With their subtly titled debut Die Harder, Finnish thrash metal act Unhoped have established themselves as one of the most promising young bands in the scene. Clocking in at just under a half-hour, this is relentless and aggressive metal from start to finish, and those who enjoy their thrash on the more fast-paced, brutal, and old school side should find plenty to love here. While this may not be one of the most groundbreaking releases you'll hear in 2011, it is certainly a damn impressive slab of throwback thrash metal.
Although the sleek and powerful production does sound quite modern, most of what you'll hear on Die Harder can be traced back to late eighties' thrash metal pioneers like Slayer and Kreator. All of the songs are based on bone-crushingly heavy and fast-paced riffs, complete with aggressive vocals and technically demanding drumming. It's clear that Unhoped are a group of impeccable musicians, and the blinding guitar leads and rock-solid rhythm section makes it almost hard to believe that this is a self-released debut. This is a highly professional and coherent release, and while the band clearly doesn't intend on shattering any boundaries, they deliver their style of thrash metal better than most other bands nowadays.
I've ended up being quite impressed by what Unhoped has to offer with their debut, and I'd instantly recommend Die Harder to fans of eighties'-influenced brutal thrash metal. I can't yet predict how often I'll be revisiting Die Harder in the future, but I do know that for now I'm extremely satisfied. 3.5 stars are deserved for this killer slab of old school thrash metal. Keep up the great work guys!
1. Entering the World of Pain
2. Shattered Shield
3. Art of War (Written in Blood)
4. Tidal Wave
5. Priest's Collar on Serpent's Neck
6. Endless Walker
8. No Harm Done