So Far, So Good, So Gra!

The US may be enjoying a mini thrash revival this year with the likes of Warbringer, Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste, but the genre never really went away overseas. Case in point, France’s Sografalth, who mash together the raw, manic energy of classic 80s material with a heavier, death-influenced delivery and a healthy DIY attitude (case in point, that logo). And yes, based on the album title, there’s a chunk of Megadeth worship in here too.

First off, though, a little Anthrax to get things started. Opener “1ere Fois” fires off that band’s spastic, strutting sound, including a sing-songy French-accented vocal delivered with a wink. I gotta say, one of the fun parts about this gig is hearing familiar genres get reinterpreted by other countries and cultures, so if you’ve never heard death vocals and French shouts interspersed with an Anthrax homage, well here you go.

Things get a little more serious starting with “Calamar Holocaust” (not to be confused with Cannibal Holocaust, which is what I heard), which sees a tighter delivery and more reliance on groovy, neckbreaking riffs trading off with faster death-oriented material. The Megadeth influence pops up here and there, from a few fluid, mutating solos to the “Polaris”-influenced opening riff on the aptly titled “Mega Death.” That song also leans heavily towards punk (especially sections with clean shouted vocals), but then the death vocals whipsaw you back into thrash territory. Sografalth‘s sound isn’t as clinical or vicious as countrymates Lyzanxia or Yyrkoon, yet there’s a raw, bouncy enthusiasm here that makes it a more enjoyable experience, as if you’re right there in the studio.

Vocals are equally as animated throughout the album, swerving abruptly from death vox to gang shouts to a variety of Franco-Mustaine sneers. The death vocals (gargles, rasps and burps galore) are my favorite – they’re especially expressive and entertaining and not just your usual atonal growl. Although the wide mix of vocal styles is at times all over the place, it just adds to the unhinged energy on display. And again, they cry out for a live show.

It’s sadly all too common to hear an album that’s slickly produced and meticulously crafted, but yet lacks any real heart or fire. No problem with that here – this was an amusing, energetic listen that genuinely delivered on the uninhibited fuck-you attitude of classic thrash, while still adding plenty of new twists as well. Fun stuff.

You can download the album at the band’s site below:

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
October 25th, 2008


  1. Commented by: ceno

    Sounds interesting. I’ll check them out.

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