There’s two schools of thought to thrashing in the 21st century – you can wait for your favorite legacy act to unleash their latest salvo or serviceable but mostly forgettable tracks, or you can get your hands out of your pockets and claw your way through the underground with reckless abandon. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the former, but the latter has always been more of a priority. After a year of correspondence, I finally got word that thrash purists Bombscare were set to release Bastions of Blood, and before I knew it, I received the quickest California to Indiana mail delivery that I’ve seen in my entire life.
Was my year of mercilessly bum-rushing a band from the other side of the country in the hopes of taking a crack at thrash’s freshest cuts worth it? Absolutely!!!! Bastions of Blood has everything a meat and potatoes thrasher could ask for – chunky thrash riffs that are traditional without being boring, abrasive vocals that avoid being cliche or indecipherable, and just the right amount of musical competence.
Each song on Bastions of Blood has its own unique intros, and this is where Bombscare shows the most innovation in their traditionalist intent. Sure, they’re sticking to a formula, but there’s no lacking in the composition department. As a non-musician, there is a lot of technicality present that’s unexpected but far from unwelcome.
Getting to the long and short of the songs themselves, “Cognitive Split” will spike the blood pressure of all the speed freaks out there. The award for the E.P.’s most ambitious track would go to “Shadow Nocturne” with its brooding intro, borderline death metal vocals, and a very technical display from the low end. If you’re looking for a straight-up fist-pumping rager, you can skip to “Bastions of Blood” and headbang yourself silly. Trust me; it’ll be difficult not to.
No E.P. is complete without its prologue and epilogue, and Bastions of Blood isn’t any different. Instrumental opener “The Advent” is a nice track in the sense that it’s not just branded with the obligatory “Intro” title and gives some nice foreshadowing to the buildup that is found throughout Bastions of Blood. Ending the release with a cover of Forced Entry’s “We’re Dicks” is a great decision, simultaneously giving Bombscare a manifesto to work off of while giving listeners an opportunity to give their beers an irreverent chug and ending things with a bit of a chuckle.
Bastions of Blood was released in March. Purchase inquiries can be sent to Bombscare’s Facebook page.