Turbocharged, despite the name suggesting a Judas Priest tribute act, are a classic power trio dealing in old school black metal. As the squealing guitars and awesome kick drums emerge from the infernal murk they conjure memories of Venom and early Celtic Frost. To someone who’s been on the metal scene as long as me this provokes a strange, warm, wistful feeling. That’s probably not what the band were aiming for! But for me it’s like putting on an old pair of walking boots -filthy black but comfortable and comforting.
“Christ Zero” is only Turbocharged‘s second release in their 12 year history and whilst the album gives the impression of being a long cherished ambition fulfilled it’s hard to know if it’s accident or design that finally sees it emerge. The album certainly appears to be a concept of sorts. All the songs deal in the corruption and rejection of Christianity, something Turbocharged tackle with a scholarly but passionate vigour. They clearly have a lot to say, even if it will inevitably be preaching to the choir.
There is not much obvious mention of Satan, and they don’t appear to question that Christianity is based on some factual reality so there standpoint is not totally atheistic or founded in Satanism. Perhaps they are not coming from one fixed belief? The fact is that as they encourage you to listen to their lyrics and take them seriously you may end up more confused than enlightened, but I can’t remember the last time a metal album made me think so much – which is a recommendation in itself.
Anyway back to the tunes and highlight for me is ‘In Heaven There Is No Hatred’ …but the walls are still covered in blood’. That is a killer chorus and it has several grinding big dirty riffs to boot. It even kicks off with a Tom G. Warrior-style death grunt, just in case you hadn’t noticed the huge Frosties influence. In truth there’s no duff tunes here but the album is slightly spoiled by the inter-linking spoken rhymes between songs. They are presented like creepy answerphone messages and are sometimes clunky and jarring. A small gripe, however, about what is otherwise a very enjoyable experience from an interesting band. How about another album this decade guys?!