Album Review – Voorhees / Chapter Two (2020)

A Death Metal quartet from France arises from their graves once again with more of their demolishing music inspired by old school horror movies.

If you’re a true metalhead and at the same time a fan of old school horror movies from the 70’s to the 90’s, you’ll have an absolute blast with the music found in Chapter Two, the first full-length opus by a French Death Metal unity that goes by the name of Voorhees. Formed in 2017 in Metz, a city in France’s northeastern Grand Est region, the band comprised of Chris on vocals and guitars, Sébastien “Seb” Valbrecq on lead guitars, Fred on bass and Will on drums obviously had their name, logo and everything else inspired by the one and only Jason Voorhees, the main character from the Friday the 13th franchise, with their old school Death Metal being highly recommended for admirers of the sonic devastation blasted by renowned acts such as Death, Cannibal Corpse, Massacre and Obituary. Having released their debut EP entitled Chapter One on Friday the 13th, October 2017, this talented slasher squad once again chose the iconic date to release Chapter Two, on Friday the 13th, March 2020, dedicating pretty much each one of the eight songs of the album to a specific movie. Recorded by the band’s own drummer Will (known for his work as Willy Lang with French Doom/Death Metal one-man act Nosphares), mixed by Dan Swanö at Unisound, and featuring a classic and visceral artwork by Fabrice Romo (Kaos Obscure Art), Chapter Two is the perfect soundtrack for your horror flick night.

Inspired by the Wes Craven movies The Hills Have Eyes (one of my favorite slasher flicks of all time), the opening track The Lucky Ones Die First exhales pure, undisputed Death Metal form the very beginning, with Chris and Seb doing a great job with their unstoppable riffage while Will smashes his drums in great fashion, followed by My Horror Event, drawing inspiration from the movie Creepshow, directed by George A. Romero in 1982 and with script by Stephen King. Putting the pedal to the metal, the band adds hints of Thrash Metal to their insane riffs in this wicked tune while Chris keeps barking like a true beast, not to mention Fred’s rumbling bass punches, whereas in Evil To Come, largely inspired by the movie The Day of the Beast (or “El Día de la Bestia” in Spanish), directed by Alex de la Iglesia in 1995, we’re treated to more classic Death Metal the likes of Unleashed and Obituary, resulting in the perfect choice for cracking your skull headbanging or for slamming into the circle pit. And in The Will To Kill, their musical representation of the movie Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer, directed by John McNaughton in 1986, a somber start evolves into a mid-tempo, dark sonority led by Fred and Will with their thunderous weapons, while Chris vociferates the songs words deeply and rabidly.

The cryptic voice by Charles Manson kicks off I’m The Man Who Became God, a gruesome, headbanging Death Metal extravaganza re-recorded from their first EP where Chris and Seb sound truly infernal on the guitars, accompanied by Will’s putrid and classic beast and fills, setting the tone for Voorhees II, obviously inspired by the second chapter of the Friday the 13th franchise, directed by Steve Miner in 1981. It’s time to brutally slam into the pit to the sound of this frantic and berserk composition, may favorite of the album by the way, where Will is at the same time groovy and demented on drums and with the band’s stringed trio slashing our minds and ears with their razor-edged riffs and sick bass lines. Then we have Reanimated, originally supposed to be a song inspired by the movie Re-Animator and finally turned into an almost instrumental “tribute” to the evil characters that are Jason, Leatherface, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger, who always resurrect at the end. Will and Fred generate a menacing atmosphere perfect for Chris to growl and bark like a horror movie monster, all spiced up by Seb’s classic guitar solos, and closing the album it’s time for more obscurity and aggressiveness in the form of Death Metal with the climatic Into Darkness, a crushing, mid-tempo tune led by Will’s fierce beats while Chris keeps vociferating and roaring nonstop, and after all is said and done you’ll feel absolutely disoriented without a shadow of a doubt.

