Blood Tsunami

Grand Feast for Vultures

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Blood Tsunami, one of the most assaultive of recent thrash bands, don't have the total commitment to retro costume-party action of, say, Municipal Waste, Hatchet, or Fueled by Fire, but they have a secret weapon of their own: drummer Bård "Faust" Eithlin, formerly of Emperor and a Norwegian prison (he was convicted of murder in 1994, and served nine years). His powerful work behind the kit propels the band forward even when their riffs seem more inclined to leave them hanging in midair. Musically, the band has improved somewhat since 2007's Thrash Metal, but they're still far from original. Every song owes a little bit to Kreator, a little bit to Destruction, and a hell of a lot to Slayer. Album opener "Castle of Skulls" features several riffs that Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King might want to consider legal action over. The only thing that really separates them from the pack is vocalist Pete Evil, who shrieks and rasps in a style much more suited to black metal than thrash. Well, that and the fact that they tend to let their songs run more than a little bit long. "Personal Exorcism" lives up to its title by offering more than eight minutes of music, including some extended guitar passages that seem heavily indebted to Master of Puppets-era Metallica, and the album closes with the wanky "Eceladus Rising" and the more aggressive, but still excessive "One Step Closer to the Grave," which are 12 and 10 minutes long, respectively. That's just too much drawn-out harmony riffing, especially from a band that's already proven that it can get in, kick all kinds of ass, and get right back out on the three-minute "Laid to Waste."

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