Band – Burning Nitrate
Album – Molotov
Year – 2014
Country – Italy
Label – Punishment 18 Records
Rating – Excellent
Most thrash metal bands try too hard. More often than not, they end up wanting to sound so much like their idols that they forget all about the songwriting. It’s not the aesthetic, but the songwriting that made them classics. Unfortunately, many want to sound dated – production-wise, sound-wise and even where it comes to the artwork (cheesy and nowadays, cliched obviously). To an extent that’s fine but a part of me wanted to get inspired the way we did when we grew up listening to these original thrash metal bands during the tape era in the first place. Every band was fresh, or so it sounded like, and had something different to offer. These days they all want to sound like old Slayer or Sodom or something that resembles Hellhammer crossed with Venom and passed off as thrash. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s just plainly derivative and unexciting. Sometimes it just sounds tiresome. Thankfully my prayers for something crisp, riffy and classic-tinged thrash metal were answered in the form of Burning Nitrum, a relatively fresh band from Italy. The guys have their music released through about the only other label than Xtreem Music still interested in thrash metal and that’s Punishment 18 Records. In that region anyway. These Italians show us that there’s still a place for this genre in extreme metal music.
These Italians show us that there’s still a place for this genre in extreme metal music.
‘Molotov’ happens to be the band’s debut full length and it’s everything it should be. The music reeks of Bay Area thrash metal and that’s never a bad thing, as long as it’s done well and isn’t a half-assed rehashed effort. Surely it’s strongly inspired by bands like Vio-lence, Death Angel, Exodus and even a bit of Slayer, but the band members have imbibed the influences and chanelled them in a way that would make the original bands proud or at least not ashamed. That’s saying a lot. I can feel actual energy and enthusiasm here. It’s palpable. It’s different from the thrash emanating from say India or the Russian region wherein the bands sound hopelessly old school but in Burning Nitrum’s case, it’s studied, focused, well-executed thrash metal with a fresh edge. They know what they are doing. There’s thankfully no trickling of core influences in the name of thrash metal either. I don’t want to scrutize that style of music unnecessarily but I prefer pure riffing music over breakdowns because the latter isn’t memorable and songs can’t be composed with just that as the standout quality. Burning Nitrum’s songs are brilliantly composed, with there being a balance in the tempo – fast where it needs to be fast, shredding on leads where applicable and slower moments where momentum needs to be harnessed. I could cite several instances where there’s a beautiful lead section that makes you want to pick up your guitar and start practicing right away and many other songs having killer riffing that would make you want to wonder what the hell is wrong with the other bands for not getting the basics right. It’s as simple as this. It’s just good, honest extreme metal. You don’t need growls or hair-raising screeches to make it extreme – just good, heavy music like this. The vocalist is reminiscent of the Vio-lence and Voivoid frontmen who share a off-kilter style of delivery mostly in clean fashion, which by the way is different from say bands like Metal Church or the ones indulging more in heavy metal music, but the vibe goes well with the music and that’s all we need. Extremity isn’t great without substance which this band provides by the heap.
Multiple listens lead me to the same conclusion – this band rules. It doesn’t matter how old the band is – most “classic” bands are past their heyday anyway. It’s time for fresh blood to seep into the metal underground and be hailed for the quality of music that they offer rather than the anachronistic sideshove most kids partake in. It’s true, neither the band nor most of the readers were born in the ‘80s or before to appreciate the growing style, to be a part of it, but perhaps that’s not needed. What we simply need is great music regardless of the decade and Burning Nitrate deliver just that.
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