guitar work. The riffs are beyond important in this sound, more so than the vocals and melodies, and Strike Master knew this. The guitar work is chaotic, but yet refined. The riffs are a plenty, and they just don’t ever stop. The plethora of riffs found throughout this eleven song effort is mind boggling. They are fast, heavy, and coherent. This is skilled guitar work. There are innumerable times throughout this album where you will be head-banging like a maniac, and you won’t be able to stop from beginning to end. The riffs are beyond memorable, and will have you humming them as you wait in line to buy your next coffee; you won’t forget them for days, maybe even for weeks to come. This is what thrash metal is; a collection of well written, creative, and razor sharp riffage. A proper treat this is.

The bass work is something to be less than desirable in most thrash, as it is an instrument meant to follow the guitar and round out the sound. That’s what happens in Strike Master’s “Vicious Nightmare” most of the time, but there are times where the bass is clearly heard, and is doing something different. This is real nice to hear, it adds another element to the already great guitar work. In fact there is even a bass driven intro on the song “Flexible Steel”. That is a real nice change from most thrash. The bassist definitely knew what he was doing as far as the songwriting went. Good on him!

The percussion work on this album, is also a bit more than the average punk tinged thrash drumming that is a very common theme throughout all thrash. The drummer makes great use of the symbols, which really adds a nice element to the riffs, and the overall sound of the song. There are also many instances where breakneck double bass kicks are used, and this again adds a nice sound to the songs. Overall the drummer is more than your average thrasher sitting behind the kit, and this is what sets them apart.

The vocals are also real nice. They are more on the Teutonic side of thrash, not as harsh, but still aggressive. There isn’t clean singing used. This is perfect, because that wouldn’t compliment the nature of the songs. The vocals are not bad; but they are just very much average, and not something you will remember when describing to your buddies what this band sounds like. Not bad, but not the greatest either.

Overall I had a lot of fun listening to this album, and it is a great slab of retro worshipping thrash that was done properly. A lot of bands cannot get this right, but Strike Master did. I recommend going out and buying this album yesterday, and then drink a 12-pack and thrash around with your buddies. Don’t dismiss this because they didn’t re-invent the wheel, it’s thrash metal, and good thrash metal at that.

  1. Intro
  2. Black Violence
  3. Total Disposal
  4. Inflexible Steel
  5. Metal Fastkill
  6. Rabid Abstraction
  7. Prophetic Chemical Death
  8. The Way To Nha Trang
  9. Violent Reinvindication
  10. S.B.U. (Special Bestial Unit)
  11. Final

Metal Hit
Reviewer: twansibon
Jan 9, 2012

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