Voorhees’ horror movie-inspired Old School Death Metal feast can be appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you want to show your true support to the band (and avoid a visit of Jason Voorhees himself to your home) you should purchase the album from several locations such as the band’s own BandCamp page, the Great Dane Records’ BandCamp page or webstore, Apple Music or Discogs. In addition, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and to subscribe to their YouTube channel, filling your ears with that traditional Death Metal sonority we all love so much with no shenanigans nor any artificial elements added to it. Will they continue their path of violence and bloodshed with several more chapters in the form of metal albums inspired by each one of the Friday the 13th movies? Only time will tell, but based on the high quality of the music found in Chapter Two I’m sure it won’t take long for the quartet to arise from their graves once again to haunt our damned souls.

Best moments of the album: My Horror Event, Voorhees II and Reanimated.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Great Dane Records

Track listing
1. The Lucky Ones Die First 4:34
2. My Horror Event 3:44
3. Evil To Come 5:12
4. The Will To Kill 5:09
5. I’m The Man Who Became God 6:39
6. Voorhees II 3:31
7. Reanimated 5:14
8. Into Darkness 5:11

Band members
Chris – vocals, guitars
Sébastien “Seb” Valbrecq – lead guitars
Fred – bass
Will – drums

Album Review – Terrifier / Weapons of Thrash Destruction (2017)

A Canadian army of Thrash Metal proves through their phenomenal new album that thrashing is their business… and business is good.

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terrifierwotdalbumcoverasofdec21If you have already checked out our Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2016 you know that, at least for us at The Headbanging Moose, 2016 was the year of Thrash Metal, with bands like Testament, Anthrax and Death Angel delivering the cream of the thrashing crop. With that said, how about keeping the flame of Thrash Metal burning brighter than a thousand suns, with the first review of 2017 being not only a kick-ass album, but a tribute to this always thrilling subgenre of heavy music? Formed in 2003 in the city of Kelowna, in the province of British Columbia, Canada, but currently located in Vancouver, here comes Thrash Metal squad Terrifier (originally known as Skullhammer) armed to the teeth with their brand new opus, the thundering Weapons of Thrash Destruction.

The album’s old school straightforward artwork already tells you what you’re about to face in Weapons of Thrash Destruction, and after listening to such amazing album you’ll agree that the band’s motto could well be “thrashing is our business… and business is good.” Having release their debut album Destroyers of the Faith in 2012, followed by the EP Metal or Death in 2013, Terrifier offer in their new album exactly what diehard thrash metallers desire, being highly inspired by icons like Slayer, Exodus, Testament, Megadeth, Metallica, Overkill and Kreator, also adding to their musicality hints of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Pantera, Iced Earth and several other of their influences in heavy music. The band’s frontman and mastermind Chase Thibodeau explains their reason for being. “We formed this band because we love thrash and play what we think sounds cool… our music is fast, technical, heavy and melodic and shredding.”

Guitarists Rene Wilkinson and Brent Gallant waste no time and begin slashing their instruments in the opening track, the superb Reanimator, delivering the thrashiest riffs you can think of, with Chase screaming the song’s lyrics in a frantic Paul Baloff style. Inspired by the 1985 cult horror flick Re-Animator, it’s five minutes of nonstop action perfect for getting some hardcore bruises in the circle pit. In Deceiver, it’s confirmed Terrifier is a band that definitely knows how to craft true old school Thrash Metal, blasting more of their unstoppable blazing riffs while drummer Kyle Sheppard showcases his passion for metal through his insane beats; followed by Nuclear Demolisher, bringing forward sheer madness in the form of music. After an amazing rhythmic start, we’re treated to a heavy and cohesive sonority led by the beats by Kyle, with highlights to its electrifying guitar solos and to Chase’s hellish vociferations.

