Black Fast delivers their third album with an assault of riffs and disorientating melodicism in order to drive out all that opposes their hell bent force. SAY NO TO SLOW. The St Louis quartet opens with “Cloak of Lies”, beginning with a chaotic rampage of effectual speed, introducing their post thrash/ proto death sound like a sucker punch to the face. Progressive RIFFS, technical RIFFS and goddamn catchy RIFFS indefinitely barrel roll through the tracks to the very end. But you shouldn’t settle for anything less from a stateside thrash band. Songs like “Scarecrow and Spectre” , “Phantom I Am” and “Temple of Leviathan”- most notably my favourite track feature tasteful fusions of melodic death between the twin guitars. This highlights the crossover bridge between thrash and death of which Black Fast have captivated more on this record, I suspect producer Erik Rutan ( Hate Eternal frontman and ex- Morbid Angel guitarist) had a lot of influence on this . The sub elements and interchanges of tempo cleverly showcases the technicality and musician mastery.
Admittedly, this is my first time coming across their material, which is highly surprising considering the mighty list of legends they carry under their wings, having graced the stage with the likes of Overkill, Goatwhore, Voivod, Havok, Revocation, Crowbar, Vektor, Hate Eternal, Rivers of Nihil, and Battlecross. It is evident that the Missouri lads have been heavily influenced by the likes of teutonic thrash bands Sodom and Kreator according to riff structure and by how tight the guitar and drums compliment each other. Vocalist/ guitarist Aaron Akin similarly takes to the methods of Chuck Schuldiner (Death), letting the guitar leads and fills guide the tracks, leaving less room for vocals and lyricism.
Indeed, with a lot of post thrash bands we’re use to a very much structured and formulaic pattern of riffs throughout a full length album. There are instances where I feel like there are more fillers and less emphasis on leads or even solos which we would expect from a self proclaimed thrash band. I did however give their older material a listen, the album that really showcases Black Fast in their glory for me would be Terms of Surrender. But as Aaron Akin once summarized, “We’re playing metal. We don’t really give a shit about ‘making it’”, so who the hell am I to judge?