This is a compilation album featuring numerous bands, so I think the best way to address this is to go through the groups on an individual basis.
Mad At Sam are from Oakland and are a thrash/crossover band. Their track ‘D.C. (District of Criminals)’ comes from their ’09 EP ‘America: For Sale’. The sound is instantly recognisable for the genre and as short as it is, you get to hear their social/economic comment that makes a lot of sense perfectly.
Aegror are a German black/death band and their two tracks come from their recent ‘Forgotten Tales’ EP. This is a bit darker and slightly more evil sounding from the tranquil beginnings of ‘Behind Walls’. There is a haunting aspect here and there, it sounds like keyboards but isn’t (I don’t think), then we go into some breakdowns, it all sounds more melo-death than anything else you could label it and the second track ‘Prophecy’ included bears a similar resemblance to the former track but with more palatable chunky guitar parts and riffs.
Sanity’s Rage are a Belgian thrash band and these tracks featured are from their album ‘You Are What You Swallow’. Their first offering ‘Once You Cross’ has me thinking of Death Angel, there is certainly a positive chugging affair happening in the guitar rhythm. But rather than concentrate on speed and aggression, there is a lighter moment and a tempo change that makes this a more complete listening experience. ‘Taste of Decay’ sounds a bit more urgent, still with time changes, but overall your hi-tops are kicking up some dust for this one and this sounds refreshing and is entertaining.
T.C.F. (Thrash Core Fanatics) are a Dutch crossover band by label, although this band sound like a hybrid of Venom and Motorhead. ‘Mean Machine’ has some tight drumming that reminds me of Phil Taylor (Philthy Animal), but then the vocals are angry, sometimes strained but wholly effective. You could say they sound a little like current Finnish upstarts Ranger, there is a tempo similarity and the adrenaline rush is similar. I would certainly like to hear more of this band.
Leave Scars are the second Belgian band to feature on this compilation. Their two tracks come from their current album ‘The Arrival’. The track ‘The Arrival’ has me thinking of Slayer meeting their young wannabies, some of the vocal melodies, especially the tone sounds like Tom Araya’s style whilst some of the music harks back to the style of Death Angel, in short a perfect mix of two groups and a LA/Bay Area sound mix.
Ulysses Siren are one of the original bay area thrash bands that until recently featured Jon Torres (R.I.P. – such a sad loss to the metal community). ‘Justifiable Homicide’ contributes from the bands 2012 demo and I reckon this is my favourite band on this compilation, although having found others on here, there is a conflict occurring for me! But that said, Ulysses Siren are extremely good at what they do and they sound extremely natural and also like first album Exodus.
KAOS are from Oakland and contribute a track from their ‘Validated in Blood’ EP consisting of ex-Ulysses Siren guitarist Kevin Albert. The guitar sound that begins on ‘Blood Red Eyes’ is very tight, very fast and very furious. Some of the vocal sounds remind me of Overkill, even Destruction, the tempo and pace is very much exciting although the whoo ooh breakdown kills the pace somewhat. Much is redeemed however with a really cook guitar solo.
X-tinXion are from The Netherlands, another thrash band featuring a new track ‘The Divine’. The vocalist sounds like Agent Steel on the higher notes, a little like what Gama Bomb do, although the female clean vocals on the remainder of the track don’t fit with the thrash style for me, it kind of waters it down. Other than that, the band is rather tight.
Reviewing a compilation album takes me back some years to when you would get free cd’s tapes or flexi 7 inches from magazines before the internet, you had to track bands down the hard way, this to me was the bonus for such releases. To be fair, I think this is still relevant as without some prodding I probably would not have heard of some of these bands and this is a really cool collection of material. Please check them all out!