Music, like everything else in popular culture, is subject to trends. Many genres of music have been labeled as trends when they became popular. Metal in particular has always seemed to be included in this category even though it has the most loyal fan base of any genre of music. Take thrash for instance. If it were not for the rabid fans that propelled the faster, louder, heavier derivative into popularity in the mid 80’s there would be no Big Four. Even though only one of those bands still really produces thrash metal music (you know which one I am talking about), their influence is evident in numerous bands today. One such band is Bavaria’s Dust Bolt. They made a very good first impression with their debut album “Violent Demolition” in 2012. Dust Bolt is now set to release the follow up, “Awake the Riot,” June 6, 2014 on Napalm Records.
“Awake the Riot” starts out with trio of blasters in ‘Living Hell,’ ‘Soul Erazor,’ and ‘Beneath the Earth.’ The godfathers of thrash would be proud listening to the riffs Lenny B. and Flo D. rip through, and I mean rip. There is nothing slow and steady about these guys. ‘You Lost Sight,’ ‘Agent Thrash,’ and ‘Living a Lie’ slow it down ever so slightly and maintain a groove to keep things interesting. ‘Awake the Riot – The Final War’ mixes things up even more. It bounces back and forth from a deep groove to a blistering pace. Nico R. is like a human metronome on drums: starting, stopping, faster, slower, never missing a beat. The mosh fest continues down the track list until culminating in the slow builder of ‘The Monotonous – Distant Scream.’ The Evildead cover as the last/bonus track is a nice homage to one of the “should’ve been huge” bands of the genre.
I like the way Dust Bolt mixes up the tempo and riffs on the record to keep the listener on his toes instead of lulling him to sleep. I also like how many of the riffs are familiar enough so as it is easy for the listener to get into without being blatant rip offs of the classics. Dust Bolt is retro-thrash at its finest. They chew up every great 80s Bay Area thrash record and spit it out in their own unique mix. “Awake the Riot” makes you want to mosh and bang your head the whole way through. It will be hard not to tear your basement to pieces or beat your steering wheel into submission when you are cranking it up.