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Strikemaster: Vicious Nightmare

Strikemaster is an old-school thrash band hailing from Mexico City, Mexico. Since 2006, they have been writing and touring in an effort to develop a strong fan base and to show just how hard and fast they can thrash. As some fans will know, Vicious Nightmare was originally recorded and released in 2009, but has been hard to find ever since, despite Strikemaster's heavy touring. Two years later, Metalhit records is making this recording available to a wider audience. Fans of thrash metal that hearkens back to the best days of Testament and Anthrax will find this release to be an excellent part of their library.

I want to begin by taking a quick look at the album cover. Remember when Spreading the Disease showed us a man about to undergo a no-doubt violent and invasive medical procedure? Vicious Nightmare brings to mind a similar threat, only this time we see it from the point of view of a scientist blending up some of kind of liquid sure to bring about massive destruction. Behind his mask-covered face, looms a sinister-looking grim reaper, laughing at his soon-to-be giant harvest.

The music on Vicious Nightmare plays very well into this broad theme of warfare, complete with its chemicals, bombs, and missiles. Just listen to tracks like "Metal Fastkill" and "Prophetic Chemical Death" to hear the way this band blends thrash with a dystopian vision of a world gone mad through violence and massive warfare. Whether intended or not, the result is a fascinating meditation on the nature and purpose of humankind's tendency to resolve differences through war. Be sure to check out the bugle call part way through "The Way to Na Trang" as well as its closing lines "If you mess with the best, you will die with the rest." This is some seriously aggressive and exciting thrash metal. The militaristic themes give the music more urgency and horror. Even the closing track, a slow melody played beautifully on the guitar, takes place alongside an eerie air raid alarm that keeps listeners stuck inside a grim image of a hopeless future. Vicious Nightmareis a powerful call-to-arms for thrash fans to wake up and pay attention to some of the best old-school metal out there.

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Black Violence
3. Total Disposal
4. Inflexible Steel
5. Metal Fastkill
6. Rabid Abstraction
7. Prophetic Chemical Death
8. The Way to Na Trang
9. Violent Reivindication
10. SBU
11. Final

Added: February 3rd 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band website
Hits: 1761
Language: english

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Strikemaster: Vicious Nightmare
Posted by John OBoyle, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-02-16 18:18:51
My Score:

Strikemaster: Vicious Nightmare

Its old school Thrash Metal time for Strikemaster who have unleashed this speed metal assault. The band have definitely been influenced by the likes of Venom, Kreator, Dark Angel and Slayer and I guess in all honesty a whole glut of those West Coast Thrash bands from the heady 80's that we all know and love.

Instrumentally it offers a by numbers approach to the genre that is raw, generic, formulaic and at times average. Unfortunately it does seem to take a while for the band to find their feet but when they do it does become a somewhat more exciting prospect, housing some very nice interactions. You absolutely can't fault it musically, fast tempo's, powerful lead and rhythm guitar work, featuring a tight as a ducks arse back line, which in turns creates the bands strong foundations being wholly supported by a first class production job.

It isn't until songs like Rabid Abstraction, Prophetic Chemical Death, The Way To Na Trang, the best song on offer here, and Violent Reivindication that you realize that their violent dystopian world and invasive subject matter is definitely worth hanging around for. The album last track Final with its atmospheric and more melodic approach does add colour to the whole proceedings, being a fitting album closer.

Make no mistake, the more you play this album the more you will grow to love it. It is an album that will have some purists foaming at the mouths and they are band to keep an eye on.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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