Visceral Attack - Quick And Severe

It's quite a shame to think that the only thrash metal band from Ireland that anybody pays attention to is Gama Bomb. Not to say Gama Bomb aren't a superb act (they really are) but Ireland has a few other extraordinarily talented bands tucked away beneath all the steroetypes of leprechauns and alcoholism, with Visceral Attack pretty much being the best of the best. This review is actually a good three years overdue, as I had intended to review this when it originally came out in 2010 but somehow never managed to fit the writing time into my busy wanking schedule despite playing the album to death. So I feel like I owe the boys this little summary after three years worth of "I'll do it next week"... I most certainly didn't live up to the album's title.

So I'm inclined to point out that Visceral Attack are a band that know how to do the crossover thrash sound properly, and quite possibly better than any other modern band of their ilk - Christ, they might even be the only band to have a firm grasp on how this sort of music should be done. There has been no shortage of bands attempting the crossover sound since the thrash resurgence... resurged... and a majority of them have been following blindly in the footsteps of Municipal Waste, albeit by trying (and failing) to emulate their sound almost note for note, but Visceral Attack know what the crack is. Granted, 2008's V For Visceral EP was a bit unrefined but for a band's first output it was a strong indication of what they were shooting for, and with Quick And Severe they've managed to get it right. The thing that they understand about crossover is that it tends to have a lot more in common with hardcore punk than thrash with it's musical, which is a big right hook to the chops for most other bands who simply wish that they were half as good as Visceral Attack are.

Yes, lyrically there're still some stereotypical alcohol-related tracks but unlike the majority it's never the focus of the album - it's used sparingly. For the most part the band seem to take a rather silly approach to their songs, whether they're covering politics, national soclialist black metal or Mortal Kombat. Yes, 'Spikedeath' appears to be a song about the critically acclaimed fighting game series that even goes so far as to sneak Dan Forden's infamous "TOASTY" sample in there, and you know what? It's brilliant. It's not the tired, forced humour you get with a lot of bands and the final track is even followed by a rather hilarious hidden prank call at the end for shits and giggles. The whole hidden-track-at-the-end-of-the-album thing seems to have died out a bit nowadays, so this is quite a fun listen. The music itself is actually quite varied and enjoyable despite it's constant speed, which is usually a major catalyst for monotony but with most tracks clocking between one and a half or two and a half minutes (the longest track 'Hits from the Kong' is 3:18) it moves everything along at a perfect pace for this sort of music. If anything, it makes the album feel a lot shorter than it actually is because you'e having so much fun with it. It's heavy, technical, thrashy, punky, raw and yet streamlined all in appropriate dose as and when it's required to be, with great production and some extremely tight-knit performance to boot.

I've brought up comparisons to punk throughout this review, but it's really difficult not to in many ways. Quick And Severe really reminds me of bands such as Discharge, Doom and Poison Idea in places and even older crossover bands such as Excel or Leeway. It's done the right way instead of coming across as a desperate, failed attempt to fill bigger boots and it's got a rather nostalgic tinge to it that I don't come across too often. If you're sick of wannbe nu-thrash, give Quick And Severe a go - despite this review being three years late to the finish line, it's surprising to find that the album is still as fun as it was on day one despite the fact that I've played it very frequently ever since. Visceral Attack are working on a new album as I type this, and if this is anything to go by, it's going to be something really, really special - how they're not globally recognised for their incredible work is beyond me, but they deserve every bit of praise they get. Visceral Attack are easily one of the best thrash/crossover bands on the planet.

1. Fuck Wit VA Day (And Nobody's Celebratin')
2. Enjoy Your Stay At Guantanamo Bay
3. Spikedeath (Death By Spikes)
4. Money In The Bank
5. FxTxNxSxBxMx (Fuck the National Socialist Black Metal)
6. Special Brewtality
7. The United States of Europe
8. Crime Is Of The Essence
9. To Those Responsible... We're Coming For You
10. Eye Of The Beerholder
11. Cop = Cunt
12. Hits From The Kong

Self released
Reviewer: Dave Ingram Jr.
Sep 7, 2013

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