Riff riff riff, crunch, crunch, crunch, GANG VOCALS, THRASH METAL!! RECKLESS TIDE possesses a very Modern Sound, yet manages to kick your ass and display that not everything that walks and talks like a duck is indeed a duck. “Helleraser” is not a far cry from “The Haunted Made Me Do It” or “The Gathering” except for one key element: riff emphasis. Not only are the compositions built around the mighty axes, but the riffage is of high quality and immediately memorable.
Opener “Vicious Circle-Chapter I” kicks your face in and throws you into a furious storm which will cause your head to bang until your vision blurs. Kai Swillus’ rolling double-bass technique, which perfectly supports the riffing without overdoing it, is of immediate notice at the get-go. Follow-up, “The Preacher”, slows things down a bit and highlights the band’s penchant for tempo variation, even throwing in a section of clean singing which is surprisingly effective. This method of two vocalists is a re-occurring theme as you’ll continually be picked up and thrown about between the rough Chuck Billy style and the clean soothing. This extreme variety is found throughout the album as the band never particularly plant themselves in a corner or allow you to grow completely comfortable. They’ll seemingly be stuck in a comfortable mid-paced chorus (“Corrupted”) and then all of the sudden pull a page out of KREATOR’s book and drop into a sick Thrash break driving your head into the wall and taking no prisoners.
Despite a great deal of solid riffage and some interesting song-writing, “Helleraser” is not completely pain-free. The contemporary production is the most obvious offender, stripping away a great deal of lethality in exchange for sterile clarity. The axes are a bit too clear and precise as the riffs echoing from the Marshall’s sound inadvertently soft-balled at times. The soft-ball effect detracts from the depth and will often weaken otherwise strong portions of the disc. Over-handed emphasis on mid-paced tempo also begins to slightly irritate as you realize how damn strong the hell-blazing tracks are. When RECKLESS TIDE are in your face, nasty and riffing you to death, that is when I’m forced to stand-up and Thrash along; everything else is a bit incidental and not nearly as memorable.
RECKLESS TIDE are unashamedly Thrashers of the new millennium while remaining faithful to the tenants of old. They’re complacent driving your skull into the ground with riffs, teasing you with a melodic lead, or simply having fun as is seen in the somewhat odd “Kleemähendeäbte”. No matter how you look at it, these Germans are capable and deliver on a premise which more often than not falls flat on its face. This record may not have the lasting power of a “Ride The Lightning” or “Among The Living” yet it will certainly kick your ass in short order.
(Online April 15, 2007)