terrifierKeeping the speed over the “recommended” limit, fans of old school Exodus and Overkill will go crazy with the demented tune Violent Reprisal, especially due to its belligerent riffs, solos and vocals, whereas Skitzoid Embolism pays a fun tribute to one of the most iconic scenes from the 1990 classic Total Recall. This is yet another top-notch display of traditional Thrash Metal by Terrifier, with both Rene and Brent having sensational performances with their flammable guitars. And galvanized by the music bred by Exodus with Zetro on vocals, Drunk as Fuck epitomizes what Canadian Thrash Metal is all about, including the song’s spirituous lyrics. As the band states, “Heavy Metal is not just music, it’s a way of life”, so raise your beers to this awesome drinking hymn!

In Bestial Tyranny,  yet again we witness a tenacious band that is never tired of blasting high-octane thrash music, with Chase sounding completely demented with his screams while Rene and Brent, together with bassist Alexander Giles, form a “stringed trinity of Thrash Metal” throughout the song’s six breathtaking minutes. And violence never ends in this fantastic album, with Riders of Doom, an instrumental bridge displaying some nice guitar solos, setting the stage for their last onslaught of old school Thrash Metal, titled Sect of the Serpent, a song inspired by Conan the Barbarian (they do love the almighty Arnold, don’t you think?) played at the speed of light. Chase leads his demented troop of metallers, with Kyle’s berserk beats crushing the listener mercilessly.

In a nutshell, the sonic Armageddon caused by Terrifier and their Weapons of Thrash Destruction goes beyond all expectations, proving one more time how underground metal can be just as mighty and exhilarating as the classic bands we love so much. In order to know more about the band’s fantastic arsenal of Thrash Metal, go check their Facebook page, SoundCloud or ReverbNation, and if you want to put your hands on such awesome thrashy armament, simply go to Terrifier’s BandCamp page or to the Test Your Metal Records’ Big Cartel page. Weapons of Thrash Destruction will provide you the precise amount of ammunition you need to kick some serious ass into the mosh pit, no doubt about that.

Best moments of the album: Reanimator, Nuclear Demolisher, Drunk as Fuck and Sect of the Serpent.

Worst moments of the album: Deceiver.

Released in 2017 Test Your Metal Records

Track listing
1. Reanimator 5:24
2. Deceiver 5:15
3. Nuclear Demolisher 4:26
4. Violent Reprisal 4:17
5. Skitzoid Embolism 4:08
6. Drunk as Fuck 4:12
7. Bestial Tyranny 6:13
8. Riders of Doom 1:40
9. Sect of the Serpent 6:44

Band members
Chase Thibodeau – vocals
Rene Wilkinson – guitar
Brent Gallant – guitar
Alexander Giles – bass
Kyle Sheppard – drums

Album Review – Reanimator / Horns Up (2015)

Put your horns up and slam into the pit with one of the best and most entertaining Canadian Thrash Metal bands of all time.

zcoverWhat would happen if a hybrid of Anthrax and Testament was born inside a frantic circle pit during a Toxic Holocaust concert, and from that day on this deranged metallic creature had Exodus as its mentor to teach it a fuckin’ lesson in violence? That, my headbanging friends, is the most suitable depiction of Canadian Thrash N’ Roll band Reanimator and their brand new album, the badass mosh pit-generator Horns Up, a flammable parade of vintage Thrash Metal that will leave you completely disoriented so intense and fun it is. In other words, it’s like trying to take the bull by the horns, but having your ass kicked instead and feeling completely satisfied with that.

Since the creation of the band in Montreal, Canada in 2005, Reanimator dug an important place in the Quebec scene, offering an incendiary feast of old school Thrash Metal seasoned with modern elements. After some lineup changes and after releasing a demo, a couple of EP’s and their first full-length album entitled Ignorance Is No Excuse (2009), it was about time for our society to be smashed one more time with the thunderous music by these talented Québécois metallers. The only question I have in mind is if the band was named after the 1985 cult movie Re-Animator, which in case you don’t know it I suggest you go watch it right now. As this classic film is a gory and hilarious variation on the Frankenstein story, it makes sense for the band to use its name due to their undeniable ability of resuscitating that Thrash Metal from the 80’s we all love so much.

