WITCHAVEN- Black Thrash Assault (Self-Released)
The West Coast thrash metal resurgence is one of the coolest things happening in metal today, primarily occurring in the Bay Area (NorCal) and all spread across the surroundings of Los Angeles and Orange County to the south. One of my favorites bands from the many that have sprung up in recent years is San Bernadino's WITCHAVEN, and their new demo Black Thrash Assault
delivers exactly what the name implies; a black thrash assault. The riffs are a mixture of raw black metal and even rawer thrash, primal metal of the fiercest kind. Vocally it sounds as if Abbath himself is lending his patented raspy pipes to the mix, complete with the ridiculous faux-evil lyrics and all. Most of the riffs are biting and to the point, albeit they do sound a little similar throughout the demo. Original this is not, but that isn't the point at all. The point is the make headbanging blackened thrash chaos, and WITCHAVEN deliver.
The sound quality is pretty good overall, though it clearly leans towards the necro black metal side, even for a demo. Overall the feel I would say sounds close to newer DARKTHRONE in a lot of ways, though WITCHAVEN take more of a thrash approach. Songs like "Screams In The Night" and "Skinned Alive" both have solid thrash breaks to add some variety to the onslaught of crusty riffing, while the brief "Whispers In The Wind" bears the most similarities to true thrash metal. The 4-song demo wraps up with title track "Black Thrash Assault", lead by a strong mid-tempo riff and more blistering grimness.
Strong second offering by one of the bands most likely to make a lasting mark when the dust settles due to the fact that they are the only band I know of doing this vein of thrash metal in the California movement. A full-length is highly anticipated.