British thrash metal band, BULL-RIFF STAMPEDE, are back with their second full-length album, Enraging the Beast. After their debut album, Scatter the Ground, the four-piece made their mark in being one of the best newcomers in the metal scene, will this new record intensify that statement any more?
Kicking off the album is title track, Enraging the Beast, with all its fury in effort to show that the band are only set to get heavier and faster. It’s immediately got fast riffs, quick to the point solos, constant battering of the drums and some spot on growls, BULL-RIFF STAMPEDE certainly didn’t want to ease any listener in.
Mindless Heresy and Dawn of Disease follow suit immaculately. Dawn of Disease is a spectacular example of the talent, whilst the previous two tracks were heavy and straight in there, Dawn of Disease displays a much heavier route for the album to indulge in. At one point, it’s almost as though the track splits off into two, from the base of what it was and then, the ending is just incredibly chaotic in the best possible way. It goes from tame for thrash metal to completely out of control, the way it should be.
The track is a perfect opener into a mass of frenzy with 4125. 4125 brings in a nice contrast between thrash and death metal, it quenches the first for the two genres without going too far off the tracks that it becomes messy. Devoid of Pretension on the other hand is completely messy, it is all over the place but in the best possible way.
The track leads you into the pleasurable feeling of losing all sense of control, if there was one song on Enraging the Beast that would make you want to go all out, it is Devoid of Pretension. The ferocity of the song is in explainable. It is by far one of the most hard-hitting tracks on the record with a mass amount of attitude and aggression.
Pieces of Hate is exactly what it says on the tin, the track oozes with hatred and leaks anger from every single bit of it. This track really does cement the infusion between death and thrash that perfect amount, it has a perfect defining line and each element can be noted. The two genres aren’t completely fused together however, which is what makes the track so great – the two seem to work side by side and try and bring out the best and worst in each other to create such a filthy track.
Bite the Nail and Bloodchild are exactly the same, only throwing out crushing riffs and brutality. As the penultimate track however, System Shocker was just there, at first it felt a little too tame, but picked up. Unfortunately, it picked up close to the end, considering this was the shortest track on the album aswell, it didn’t have that gut-punching aspect with speed as a track this short in thrash should have.
Lone Ember for a closing track is simply divine. It has all the right elements needed to draw the curtains on a thrash metal album, it has the riffs, the melody, the speed, the heaviness and the feeling of needing more. If anything, it really displayed the freshness of BULL-RIFF STAMPEDE and exposed them for giving it all that they have got. Throughout the album, the guitar work has been superb but in Lone Ember, Jay Walsh and David Garnett have been able to really show off what they have got and what they unleashed with this track was absolutely phenomenal.
Enraging the Beast is a superb album, without a doubt BULL-RIFF STAMPEDE found a line between two distinct genres in metal and managed to stick them together like a jigsaw puzzle without leaving it messy. The influences from ‘80s thrash bands are far more visible but the twist that the four-piece give to the development of the genre is fresh and raw. If anything, Enraging the Beast has only given a slight glimpse of what is to come.
Enraging the Beast is out July 13 via Pledge Music/Self-Release
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