Primal Attack
Heartless Oppressor

All of a sudden, I have got a glut of thrash/groove releases (Treyharsh, Murkocet, Malkavian, Voice of Ruin) hearkening to the late 90s tones of Machine Head, Daath, Devildriver, Chimaira and Skinlab. And while it’s a sound I’m only a bit lukewarm on, sometimes a production can make a release much more impressive.

Such is the case with Portugal’s Primal Attack, the best of the above mentioned bunch and their second effort, Heartless Oppressor.  Even though armed with a second rate, late 80s German thrash band moniker and the ‘groove metal’ label, I gave the album a go, and ended up coming away pretty impressed.

Typically I would not give a release like this much of a nod other than review purposes, but like label and country mates, Switchtense, something kept me coming back  and it’s the production from  by guitarist/backing vocalist Miguel Tereso at Demigod Recordings. Boy, is this thing fucking beefy!  One listen to the  mammoth grooves that start “The Prodigal One” or “Truth and Consequence” and even the most ardent groove/thrash hater (me included) will have a broken neck.

So then this delivery of  some truly thunderous, headbanging grooves and a bit of Dew Scented -ish tightly wound thrash actually ends up being a surprising winner of an album. The vocals of ‘Pica’ (of country mates Seven Stitches) are an acceptable, hoarse shout akin to Leif Jenson from the aforementioned Dew-Scented, though not as harsh as I’d like, they avoid nu metal pit falls except for a brief clean bridges on “Heart and Bones”, “Hypersonic Generation” and “XXI Century Curse”.

The band also keep it pretty full throttle throughout the release. No ballad or softer territory, as the 9 song, 39 minute affair, while not as high octane as Switchtense’s Flesh & Bones, is a pretty full on, energetic beat down from start to finish. Other impressive numbers are “Hypersonic Generation” which combines speed and power and opener “Red Silence”, with a huge closing breakdown.

I’m impressed with the homegrown thrash talent Rastilho Records is cultivating, and look forward more from both the label, this band and anything recorded at this studio.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
June 16th, 2017


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