Norwegian thrashers Blood Tsunami have returned with a beast of an album in the ravaging For Faen, a release which makes up for the time the band was away whilst thrusting the Oslo quartet forth with a new ferocity and enterprising design to its sound. With blood raging through its veins and a furnace borne hunger, the release brings a spiteful devastation of thrash metal and a freshness which has been missing from many other recent genre releases.
Blood Tsunami was formed in 2004 by vocalist/ guitarist Peter Vegem who had spent the previous years in punk rock band Hellride. Turning to thrash metal the project ran through a few line-up changes in the first couple of years but equally found permanent members in guitarist Kristoffer Sørensen and drummer Bård G. Eithun to drive the band forward. Two demos were released in the same period with the second leading to the band signing with Candlelight Records/Nocturnal Art Production with who their debut album Thrash Metal appeared in 2007. Critically acclaimed the album brought the band good awareness from around Europe where they toured to further strong responses and recognition. Second album Grand Feast For Vultures followed in 2009 and was a stronger even more impressive riot of invention and power, though soon Blood Tsunami hit problems. After losing out on a slot on a full European tour with Absu and Nachtmystium in the summer of 2009, bassist Peter Boström then departed leaving the other members with a lack of inspiration and energy for the band. The remaining trio started up new punk metal band Mongo Ninja, putting Blood Tsunami on a kind of hiatus, which in twelve months or so toured relentlessly and released three albums with Indie Recordings. Though the quintet was drawing strong acclaim and success the founding trio began looking at Blood Tsunami again and brought it back to life during 2012 but now infusing the punk essences of their last endeavour into the thrash devastation of their resurrected project.
Bringing in Carl Janfalk on bass to complete the line-up alongside Vegem, Eithun, and Sørensen, the band recorded a six track demo in 2012 and then set about searching for a label which emerged as Indie Recordings who put out the Mongo Ninja albums. For Faen meaning Devil, though it is also used in Norwegian in the same way fuck is used in English (so the title could mean For The Devil or For Fuck’s Sake), takes no prisoners from first violent note to last, offering an unrelenting siege upon the senses with equally compelling rewards. Previously the band drew on melodic Swedish influences and NWOBHM riffs for their more progressive creativity but now have moved to short biting song structures and a punk snarl to leave a much longer lasting and potent effect in the shorter violent songs.
As soon as the thumping drum call of Eithun opens up first track The Butcher of Rostov, the passions are immediately set on alert especially with the swiftly joining inviting sinewy riffs adding their keen persistence on the senses. In full flow the track unveils a swagger kitted out with a delicious sonic grove before unloading a full ravage of crippling rhythms, flash tearing riffs, and an even more insidious grooved venom. Vocally Vegem has re-ignited the delivery he used in Hellfire and it adds the perfect rasp and belligerent growl to the intensive attitude driven sound. The song thrills with a blend of Slayer, Amen, and Kreator and makes a towering persuasion for release and the new direction of the band.
Next up the bestial Dogfed chews the ear with the savagery of a pack of wolves, its incisors rippling with primal malice whilst its sonic saliva sears with irresistible acid; in barely one and a half minutes it has thoughts racing with deep satisfaction. Its mighty presence is equalled in their own individual bruises by The Rape of Nanking and In The Dungeons of the Rats, tales of war crimes and blood curdling horror which capture the imagination lyrically as much as the sounds succeed in earning full submission of the passions.
To be honest every moment of the album leaves nothing but sheer pleasure in its wake and though maybe the release is not ground breaking it is undoubtedly one of the best thrash cored releases in a long time. Further pinnacles in a plateau of highs come through the colossal rampage of Metal Fury and the unbridled ferocity of The Brazen Bull, both subsequently eclipsed by the ardour igniting Unholy Nights. The song is a classic in waiting, a heart pillaging scourge of fiery sonic mastery within a tempest of marauding riffs and wall demolishing rhythms.
The return of Blood Tsunami has given thrash, if not aggressive metal as a whole, a new thrust of vibrant and destructive energy and in For Faen, an album which thrills on every level.
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