Sadistic Ritual
Edge of the Knife EP


I have to be honest here, I had never heard Sadistic Ritual, and the only reason I gave them a listen was because the band’s newest EP, Edge of the Knife, is on Unspeakable Axe Records and I absolutely dug the shit out Trenchrot’s Necronomic Warfare album, released last year on Unspeakable Axe. Regardless of the reason, my logic payed off, as Edge of the Knife is a blistering tight, dirty, yet excellently produced, six song slab of Teutonic influenced thrash, with a slight inkling of today’s modern thrown in for good measure. Think old-school Sodom and Kreator mashed with a little Toxic Holocaust and Skeletonwitch, and you get a good idea of what these, Atlanta based, neck wreckers bring to the table.

Songs like “Merciless Retribution” and “Edge of the Knife” are not only thrash as fuck, they also give you a bit of a more extreme/death metal vibe, courtesy of some well-placed blastbeats from drummer, Baltazar Abarca. His drumming throughout Edge of the Knife is extremely compatible with the rest of the music.  Though it is really quite standard for a thrash affair, pretty much just following the rhythm and intensity laid out by the riffs, yet he does a splendid job at knowing when to slow down, when to blast, and when to kick it up to a double time beat.

Guitarists, Charlie Southern, also the band’s vocalist, and Alex Parra, really do have a strong grasp of their songwriting, and of thrash metal in general, despite their younger age, and the fact that the genre’s heyday was over long before these guys were able to throw a fist in the air. Their riffs are razor sharp and tight as a gnat’s ass throughout each song. I’m sure these guys destroy their picks with the abundant doubles and triplets they throw out.

Whether it is the death metal feel at the 2:35 to the 2:56 minute mark, or the classic thrash breakdown at the 3:31 mark, the aforementioned “Merciless Retribution” is going to make your head bang and your fists pump; while “Funeral Raid” proves that everything your heart fancies about thrash metal can be achieved in a mere two minutes. Simply put, Edge of the Knife is a barn burning metal storm of an album. While retro in nature, it feels completely natural and unforced, coming off as a genuine great time as opposed to a retro rehash. Though there is nothing on any of the material on Edge of the Knife that hasn’t been done many times before, all six songs are chock full of good to great moments and really do provide in one, fun as hell, listen.

My only real, minor quip with the album is that the tempo of the material never really varies too much from song to song. Sure, it ebbs and flows some but it always manages to return to the standard upbeat rpm’s of thrash, which can lead to a sameness of the material. I say this is a minor quip, because in the long run this is only an EP, and at 23 minutes running time this bad boy is over before anything really has a chance to annoy or irritate. Now, if we were talking about a 45 minute, or more, full-length, then this could be a much larger issue. As it stands, Edge of the Knife is definitely worth your time if your metal heart loves a good, honest thrashing.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
December 10th, 2015


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