Walken - Walken

Walken are a thrash metal band from San Francisco in the U.S. who have been around for some time. They've been quiet for the past five years or so since their debut album in 2004, releasing a few scattered self-released EPs here and there but keeping under the radar until recently. Their latest offering is their self titled album which offers a lot of great groove along with the speed and raw power that makes thrash metal so good. A lot of the songs are instrumentals that feature influences from Pantera to Metallica. The vocals, when featured, offer agonizing screams that sound more like melodic death metal and some clean backing vocals, but they only add to the firepower of the music. Combined it is a furious thrash metal assault.

Tracks like "Nadir" offer a lot of technical riffs that go between fast and longer ringing chords, creating an excellent roller coaster effect with the music. Like Metallica before them, they focused on not only creating metal with sheer intensity, but also quieter sections that focused on the skills of the guitarists to offer a bit of melody as well. To emphasize melody, songs like "Dylans Song" are much more quieter than the others, featuring less heavy chords and more semi-acoustic sections. In contrast, "Bitter Red" is one furious musical number that brings out the heaviest elements the band can spare.

Altogether, the music that Walken creates is any thrash metal lover's dream. There's the 'kick ass' attitude that inspires plenty of headbanging, but there's also plenty of groove so the music doesn't become a complete ear ache. There's more than enough groove for anyone aside from sheer speed as tracks like "The Bridge" offers in a slow, sludge metal sort of way. Fans of the recent Throwdown or Mastadon will probably find this extremely likable. The time spent in album hibernation has allowed Walken to mature and create some really great stuff. Hopefully next time it won't take them as long.

  1. Watch It Burn
  2. Nadir
  3. Running Out Of Time
  4. Thunder Paws
  5. Bitter Red
  6. In The City Of No Seasons
  7. Dylans Song
  8. Right At Home
  9. 012107
  10. Beast Toker
  11. The Bridge

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
May 29, 2010

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