There are a few things which you can trust Germany with. Engineering, organisation and, my particular favourite, beer. Let’s add thrash metal to that list. Dust Bolt hail from Munich, home of the BMW and they are as efficient and proficient as their home town’s most famous export. “Violent Demolition” is the band’s debut album (although the eagle eyed and eared amongst you might have picked up their 2010 E.P.) It is a straight up, no messing about thrash album which wears its influences proudly and doesn’t attempt to convince you that the band are anything other than a solid, efficient thrashing machine.
Dust Bolt, despite their relative youth, have already cut their teeth on live circuit with decent support slots with the likes of Napalm Death and Obituary and were the victors of the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle in 2011. No mean feat. “Violent Demolition” is has plenty of nods to Bay Area thrash metal from the 1980s but doesn’t plough that retro furrow so beloved by the likes of Havok and Bonded by Blood. Dust Bolt are a modern thrash outfit, hyper aggressive in their outlook but studied and controlled in their delivery: they will be ones to watch across Europe’s summer festival circuit.
‘Opulence Contaminated’ has so many nods to “Reign in Blood” era Slayer you’re suspicious that the band probably have shares in the Tom Araya fan club. One’s suspicions are cemented by the riffing and shredding that run through the title track. None of this really matters though- they like Slayer, I like Slayer, you like Slayer: ergo, I kinda like this. ‘March Thru Pain’ is more Testament meets Exodus in a dark alley, having a bit of a fight. It’s fairly solid and occasionally blessed with a bit of colour and imagination. Elsewhere, the band give you plenty of evidence that they also like a bit of Iron Maiden: the intro guitar parts on ‘Shattered by Reality’ or ‘Oblivion’ should have Maiden‘s manager Rod Smallwoood on the phone to “have a word”. The latter tune, in particular, is something of a standout- pile driving riffing; solid tune, splendid on the ears.
If I said that this was thrash by numbers then you might get the impression that I was being critical. So then, this is thrash by numbers but what of it? Whilst there isn’t anything here that I haven’t heard or seen before- dozens of times- I’m still feeling reasonably warm towards this mob and as debut albums go, although I have heard better, I’ve heard worse too. A lot worse. I’m feeling charitable in my old age so this bunch of metal thrashing madmen can have a 7/10.