We receive literally hundreds of albums from bands every week and the vast majority of them are synth-mosh records copying Woe, Is Me and Of Mice & Men. PRO TIP: Even The Devil Wears Prada regrets Plagues and the synth-mosh sub-genre it spawned. They’ve moved on; why can’t you?
It was with great relief, then, that I threw in Brisbane thrash metal band Gorefield’s debut record As Dawn Bleeds the Sky… and discovered straight up thrash metal with some death metal vibes thrown in there for good measure. After all the identical synth-mosh bands that clog our airwaves, it’s a great feeling to discover a band who combines the best bits of the old-school thrash bands and isn’t afraid to add their own flourishes.
I’d like to speak directly for a moment, if I may. I’m from Western Sydney and therefore grew up on a steady diet of AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, KISS, Deep Purple, the Big Four and Motörhead. I have very high standards for my rock ‘n’ roll but damn it, As Dawn Bleeds the Sky… is the freaking tits. It starts off innocently enough, but quickly kicks your head in harder than an overzealous fan in a Slayer pit.
Anyway, the musicianship is awesome. All three members pull vocal duty, meaning there’s a lot of diversity throughout the record. There’s also death metal elements floating around as well, and that just makes the record all the more heavy and fun. Don’t misunderstand me, though. It’s not all moshing and headbanging (although that’s definitely the predominant theme), and the band clearly understands that brevity is a virtue. There are some nice little additions and unconventional elements splashed all through the record, like the death metal vibes that rear their gloriously ugly heads every so often.
ADBTS has its flaws, of course. Some songs repeat the same section too many times. There’s also the old Achilles heel of thrash, the songs sounding a bit too similar and becoming difficult to differentiate from one another. This is not due to a lack of trying, because Gorefield obviously lovingly crafted this thing and tried to mix it up as much as possible. They succeeded for the most part, but there are couple of places where songs become very similar and it doesn’t help that the record only has seven songs.
Let’s not forget, though, that they’re a thrash band. It’s not exactly a genre known for its versatility. Slayer has churned out the same record over and over again for decades. It works for them, but I can’t help but feel that they’re almost afraid to put out something different. So Gorefield deserves a huge credit for at least trying to add some different elements to their music. They’re doing things that literal legends of rock refuse to do, and damn it, they’re pulling it off well.
On a side note, damn that cover art is tasty! Any album with a leather and steel clad metalhead using a dragon to ragefuck a suburb to death should win a Grammy or an ARIA or something. In my opinion, there has literally never been a more metal album cover in the history of music. The only band that even comes close is Amon Amarth.
In short, As Dawn Bleeds the Sky… is a freaking awesome debut record from a bunch of thrash heads who should have been born in the seventies. It’s got its flaws, but it wouldn’t be a debut record if it didn’t, and I for one can’t wait to hear what Gorefield puts out next.