Shredhead - Death Is Righteous - (9/10)
Published on January 12, 2015
While 2014 was a phenomenal year for heavy music in general; things were comparatively quiet on the thrash front. While some people around here might beg to differ I found the year’s satisfactory thrash offerings to be few and far between, and even those that rose above the pack to be less than impressive. Thankfully, 2015 has wasted no time rectifying the situation with the release of Israeli thrashers Shredhead’s second album, Death Is Righteous – a far better record than their already well-received debut, Human Nature (2011) – that delivers by simply being everything I’ve ever wanted of a straight forward thrash metal album.
The bird of Hermes is my name eating my wings to make me tame.
From the explosive opening of “Devils Race” to the equally pummeling closing moments of “I Am,” Death Is Righteous is a nonstop thrash metal assault that blends the best of what the classic and modern incarnations of the genre has to offer. Songs like “Last Words Are Lost” and the title-track are centered around old-school riffs that would be welcome (and fitting) additions to any Overkill or Exodus record, while elsewhere Shredhead rely on a hefty dose of groove and their pervasive death metal influence.
The band – who were originally founded as The New Order, taking their name form the classic Testament record – certainly gravitate toward the heavier end of the genre spectrum. Singer, Aharon Ragoza’s vocal tones closely imitate those of one Mr. Philip H. Anselmo and, at times, in his more extreme moments, an early Randy Blythe (himself a progeny of Anselmo), while bassist Lee Lavy provides Death Is Righteous with an integral and persistent bottom end, which is brought to the forefront on the sludge-injected “I Am” and the particularly brutal “Hallucinations” with its epic mid section.
Do you party?
While many of last years thrash offerings (I thought) were hampered by sub-par production, and thus often outclassed by the comparatively heavier genres, Death Is Righteous’ production gleams, with each instrument perfectly brought out by mixing and mastering efforts of Tue Madsen, who’s previously worked with such hard-hitting bands as The Haunted, Suicide Silence and Dark Tranquility.
Death Is Righteous is a perfectly balanced thrash metal record that delivers on every desired front and then some. This is a record brimming with riffs and potent aggression that, more importantly, manages to bring each already formidable aspect of Shredhead’s sound into an undeniably impressive and ridiculously enjoyable whole.
Recommended to fans of:
Testament, Pantera, The Haunted