Hailing from Varkaus, Finland, we have Unhoped - a band who blend the best bits of Thrash and Death metal in order to create a brand of music which should prove to be a great source of enjoyment to those who like their music, heavy, fast and with a slight groove in places too. The group started in 2007, unleashing their first E.P in 2010 (First Blood). A change of vocalist during the recording of the debut album proper (Die Harder) wasn't going to hinder them, and they're here now with Sonic Violence! Will this album live up to it's name? Or will it be more like a Sonic love-tap? There's only one way to find out - your friendly neighbourhood Metal Warrior will have a listen and then tell all you fine folks about it...
1) Whole World Gone To Hell - And we're off! Starting with that slow galloping drum beat with some furious guitars, it soon turns into the kind of thrash that would have no problem starting a circle pit. The guitars are tight with some worthy solos. The song then builds to a fast and frantic finish, like cracking one off as your mum walks up the stairs but not as risky. Production sounds excellent too. So we're off to a winner already.
2) Assimilation - Wow, we've put our foot on the brakes already? Still, nothing like trying to get an atmosphere going with some slow passages - before launching another fast speed blitz. I guess I should listen and think before I type. Slow section for the solo before another increase of speed. This band are certainly taking no prisoners - and no shit, either,,,
3) Sonic Violence - Lives up to it's name! Seriously, just check that intro out! This song is extremely unrelenting and there are parts of it that just go off the chart! Another thing I'm liking is that up to now, there is no inkling or hints they'er going to turn into one of so-called 'retro' Thrash Metal bands. You know, the ones who have the Ed Repka artwork on the cd's and the songs that have so many re-heated Testament, Nuclear Assault, Vio-Lence riffs in them. At least these guys acknowledge their influences whilst bringing their own twist to the proceedings.
4) Human Disgrace - Now this is a special beast! Upping the ante further, this hits you as it rushes straight out of the gate like a greyhound with it's arse on fire. The drums are awesome, flat out thrash before breaking into a groove-metal break so good, it puts other groove-metal bands to shame! Album highlight so far.
5) No Man's Land - Slow song, getting a bit of atmosphere going, although I reckon the fast bill will kick in later. It certainly does, round about the four minute mark before then going back to the slow bits at the start of the song. It certainly does the trick.
6) Warhead Sunrise - Ominous keyboard intro with what sounds like air-raid sirens soon makes way for another prime groove-metal move that's better than most groove-metal bands. Things soon escalate into more sonic violence with some more excellent thrash. Damn, that is one fine groove that's going on in this song. This may be the album highlight if only for the really cool way the vocalist sings WAR-HEAD SUN-RIIIIISE!!!
7) The Naked And The Dead - More excellent thrash. Seriously, is there any stopping this album? I hope not! More furious rhythms and excellent solos, drumming work is impeccable. Mark this one down as another silver bullet!
8) Club Of Swines - Bringing us onto the home stretch is another thrash gem! Alternating rhythms between the fast, slow and mid-paced groove, along with an epic solo. Another thing that's commendable out this band is their guitar solos actually fit the music and aren't just added for extremity alone. This fucking rules.
9) Pies And Friends - The natural successor to 'Hang The Pope'. A 40 second straight up thrash fucking masterpiece which ends in utter chaos and a further twenty seconds of bass notes being held.
Frankly, this album is fucking tremendous and anyone who doesn't like it is a false, therefore, no entry! Seriously, it is an excellent album which like Lazarus A.D and The Haunted, not only pays it's respects to the thrash Gods of the past but helps to drag them kicking and circle-pitting into the 21st Century. As mentioned, the production is crisp, excellent and totally suits the style of music. The vocals are excellent too - instead of going for many of thrash's traits, they have their own identity and sound. Existing fans of Thrash Metal should love this whereas any new listeners should give it a go as they may like it. Here is hoping that our friends in Unhoped have much success with this album.
10/10 - This is proof there is a God.
Top Track: WAR-HEAD SUN-RIIIIISE!!!
This album is available on iTunes. Buy it. Now.
This album doesn't appear to be on Amazon but their previous E.P is...