MACBETH have taken what could have been a complete disaster and turned it into the opportunity of their career. When this German Thrash act missed the initial Thrash wave in the 80s (that’s right, this band was formed in the mid-80s) they waited it out. Instead of moving into a musical style that wasn’t them, they waited until the Thrash came back. Now they have decided to make their move, and, in all honesty, the time and experience they have gathered already makes them sound like a mature and cohesive band even though “Gotteskrieger” is only their sophomore album.
“Gotteskrieger” may not be the German Thrash we are used to hearing that’s been popular from the country; in fact I would liken MACBETH more along the lines of a heavier, Thrashier form of GRAVE DIGGER mostly due to the vocal style’s similarities, but its hard to deny that this album doesn’t have some solid Thrash on it. Perhaps not the most original, not to the effect that MACBETH didn’t try as they do, it just happens to come at a time when Thrash is becoming oversaturated again. I was impressed with what I heard on this album. Most Thrash fans will be too.
As I said earlier, I liken this more along the lines of a far more melodic form of the genre then some of the other better know German Thrashers. The band definitely has a sense of atmosphere and expansive song writing, as can be heard on some of the melody driven songs like “Das Boot” or “Maikaefer Flieg” whilst the band keep their triplets, snares, and burst soloing towards the faster tracks. I was really loving vocalist Oliver "Olli" Hippauf and his gruff and worn, yet melodic vocal delivery on this album. He has so much expressiveness and character in his voice that matches the German lyrical style so well. And even though the odd female vocal part (or perhaps little boy?) on “Maikaefer Flieg” felt awkward, the vocals match and layer the music impressively.
This isn’t the greatest Thrash record recorded in this second wave of the genre, but it was an impressive and solid effort from a band that probably shouldn’t be in existence. Nothing is quite as Metal as perseverance and its hard to deny MACBETH that and it can be heard on “Gotteskrieger”. The relatively raw production/mix benefits the band awesomely and this album made quite the impressive. I raise my glass to this band and hope that their career extends another 25 years and only up.
Songs to check out: “Unter Dem Beil”, “Gotteskrieger”, “Golgatha”.
(Online November 27, 2009)