Stonking riffs, catchy grooves and angst-ridden vocals are all indefatigable qualities one can attribute to Athens-based thrash metal group THE CRUCIFIER. Formed in 1995, the group have released three demos, two EPs and two full-lengths. Their newest studio venture is an LP titled ‘Voices In My Head’ which is set to be released on 29 September 2017 via Punishment 18 Records. The line-up consists of Hlias Kyriazis on vocals, Nikos Gkiokas on guitars, Spyros on guitars, Themis (R A T) on bass and Dimitris Kypraios on drums.
Now, reviewing this LP was very difficult for me because normally I have a tendency to be objective, neutral and non-biased in my observations however that soon became impossible after a few minutes of listening because I found that I became fully immersed in the album and, surprisingly enough, I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. They play a very traditional brand of heavy-metal, something I’d normally have qualms about when it comes to your average group but these guys pull it off extremely well. Musically they’re analogous to the greatest groups the 80s Thrash scene had to offer, notably TESTAMENT, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, EXODUS and many more. Obviously with it being thirty years or so later since those groups were at their peak of success and mainstream popularity there are notable differences to be detected. This album is definitely on the ‘extreme’ side of thrash, particularly the vocals which are humorously referred to as ‘throats’ in the liner notes, and you get a real sense that Hlias Kyriazis has constructed his style in the form of, almost, mini-sermons and bursts of shouting, which gives the group a moderately punky edge. There’s something very endearing about the group as each and every song is very similar, which, again, is something I’d normally have qualms about but the redeeming factor is that each and every song here is enjoyable. You’ve got strong verses, strong choruses, strong changes in rhythm and tempo and a lot of solid mid-paced bass-drum and snare grooves; – and the sound of the snare itself is just fantastically organic and fresh. Key tracks include ‘Open Your Eyes’, ‘Happy Face Man’, ‘Forgive and Don’t Forget’ and ‘Fake Truth’, but honestly I’d just recommend the entire record as it’s all immensely enjoyable and will no doubt please all fanatics of extreme-heavy metal and classic 80s thrash. It doesn’t surprise me that the group have been around for 22 years now because there’s a real sense of experience in their craft.
H.K. Thrasher – Throats
Nikos – Guitar
Spyros – Guitar
Themis – Rat – Bass
Jim Kypraios – Drums
Here’s a track from their 2006 album ‘Cursed Cross’..
Be sure to check out their Facebook page, too.