Monday, August 4, 2014

Dust Bolt - Awake The Riot

Germany's Dust Bolt is a band that was formed in 2006 and released an EP and two full lengths, the most current being Awake The Riot, the subject of this review. I'm not sure why they have flown under the radar since both of their full lengths were released by Napalm Records. Nevertheless what we have here is old school German thrash for the modern age. It seems that a lot of metal heads are not big fans of the throw back thrash bands and I can see why in some instances. However, Dust Bolt is not that band. As a matter of fact the riffing and tempos on parts of this album reeks of Kreator, however, they also have their own identity.

You can tell right out of the gate that this band is not fucking around and are here to annihilate you. "Living Hell" sounds a lot like Kreator in the riffing but the vocals sound nothing like Mille Petrozza. In fact, guitarist and vocalist Lenny B. has more of a mix of a shout and a rasp. At any rate, the end result is that this song kicks ass. The riffs are monstrous and the solos are fucking godly. There is a touch of melody thrown in to make the balance perfect. This is thrash at it's finest. "Soul Erazor" follows with more pummeling riffs and neck breaking speed. The solos, once again, are just amazing and add so much to this song. Two songs in and you'll need a neck brace. These guys may not be doing anything groundbreaking or earth shattering but that's the beauty of it. They play thrash metal as though they were right out of 1984 with all the ingredients and more. The tempo changes and constant riffing will make you stand up and take notice.

"Agent Thrash" is just a beat of a song that comes along and just pounds you with the riffing and the speed. They change the tempo a bit in the middle to sound like some of the mid tempo Slayer riffs then back to the breakneck speed and a killer solo. That's the beauty of this band, that they can throw these time changes at you without making it sound too technical or pretentious. Instead they just throw more riffs at you along with catchy melodies and awesome solos. But then they also hit you with a song like "Awake The Riot - The Final War" which is just under two and a half minutes of pounding riffs. Mostly mid tempo they throw some speed in there but the riffs just keep coming. "Drowned in Blind Faith" is another one of those short but right to the point songs that manage to kick your teeth in and do it in under three minutes. Another mid tempo number, the riffing is not as intense as on other songs making it the weakest track on this album....if such a thing exists.

One thing that made me really enjoy this band is how they don't confine themselves to German thrash worship. They know how to mix it up a bit and show us that they also are influenced by the thrash from this side of the pond. "Eternal Waste" borders on Slayer worship but they do tend to add their own identity to the song. It's the riffing and the time changes that give it that vibe. I have to say that I do like the soloing on this song, as well as the rest of the album, more than most Slayer songs. The solos are just better constructed and add melody than just being chaotic trying to hit every note on the fret board. "Distant Scream (The Monotonous) is the perfect example just how well the soloing is on this album. This song is a longer song and it seems the band is trying to be epic with this one. And works in places and not in others. It could have had some parts shaved from it but it's still a good song. There's a really good solo in the middle that is awesome and it actually saves the song.

There is a huge divide between metal heads when it comes to the retro thrash bands that seem to be popping up all the time. I agree that not all of them are that great but that doesn't mean that the whole movement is shit. Dust Bolt is one of those bands that stand out because they know how to use the riff, the tempo, the time changes, and the solo in a way that makes for a most enjoyable thrash album. I think that one listen to this album might put some of you skeptics to rest. Go ahead...I dare ya!


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