Company: AFM Release: 2014 Genre: Thrash Reviewer: EC
Back-to-basics power thrash
Thirty one years later this Texas outfit releases their ninth studio record. In comparison Overkill has been active since 1983 as well and have seventeen releases. Like most veterans at this point in time, the revolving door on lineups has been constant. Singer James Rivera and guitarist Larry Barragan are the only original members left but this album features bassist Jerry Abarca and guitarist Robert Trevino, both long time alumni since 1985. The only genuine newbie is drummer Michael Lewis who has been floating around since 2004. "This Wicked Nest" is the fourth Helstar release for AFM in the past seven years and continues the back-to-basics power thrash sound that the denim and leathers crave. It is hard to find fault with this sort of sincere true metal ethics and old school approach. Opener "Fall of Dominion" sets the tone with earsplitting wails from the ageless Rivera, momentarily utilizing some screeching rough vocals to counter the outrageous falsetto. "Souls Cry" and "Defy the Swarm" are electric thrashers that move galley-west with galloping riffs and extremely busy hands from Lewis. Interesting additions of emotional ballad "Cursed" and instrumental "Isla de las Munecas" help to offset the high energy momentum. Overall this is another fine addition to the Helstar catalog and AFM’s fruitful offerings for 2014. Albums like "This Wicked Nest" espouse the belief that US metal is still very relevant and alive and that, my friend, is a very good thing.