Arising from the hellish realms of Thrash Metal, the opening track Electric Circle Pit will throw you into an electric circle pit of awesomeness due to its Anthrax-inspired riffs, creating a cool and energetic vibe where the harsh and powerful vocals by Patrick Martin will get into your head in a very good way. And while some people wait to be caught in a mosh, others simply rush for it like what happens in Rush For The Mosh, an old school Thrash Metal anthem with a Hardcore/Punk Rock atitude, sounding like many classics from the 80’s. Moreover, drummer Francis Labelle doesn’t let the party slow down with his beats, while guitarists Ludovic Bastien and Joel Racine are two unstoppable machine guns of riffs and solos.

ReanimatorHeaderThe next track, Tempted By Deviance, is perfect for that most traditional form of circle pit, like the one fans “worship” during the unparalleled classic “Toxic Waltz” by Exodus. The whole band is kicking fuckin’ ass, with highlights to the vibrant bass lines by Fred Bizier and to the excellent chemistry between Patrick’s lead vocals and the backing vocals. To put it simply, if they don’t add this song to their setlist, we riot.  Anyway, Thieves Of Society presents to the listener a modernized version of Thrash Metal from the Bay Area, in special its metallic riffs and rhythm, with the guitar solos halfway through it being like a journey back to the golden age of Thrash Metal. Then it’s time to slam into the pit with the nonstop monster known as The Abominautor: this is one of those songs where you go crazy slamming, screaming and drinking together with the band, yet another mandatory tune to their live performances. In addition, its guitars and bass lines are beyond tough, beautifully complemented by its amusing lyrics (“Born and raised in outer space / Came down to earth to kill posers / Decontaminating the human race / Ain’t got no pity for those losers”).

and it’s not over yet, motherfuckers, as Reanimator keep dilacerating our souls with The Mosh Master, a Thrash Metal onslaught where the heavy artillery imposed by Francis behind his drum set and the Rob Dukes-like hardcore vocals by Patrick will hit you in the head like a fuming panzer; followed by Still Sick, a song where their passion for heavy music gets even clearer when you see there’s no sign of slowing down at all, and I can imagine the level of devastation its basic but solid as hell instrumental is capable of causing live. Sounding like a (superb) tribute to old school Anthrax, Off With Their Heads is the type of song that would put a huge smile on Scott Ian’s face, mainly due to its sing-along lyrics, catchy riffs and fist-pumping chorus, before Mock A Mockingbird, the most Rock N’ Roll of all tracks, closes this excellent album. The bass guitar by Fred sounds a lot more vibrant, and we have to admit its last part gets pretty interesting with the hints of progressiveness and feeling provided by all musicians.

If you want to go head to head with this raging thrashing bull, go check their official Facebook page, their awesome videos on their YouTube channel, and buy Horns Up at their Big Cartel or BandCamp pages. What are you waiting for, you piece of “thrash”? Put your horns up and slam into the pit to the music by Reanimator, undoubtedly one of the best and most entertaining Thrash Metal acts from the Canadian scene.

Best moments of the album: Electric Circle Pit, Tempted By Deviance, The Abominautor and The Mosh Master.

Worst moments of the album: Mock A Mockingbird.

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1. Electric Circle Pit 4:16
2. Rush For The Mosh 2:45
3. Tempted By Deviance 4:56
4. Thieves Of Society 4:36
5. The Abominautor 3:24
6. The Mosh Master 2:48
7. Still Sick 4:27
8. Off With Their Heads 3:31
9. Mock A Mockingbird 4:38

Band members
Patrick Martin – vocals
Ludovic Bastien – guitar
Joel Racine – guitar
Fred Bizier – bass
Francis Labelle – drums