Date of Release: January 19th, 2015
Record Label: Slaney Records and Static Tension Recordings for North America
Genre: Thrash Metal/Death Metal
Reviewed by: Fury
1. Mors Indecepta
2. Proclaim The Gospel Of Lies
3. Baptized In Blood And Greed
4. Dsyphoric Reality
6. Lust For Hate
7. Parastic Life
8. As We Rot (Promises of Heaven)
Now, its your time to lace up your boots, throw on your denim jacket filled with band patches or even your MC and dive into one hell of a great album that will turn you into a fan immediately.
The Greek thrash metal scene seems to be consistently coming out strong with numerous bands following in the combat boot steps of their American and German roots. It is hard to become leaders in the thrash metal scene and get noticed like the bands from the 80's and perhaps the early 90's who have stampeded this genre to high levels; today many fall short or become too similar to the forefathers of thrash metal and lose your interest.
But Biotoxic Warfare have-fulfilled my appetite having a heavy European thrash influence with their aggressive riffing. This shows a taste of an American style of thrash metal. That the vocals can strongly go with German thrash with its angrier and lower end vocal style is refreshingly original. They are obviously committed to what they have learned from such legendary influences as Kreator, Sodom, Obituary, Slayer, Metallica, Dark Angel, Sepultura, Beneath The Remains and even Dissection. They have created and honed their own identity and stand on their own battleground.
Hailing from historical Heraklion, on the north coast of the island of Crete, Greece, Biotoxic Warfare play death metal-influenced blackened thrash. They began in October 2012, and had a few different lineup changes at the start of their career. While coming from a country where blasphemy laws still exist, that hasn't stopped them from leaving a huge impression on the Crete and Athens live scenes. They found themselves playing tons of live gigs supporting Enforcer and Suicidal Angels. In April of 2013 they released their first EP “Baptized in Blood and Greed” and gained more notice worldwide with news traveling fast on the internet from fanzines and fans who embrace European and American thrash along with a dash of death and black metal. You will need to discover this on your own as you take a full listen a few times.
One final lineup change in 2014 saw the current line-up of vocalist Mike Kavalos, lead guitarist George Dimitrakakis, rhythm guitarist Stelios Sfendilakis, bassist Panagiotis Polioudakis, and drummer Orestis Drapaniotis. Biotoxic Warfare released their debut full-length, Lobotomized, on January 19th, 2015 via Slaney Records. and later this amazing album was released in North America on June 23rd, 2015 via Static Tension Recordings.
The epic intro solo of their first track, 'Mors Indecepta', gives a taste of what’s to come. Then the album explodes into thrash chaos. The intro sounds more Black Metal to me, but I was fully impressed already. The leading master is guitarist George 'Dimator' Dimitrakakis and his solo work is killer, while rhythm guitarist Stelios Sfendilakis joins in the brutal riffing during this opening instrumental. The guitar work starts building up at a moderate pace and kicks into speed with sinister guitar attacks that can seem intimidating and completely mind blowing. It is definitely not your average 'intro'; the three minute introduction contains the quality of musicianship you witness second by second and minute by minute.
Mike Kavalos clearly wants to make a strong vocal statement as he arrives on the next track, 'Proclaim The Gospel Of Lies'. His bestial growl and scream are vicious and a brilliant surprise. This song is also filled with alluring grooves, driving riffs and rhythms adding dynamic, brutal hooks with a somewhat doomy vibe.
'Proclaim The Gospel Of Lies' could be the next massive thrash anthem. with its amazing acoustic sections leading into a mixture of thrash and speed metal riffs within “Baptized In Blood And Greed” and “Dsyphoric Reality”. ‘Dysphoric Reality’ is catchy thrash while evoking classic metal memories with some big chugs, bridging groove, and bass plunking cutting through the abyss that will last for decades. While “Dysphoric Reality” happens to be one of my favorites thus far, I'll add the last track, 'As We Rot...(Promises Of Heaven)' into my thought for a moment before I forget to write it down, Both these songs show different elements because of the tremolo picking and vocal styles that will crush your heart. I cannot forget to mention the vocal snarl in “Baptized In Blood And Greed” that we often do not fully hear with conviction these days.
The title track, 'Lobotomized' starts with acoustic guitars and layered semi-clean guitars which gives you that crunchy thrash metal sound, just like early nineties thrash. The melodic twists and the marvelous leads caught my attention. Focusing on every lyric of 'Lobotomized' is intriguing while sitting in the dark with only the moonlight bringing light to my metal throne. The vocal pattern lines delivered by Kavalos in the chorus were extremely catchy. I could see them having a huge impact on fans singing along with their horns held up high in a live setting. Take a good listen to the vocal trades between Kavalos and Dimitrakakis; they are blazing with energy and fury.
Track six, 'Lust For Hate' offers gripping savage riffs I highly appreciate. It reminds me of the first time I've heard Metallica’s “Battery”. Fast, heavy and strong. They tackle war, religion, and insanity within this album. While “Parasitic Life” tells a dismaying tale from the point of view of a malevolent life form growing inside a doomed victim. The lyrics are brilliant and sick at the same time.
'As We Rot...(Promises Of Heaven)' also features Andreas from Blessed By Perversion. The song has powerful raspy vocals and Kavalos drops into a growl summoning a demonic terror massively channeling t from the darkness. A fantastic guitar solo brings the album to a roaring and thunderous close.
Dimator on lead guitar and Stelios on rhythm guitar are an unreal six string duo to listen to. They do not always focus on speed, they use death metal tinged tremolo riffing and various other tempos which complement the chugging, aggressive choppy riffs. At times they will show their melodic side. George ”Dimator” Dimitrakakis’ lead guitar work is extremely impressive and I wouldn't mind getting some guitar tips from him. The riffs are downright menacing and endeavor to fiery guitar work. Kavalos is potently backed vocally by Dimitrakakis which fits the music well. The vocals of Mike Kavalos show plenty of aggression and a touch toward death metal growling which I found impressive. The rhythm section of Panagiwtis on bass is fierce and the double-bass drum groove created by Orestis round out this project. I would have liked to hear the bass more and it could perhaps have been upgraded during the mixing. But do not let this bring you to ignoring this release. This album may rank in my top ten as one of my favorite thrash metal albums from this year.
The songs are well composed and the complete duration is under forty minutes. This will provide you with something magically evil as it shreds you to pieces. Each musician involved deserves notice for their skills in creating this grotesque release.