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Review: Trastorned - Into the Void
Into the Void

Label: Dying Victims Productions
Year released: 2023
Duration: 29:26
Tracks: 8
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: January 20, 2024
Reviewed by: Micah.Ram
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.33/5 (86.67%) (6 Votes)

Call me out on this take, but with a few small exceptions, I found thrash metal a bit underwhelming in 2023. Sure, I could be missing a few great ones by virtue of living a busy life, but one gem that I made sure to check out, and quite early in the year all the way back to its release in late January, was Chile's Trastorned with the album Into the Void. Being their debut album and already released on Dying Victims Productions, you know it is at least worth checking out, as the label is known for signing solid acts. Does Trastorned measure up to the label's tendency for excellence?

After the 17 seconds of audio of what sounds like a tormented soul crying out followed by a clash of thunder (is this the scene depicted on the cool album cover?), the band's pedal-to-the-metal approach to thrash metal takes over. There is a cool mix of influences I could point out here. The vocals are mostly shouty, but with a tone of insanity, which reminds me at times of Vio-lence and early Overkill. However, there are other vocal stylings here that mostly sound related to death metal, despite the labeling of the band's music as blackened thrash. Instrumentally, the bands of influence I named are also great references, but also appropriate are comparisons drawn to early Kreator, Seven Churches-era Possessed, and Demolition Hammer. The riffs are very busy and fast, not to mention quite technical, without taking listeners into technical thrash metal territory. Very cool is the presence of the bass guitar, which is also performed at a very high and technical level, sitting high in the mix so that you always know it is there making meaningful contributions. The occasional bass solos really add a lot of fun and variety that keeps listeners on their toes. Playing drums for this material requires a lot of quick transitions and the drummer delivers on a high level, finding excellent beat and groove choices throughout while also showing off great musicality with his fills, such as what is heard at the start of track 4, "Miasma of Death." That track, by the way, is an excellent starting taste for anyone who has not heard the band yet, as it encapsulates much of what the band does well, which is write songs with crazy and fast riffs, create dramatic pauses that lead to different sections in creative ways, trade off multiple blistering guitar solos, surprise with tempo changes, and channel an overall tone of madness and insanity.

Speaking of tempo changes, that is what keeps this listen so engaging over multiple listens, as every song is very dynamic. Track 2, "Metal Violence," shifts a couple of times quickly into a slower (not actually slow, just a comparative word here) section with a very downbeat-heavy riff that just hits so hard, not unlike what Demolition Hammer would have done. "Reborn Through Hate," the closer on the album has a few great transitions as well, including one to my favorite moment on the record. The guitars suddenly play the opening theme from Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, one of the most quoted themes of Bach's music. I have always enjoyed hearing metal bands incorporate classical music themes in their music and noticed that it was more common in older thrash metal releases/bands than with recent ones. The moment after the quoted theme is a half-time stomp which feels unlike anything else heard on the album, being less densely dominated by busy riffs, giving more open space during which the drums, even though a simple beat, just sound awesome. The guitars finish the loop with an upwards-travelling diminished 7th chord arpeggio. Perhaps what really impressed me the most about this track as a closer is how while there is absolutely no need for it, in the final seconds of the song, the band whips up a fireball of energy that leads into the final moment with a bang! Those last-second ascending riffs and the vocal that is how you end a record! That, combined with the shortness of the album at only 29 minutes in length is a guarantee that I will replay the album again.

In summary, the band absolutely does measure up to the Dying Victims Productions standards. I did not talk about every track here, but there is not a disappointing moment on Into the Void, even despite the contemplative instrumental track "Dreadful Fate" not really delivering the same kind of magic. It is a solid instrumental interlude and really sets up the pitch for the next track, "Insanity" to sound intense and insane. Well done, boys! This is a great debut record and one I will return to again and again!

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