Oftentimes, bands will try and pay homage to the forefathers of their genre of choice. And oftentimes, bands will draw so much focus from one of their heroes in particular to the point that it’s straight worship. Thrash metal seems to be a genre that is known for being guilty of that, but if it clones the style while successfully implementing originality, then it’s something that I can overlook. Homicide Hagridden are an Italian thrash outfit that have actually been around since the mid-nineties, however Effect Lucifero is only their third release, rupturing back in 2016. Straight to the point, this is basically a Slayer worship band that adds some creative twists, bringing some new ideas to an old table.
Speed picking and thunderous drumming that focuses on beefy rhythm are what carry this, seeing that a lot of the riff work sticks to deeper scales and repetitive strum patterns. This prevents it from holding much in the department of melody, and as you could have guessed, the whiny screechy guitar solos are peppered in at a chaotic rate. Fear not, because the layout is pretty immaculate and could not have been mixed any better. “Raped” shows some stellar structure regarding the drum arrangement that depends on the rate of the guitars. When the leads take the sped up approach that tackles a lot of fret board surface area, the drums follow through with crushing fury. When the riffs slow down and calmer solos take form, the man behind the kit produces a simpler pattern, helping brighten the mood, and overall giving this a little more feeling.
That all probably sounds familiar, but the instrumentation as a whole is a bit more technical than our favorite bay area thrashers ever got. This keeps the run-time from dragging on and feeling too unoriginal. Plus, the incorporation of minor toned slow sections give this a sorrowful vibe that isn’t common in thrash. “Remembrance Of Me” stands out very well in this regard due to the emotion felt in the vocal delivery, and the cleanliness of the environment. Of course, it then bounces back and finishes with crushing riffs and hoarse outbursts of early Tom Araya like shouts.
I mentioned the incredible production earlier, and the way that the layers of sound are introduced owe a lot to this. This can be heard in the introduction of “Purify” as well as the bridge between the chorus and solo. Harmonics are added by piling higher pitched licks atop of deeper, chopped up chords that can almost be felt. Also worth mentioning that this track has a totally different vocal approach. The chorus isn’t much different other than being cleaner than the rest, but the verses couldn’t be more opposite of that. They’re growled in a way that borders blackened thrash, working as a nice surprise tacked near the end of the album.
Effect Lucifero is one of those records that took more than three listens to really complete my thoughts and take in. Seeing how it’s not overly long, that’s quite impressive. At face value, yeah, it’s Slayer worship. But I’ll be damned if they don’t fill in the gaps with some unique formulas that very much do the trick. Slayer aside, this would also be great for fans of Evile, Testament, Tantara, or anyone who digs Bay Area thrash with some tactical boosting.
Effect Lucifero was released on February 23, 2016 independently, and can be found on their Bandcamp page, or as per usual, contacting the band.