Radioactive metal from the land of radiation, the music on Archalaxis' debut Two Years Underground is probably best described as thrash metal with strong crossover tendencies and lots of attitude.
After a heavy and melodic intro, the opener 'Note of Devil' kicks into its thrashing nature, featuring several uptempo riffs of classic thrash metal metal character, some of which are more on the hardcore-derived crossover side - but all of which kick ass. Definitely a moshing friendly track, complete with a heavy thrashy bridge and a melodic guitar solo 'Note of Devil' is followed by 'Escape from Disaster' which is a fierce Slayer-inspired affair based on simple but ferocious riffage. In contrast 'Exarticulation' is quite a groovy track which should appeal to fans of Pro-Pain's brand of crossover metal, while 'Natural Born Killer' draws on traditional heavy metal and speed metal and has a nice raw melodicism to it. 'Skeleton Riders' is more of a black-thrash affair which also appears slightly inspired by Slayer and Sepultura.
The production is somewhat unpolished, but I think that suits Archalaxis' brand of thrash metal quite well (granted, it is kind of hard to hear what is going on in 'Chamber of Fear' which is a live recording). I especially like the kind of raw guitar solos, some of which have an almost rock-ish quality to them. The yelled hardcore vocals might take some getting used to, but I think they suit the crossover side of this release quite well, and the vocals also add some street attitude to the overall impression.
Definitely an enjoyable release, albeit a really short one, Two Years Underground should appeal to fans of more raw and less polished types of thrash metal, such as black thrash, speed metal and crossover thrash. It is definitely going to be interesting to hear future output from this band.
1. Note Of Devil
2. Escape From Disaster
4. Natural Born Killer
5. Skeleton Riders
6. Exarticulation (Belarussian version)
7. Chamber Of Fear (live)