With the band recently inking a worldwide management deal with GlobMetal Promotions, we thought a look at Bootlegs’ recent album, Ekki fyrir viðkvæma, was in order. Formed in 1986 and soon becoming one of the bigger names in Icelandic metal history over the next five years or so, Bootlegs released two highly praised albums in that period before disbanding in 1991. Since then the band has come and gone through a couple of brief comebacks before returning more permanently in 2012. Released last year, Ekki fyrir viðkvæma is the Reykjavik quartet’s latest incitement of raw and ferocious thrash metal, a release metal fans will not want to be missing out on.
WC Monster and their self-titled second album, released 1989 and 1990 respectively, certainly pushed Bootlegs from national success towards recognition upon the broader metal map as too appearances on compilation albums over the next couple of years and a live presence which saw the band break into the likes of Denmark. After coming to an end, the band did come back together for a big reunion concert which was recorded and subsequently released as a live album a few years later in 2006. Before its release though, Bootlegs were already active again, returning in 2004 for a two to three year presence. Then in 2010, they arose again with original members back; the fresh return followed by releases of the band’s first two albums in 2014 via Minotauro Records. Last year saw Bootlegs enter the studio for their first recordings in over two decades, and emerging with the rather impressive and rousing Ekki fyrir viðkvæma.
With the vocal roars of guitarists Jón ‘Junior’ Símonarsson and Jón Örn ‘Nonni ‘ Sigurðsson to the fore and its energy and intensity driven by the rhythmic predation of bassist Ingimundur ‘Elli’ Ellert Þorkellsson and drummer Kristján ‘Stjuni’ Ásvaldsson, album and sound is old school, thrash in its irritable prime. It is unafraid to offer some punk attitude too, at times songs breaching a Suicidal Tendencies like punkiness, but for the main and in its individual style, Ekki Fyrir Viðkvæma is the perfect fit for tastes bred on the likes of Voivod, Exodus, Metallica, Slayer, and Subhumans.
From the hungrily abrasive and riotous punk ‘n’ roll of Gervigleði er ógleði, the album has ears and appetite in league with its ferocious intent. It is a great opener quickly matched in success and persuasion by the thrash prowl of Fullur á Facebook. Grooves and hooks collude with rapier like swings from Stjuni in the second song, luring in the listener before uncaging a ravenous assault and devilment reminding of the crossover thrash sounds of the previously mentioned California hailing band.
As the likes of the senses nagging KúkurPissOgÆl and the glorious exploits of Bootlegs fyrir börnin come and go, it is fair to say that major surprises are few yet fierce temptation and unbridled enjoyment unmistakable and inescapable. Within the second of the two, there is also something very familiar about certain melodies and flavoursome hooks yet all escape comparison to anyone in particular as the track steals ears and passions with ease. There is an occasional sense of early Stam1na, passing essences fleetingly bringing the Finnish band to mind as the track provides the first major pinnacle within the album.
Tribute to Thrash is one of the few English sung tracks and more than lives up to its title, swinging along with a snarl and swagger while being as multi-flavoured as its predecessor. With some great guitar interplay involved it is followed by Eitur naðra which explores a darker and heavier canvas of textures and character as sonic flames vein its intimidating posture and tone. The track is just one more highly memorable proposal, whether stalking the listener or in a rampage of niggling riffs and the snakiest of toxic grooves, and swiftly irresistible as too the in the face predation and roar of the excellent Gjallarhorn.
By this point it is fair to say that Ekki fyrir viðkvæma had us hooked, sharing physical and vocal, where we could language wise, involvement with instinctive eagerness. The pair of Fórnarlamb tískunnar and Kjörkassasvín only add to the album’s temptation and uncompromising thrills; both tracks providing an immediate and merciless trespass as anthemic as they are grouchy. They are highly addictive proposals carrying an array of imagination pleasing twists and turns backed by the band’s individual craft; the latter especially intriguing and devilish in shape and resources.
Making less of a dramatic and lingering impression is Poser though fair to say that its antagonistic attack leaves only satisfaction in its wake before Haleluja adds its own creative incitement and SOD III uncages the album’s shortest and most hostile offering yet. Again both leave pleasure full without matching earlier triumphs with the closing Ó Reykjavík providing a final spirit arousing galvanic punk ‘n’ roll stomp to greedily devour.
It is a great end to an excellent release. Ekki fyrir viðkvæma might not be the best thrash album you will have heard this past year or so, though it is in with a real shout, but it is undoubtedly on the frontline of the most enjoyable and ridiculously easy to return to propositions you will come across.
Ekki fyrir viðkvæma is available @ https://bootlegsthrash.bandcamp.com/releases
Pete RingMaster 11/05/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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