Originally a self-release limited to 300 copies in 2010, Victims Beyond All Help the debut album from Canadian thrashers Besieged is getting its worldwide unleashing via Unspeakable Axe Records, the new sub-label of Dark Descent Records. After allowing the seven track tsunami of rapacious riffs and flavoursome aggression to rampage relentlessly over the senses it has to be said about time too. The album is a terrific release, a hungry ravaging of the ear which leaves you exhausted but fully immersed in satisfaction. With a more than open tint of death metal to its rapacious creative appetite, the album is prime thrash metal with plenty of further added spicery and though it maybe does not leave as many lingering memories as you would wish, it is a towering fury of merciless and richly rewarding provocation.
Hailing from Winnipeg, Besieged first released the Visions of Pain demo in 2004 to good responses with the first appearance of Victims Beyond All Help equally commanding. Across the years the thrashers built a strong and fevered fan base in their home town and beyond, especially sourcing eager passions with their stage performances which has seen them share stages with the likes of Death Angel, Dayglo Abortions, Razor, Dying Fetus, Toxic Holocaust, Inepsy, Anonymus, Hellacaust and many more. Wrapped in its original old school artwork painted by the legendary Ed Repk, the re-issued album is set to deservedly take the band to ears far beyond their continent and even saying so amidst the suggestions elsewhere that the band is no longer with us, hopefully it will be a trigger to more and greater things from the band.
From its first breath opener Internal Suffering flies for the throat, drums crippling and caging any thoughts of evasive manoeuvres whilst riffs flail the ear in a torrent of finely crafted sonic lashings. As the vocals offer their own intensive provocation the track is a bruising insatiable predator which without veering from its prime directive employs enough psychotic grooves and sonically honed temptation to secure the strongest attention. This is not the breaking down of barriers or moving into new realms for thrash or metal but simply the enslaving of greedy expectations with refreshing and undiluted passion bred aggression.
Both the following Death and Buried Alive continue in the same ferocious vein, though each with a little concentration has their individual intent and volatile characters. The first is a raw tempest of caustic energy and provocation, a track which is unrefined vocally and melodically charged at its guitar crafted heart and a blistering adrenaline fuelled corrosive scrubbing of the senses. Its successor takes a less demanding stance…well for the first mass of seconds before again flipping into an intensive stomp though arguably for the first time on the album there is a more deliberate inventive twist and switching of intriguing aspects, as well as a punk breath to its drama clad hooks mid-way.
The formidable start is just as impressively continued by The End, even if it is initially not quite as striking or unpredictable as other songs though it does evolve into something stronger with numerous confrontations. It continues the pressurising of the senses with ease and marks the beginning of the strongest part of the album. The title track as you would expect is no slouch in predacious riffing and excellent rhythmic irritation but to this it infuses an adventurous and skilfully developed melodic and imaginative enterprise. There is a familiarity to the alluring grooves and melody soaked additives but nothing you can define or label, and it all adds to the adventure of the enthralling song.
From the infectiously virulent Trapped Inside with its addictive grooves and hardcore vocal expulsions along its raucous course, the album offers up its pinnacle with the closing Black. At its core the track savages with prime thrash venom and animosity but around this mighty assault the band seduces with a persistently shifting maelstrom of epidemically inducing riff devilry, melodic flames which soar over the constantly at work intensity, and a sonic nagging with its just irresistible. The best song by far on Victims Beyond All Help amongst nothing but very good tracks, it is a potent antagonist to want and hope to hear more from this incredibly promising band. Whether we will time will tell but if it is to be their solo moment of glory it will leave a deep mark with their name on it.
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