|Review: Various Artists - Thrashing Relics Volume 4|
|Thrashing Relics Volume 4|
Label: Bestial Burst
Year released: 2022
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: September 22, 2022
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
for:Thrashing Relics Volume 4
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (3 Votes)
The Thrashing Relics series of compilations has been going since 2006, though it only really hit its stride when Volume 2 was finally released in 2019. I've always greatly admired these compilations, for while not every band they feature were what you would call good, the sheer dedication to unearthing forgotten acts of Finland's short-lived Thrash scene is something that does this old bastard's rotten heart good. This brings us to Volume 4, this time showing off three acts that were fairly well known locally when they existed but never got far, and I'm happy to say they make this one of the better volumes in the series.
Kicking off the proceedings is 4-piece act Ferox, who were around for about two years and were able to release the 2-track single Hidden Minds in 1989 and the 4-track demo Apocalyptic Demolition in 1990. While many Finnish Thrash bands at the time were content to emulate the usual suspects of Metallica and Exodus, Ferox drew from a more technical and varied well of bands like Xentrix, Slammer, and Paradox, and from there they were able to make a pretty strong and original sound for themselves. The songs are all fairly lengthy for a demo, and they all sport some catchy, complicated riffs and textured, unorthodox song structures which could have served as the prelude to a legendary act if they simply had more time. The only complaint I have is Tero Matikainen's vocals, which are a sort of half-shout that, frankly, sucks, and they never have any decent vocal lines to make up for that, but they never get in the way of the innovative and often exciting music on display.
Up next is Crematory, whose sole demo, Confirmed Suffering, is four tracks worth of Kreator/Slayer/Sodom worship released in 1989. Northern Finland had something of a trend going at the time of raw and brutal Thrash (A.R.G., Mengele, Sacred Crucifix, etc.), so it's not surprising to find that these lads hailed from there, and it's certainly no surprise that they were fast, wild, and furious. There's not much else to say about them, only that they killed pretty hard and deserve some recognition for it.
Last, but not least, we have the highlight of this compilation, a rare 7-track rehearsal from 1987 by Necromancer, one of the few bands from this series I knew very well. I've talked about these guys before, so you might already know that they were all about Slayer and Metallica and were damn good at making music in their name, and this tape is just more proof of it. For a rehearsal, the band sounds very energetic and tight, with all the angst and hatred for society and parents that you'd expect from a bunch of teenagers making music, and it even has a much better sound quality than you would expect. The riffs are sharp, the solos will pierce your damn skull, and overall the band is just on fire in a way that you only find with authentic Golden Age Thrash, making this material even more essential listening from this band.
Overall, this is definitely one of the stronger volumes in this series, as every band is at least good and sometimes even innovative and/or awesome, which makes this a good one to get even if you're not a die-hard archaeologist of the ancient Finnish Speed/Thrash underground. See you for the next installment!
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