So the Swiss are known for their chocolate, being bankers and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost and that’s about it, right? WRONG! Enter Gurd, a thrash band formed in ’94 and to date have had nine albums up until 2011. Their latest work is titled “Never Fail” and it packs a mighty punch! They have been classified as a thrash/groove outfit and it is clear why, from the song structure and the very catchy riffs incorporated in each song. So, you are likely to experience some thrash riffs with some pretty insane groove breakdowns to maintain the tempo. The band consists of five members will blow your mind from the offset.
The album kicks off with the title track “Never Fail.” The standard is set right from the start and will blow you away with some lightning fast guitar riffs and double bass drumming. With real malicious intent and savagery that occasionally breaks into that groovy Pantera-like breakdown and the vocal style also reminds me a lot of Pantera. However, the band does stamp their own authority on the sound and musical showmanship, and isn’t some sorry excuse of a cover band at all. Might as well perish the thought. The rhythm and groove of the riffs is really something to savor, in its own right. The track is a good start to a very good aggressive album.
The second track is titled “Terminate” and it does exactly that. The song roars into action with a pretty catchy riff and some good drumming as it breaks into some groove-like drumming before kicking it up a notch once more. The riff is so simple but so good! It gets you loud and rowdy almost smashed my coffee mug a few times. The breakdown yet again is immaculate and is followed by a superb solo, which then breaks into to that basic simple riff that does it all justice. The track is ended as it’s started with a catchy riff, which by now is what you come to expect and we’re only two tracks into the album.
The last track of the album definitely caught my attention. “Velvet Apocalypse,” in vast contrast, starts off a lot slower than the rest of the tracks on the album, which are out to annihilate you. Gurd deliver heavy, dreary riffs, with a real menacing sound to it and some groove elements from the second guitar as well. The track is just an instrumental and a very gutsy one at that, it does end the album off really well and gives one a bit of a breather to say the least. I’m not a massive fan of instrumentals myself, but this I can definitely get used to. Good solid effort from our Swiss friends.
Looking at the album as a whole, the guitar riffs are groovy and catchy and have a nice variety and gets very thrashy often enough. The solo’s are excellent in my opinion and is in no way over done or too long. The album in total is just shy of 40 minutes with 9 tracks for you to feast your ears upon. I would highly recommend this to all the thrash maniacs among us! If you’re into some good old groove with an overpowering thrash feel to it, definitely check out Gurd.