Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like good Italian Metal is hard to come by. The only band that really has worldwide credentials is overrated Gothic Metal group LACUNA COIL, while the underground is dominated by second-rate Black Metal and more Gothic bands. Thrash Metal is a total rarity; the only bands I’m familiar with are NECRODEATH, who have Black Metal characteristics, and HATRED, a second-stringer in the modern Thrash Metal revival.
The arrival of newcomers NATIONAL SUICIDE is therefore exciting, as there’s finally an Italian Thrash…no, an Italian Metal band worth investing in. NATIONAL SUICIDE play good old fashioned Thrash Metal enhanced with the production possibilities that come with the twenty first century. There’s a few retro clichés embedded, but these boys are solid enough that it’s easily ignorable. Think EXODUS in their prime and you’ve got a pretty good idea how these guys sound: gruff vocals over fast, nasty Thrash that isn’t afraid to stomp around in mid-paced territory for awhile. The vocalist is highly reminiscent of Steve Souza with only a slight national colouring to his voice and a high pitched wail that is unique to him. The guy ripping up guitar solos is also particularly good; hope to hear more of his playing in the future. All four tracks here are quality, with only the sampled intro to “Sucks ‘n’ Artillery” being a bit too cheesy for its own good. Can't really harbor any other complaints, except perhaps their logo being a bit too similar to the classic NUCLEAR ASSAULT one.
In short, I eagerly anticipate a full-length. Only then will we be able to see whether these guys have the talent and strength of material to overcome the trend-whores and stand up with the bests in the business. Hopefully this killer demo serves as just a preview of what’s to come…
(Online February 13, 2008)