True, traditional thrash metal is thriving yet again. Not blackened, not blended with death, and not progressive, traditional thrash descends from the earliest crossover days of the mid-to-late-70’s, when the clear boundaries between punk rock and heavy metal had not been officially established yet, and the classic punk “kick-snare-kick-kick-snare, repeat” beat was ubiquitous between the two rock n’ roll species. Eventually though, as metal and punk diverged upon their own unique and wholly separate paths – and as the accepted metal subspecies of thrash, death, black, doom, and so on began to form, branch out, and expand to every corner of the world – traditional thrash became more and more scarce.
But throughout the 80’s and 90’s, while metal was truly diversifying on a global scale, a dedicated horde of holdouts, stalwarts, and redoubtable acts such as Slayer, Anthrax, Death Angel, and Sacred Reich (among notable others), kept the home fires burning for traditional, crossover-style thrash metal. Although it is true that all these acts and their ilk experimented with and eventually established their own blends of genres and subgenres other than thrash, throughout the years, though, not one ever strayed too far from their roots for too long. And praise Satan for that, because their influences gave rise to such preeminent 21st century traditional thrash acts as Lazarus A.D., Toxic Holocaust, Warbringer, Municipal Waste, and Crisix, just to name a few, who've revitalized and resuscitated the genre.
And now in 2020, seeking to become the latest on the list of inimitable classic thrash acts of the modern age, comes Calgary, Alberta’s Hazzerd with their sophomore full-length, Delirium. Robust in its arrangements and crossover ethos, Hazzerd’s Delirium is traditional thrash metal defined: in-your-face, exuberant, impassioned, marginally political, and comprehensively devil-may-care. Loaded with mature riffs, expert solos, time-honored rhythms, and genre-perfect vocals, Delirium manifestly delivers.
Although disappointingly let down by a less-than-perfect mix that becomes noticeably more compressed and asperous the more you turn it up, the quality of the riffs, vocals, rhythms, and overall strength of the compositions more than make up for any shortcomings Delirium displays in the production department. Seriously, this album is bristling with classic thrash anthems that will make your head bang and your neck snap as if it were 1987 all over again.
Some of the keenest of the keen tracks on Hazzerd’s Delirium include the atheistic opener “Sacrifice Them (in the Name of God)”, the mosh-inducing “Sanctuary for the Mad”, the anfractuous “Victim of a Desperate Mind”, and the crossover paean “Dead in the Shed”.
Hazzerd’s Delirium is some high-quality shit, please believe, and would receive a higher rating if not for the slightly soured production; but looking past that, the tunes themselves and their execution are top-notch, so get this album in your ears, posthaste!
You can check out some of the tunes by pressing play below and be sure to grab yourselves a copy of the new album if you dig what you’ve read and heard! Stay metal, always. Nunc dimmitis. \m/
Rating: 8.75 / 10
Release Date: January 24th, 2020 (M-Theory Audio)
Influences and Contemporaries: Anthrax, Death Angel, Lazarus A.D., Warbringer, Municipal Waste, Crisix, Holycide, Br00tal Beefcake