It’s 1986. DARK ANGEL, KREATOR and SLAYER have just released what would come to be the three strongest Thrash releases of all time. Three violent men from Kavala, Greece take notice of this musical revolution and form a tight-nit, violent outfit dubbed DRUNKARD, proving that they are detached from the scene solely by location. Before DRUNKARD is able to gestate and formulate a coherent release, an unidentified person assaults the group forcing them into a time-capsule set to be opened circa 2002.
This is why no one has heard of DRUNKARD. This is why you will be hearing about them in the coming years. This is why you will bang your head and lay down your souls to the god’s rock and roll.
“Hellish Metal Dominate” is the “Pleasure To Kill” of 2004. It has earned that title not because it is a carbon-copy or merely a well executed imitation of the latter album, but rather due to the fact that it is a successful blend of old-school brutality/aggression coupled with an intelligent sense of the definition of unique. This release takes that signature sound found at the roots of the genre and combines it with a modern production that acts as a fresh clip of 7.62mm rounds being shoved into the AK-47 of 80’s Thrash. The guitar tone is fuzzy yet sharp, the vocals are raspy yet deep and the drum sound is rough yet clear. This could just be one of the best production jobs laid to tape.
It is a breath of fresh air to experience a band that manages to be brutal and violent while retaining an air of humor. One can easily see that DRUNKARD do not take themselves too seriously when viewing such song titles as “Drunk With Satan” (whose stellar chorus couldn’t keep a deaf senior in his seat) and “Alkowarriors,” originally recorded for the “Alcoholic Thrash Attack” demo. You think it would be awkward for a raspy Black/Thrash voice to be screaming lines like, “Let’s Spill Disco-Fucking-Blood!!!” but somehow it works.
This whole Thrash recipe is held together at the very core by a multitude of varied, infectious riffs which are shoved down your throat. Nothing, I repeat; nothing tastes like riffs shoved down your throat. The drumming punctuates these riffs nicely and it is actually surprising to find that Thanos does not overuse the double-bass, but opts for some variance instead. Despite the solid battery there are, however, few too many fills and the drums ultimately end up in the back drop merely keeping the tempo rather than given their light to shine. The sleight blandness on skins is compensated for by a liberal dosage of solos which shred in their own right and avoid whammy-bar masturbation.
Each and every track is an “Unholy Ride Through Hell!!!” and no one can deny the sheer force of this work. This disc spreads an infection through the air waves which seizes your body, causing it to convulse and head-bang whether servitude is voluntary or not (and you thought SARS was bad). If “Enemy Of God” or “The System Has Failed” would have been half this good the world would be a better place. Unfortunately we are stuck in a time when the burden has been placed on young and new acts like DRUNKARD to come out of the underground and grab you by the scalp. Isn’t it beautiful to feel compelled to hit play for a second time immediately after the first spin?
“Back Stabbers and Assholes Stick This Album Up Your Asses!” (Online May 6, 2005)