Wednesday 6 February 2019

Dust Bolt - Trapped in Chaos (2019)

Country: Germany
Style: Thrash Metal
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 18 Jan 2019
Sites: Bandcamp | Facebook | Metal Archives | Official Website

I've mentioned before that I'm an old school thrash fan. To quote Tommy Vance yet again, "there's nothing like a good thrash to clean you out." What I don't think I've mentioned is that I have a particular fondness for German thrash, not just the obvious bands like Destruction, Kreator and Sodom, but more obscure ones too like Angel Dust, Exumer and Sieges Even.

Well, here's a new German thrash band that I haven't heard before but am now digging. They're a Bavarian outfit called Dust Bolt and this is their fourth album in eight years, which is a pretty solid release schedule. It doesn't offer anything new in the slightest but the band are tight, even if they're more influenced by Exodus than Destruction, and it all plays well to me. Frankly, the transition from the intro to the song at large on the opener, The Fourth Strike, sold me all on its own.

When Dust Bolt play fast, which is most of the time given that they're a thrash band, they sound great. The Fourth Strike and Dead Inside are both notable neck workouts with clean vocals (sung in English) and heads down backing that's tight and melodic without being overly intricate. And that just counts the first two tracks; there are another seven to go. Take a breath, folks.

If I'd have stuck with a single listen, I might have said that the lesser tracks are the ones where they slow down, but I'd be doing Another Day in Hell a disservice. This is probably the slowest and least typical song on the album as well as the longest but it may well be the best one on offer. It carries a strong NWOBHM vibe which demonstrates that Dust Bolt can be heavy as well as fast and the guitarwork on offer is delightful. Bloody Rain is slow and heavy too and it's seriously growing on me.

Realising that Dust Bolt are just as good slow as fast, I also realised that, like the similarly titled new Flotsam and Jetsam album, The End of Chaos, it's so consistent in style and quality that it can fade into the background and it doesn't deserve that. Nothing leaps out immediately for being notably better than anything else and nothing leaps out for being worse either, but that can happen with great albums just as it can with crappy ones.

What this needs, again like The End of Chaos, is attention because, if we give it that and listen through a few times, we realise that it's quality stuff and the tracks will assert themselves individually so that we can hear just how much is going on here. Nico R.'s drum fills are delicious and the guitarwork is tasty too.

This may be simpler and less catchy than The End of Chaos and Lenny B.'s vocals are rougher than Eric A.K.'s, but it's worthy of mention in the same breath and that's a recommendation all on its own. Just as I think about upping my rating of that album from 8 to 9, I may well up my rating of this one from 7 to 8. I'll be coming back to both a lot. And hey, Dust Bolt have three earlier albums for me to explore next!

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