Some new thrash metal bands, who make it the retro way, or try to do so, get a lot of flak from metal music listeners and critics. Italy is one of these hotbeds for these bands. Punishment 18 Records is one of labels who put out a lot of releases from younger thrasher metal bands.Sometimes they have discovered talent, but they've also released some misses, for sure. Inverno who hail from Vicenza, belongs to the troops with talent and enthusiasm. And besides, they got some great riffs and songs to begin with. My guess is, that this probably is their self-released debut album 'Thrashgressive' from 2011 re-issued.
Starting with a short instrumental 'Prelude to the Bomb', I thought "ah, this is some crawling pace thrash?!" Also, the production values became clear: Demo level quality here, if not truly bad. However, when the ripping guitar in the beginning of 'Tsar Bomb' burst out from speakers, it immediately made one thing clear, and that thing is the fact, that this quartet aren't here to bore a thrash fan. The song has memorable riffs, pace is fast with sawing guitars, preached vocals and busy drumming. In the mid-point there's a groovy, rocking part. It definitely fits in, as it does not bring down the intensity of the song, but more like jolts a listener into this thrash-bash. Nimble-fingered solo is, of course, a must, and is heard at the end. Foreboding riffing and guitar melody, and hammering drums, with which 'Pray' start up remind of 'Master of Puppets' (1986) era Metallica (and I'm not referring to that legendary album and song just because there's this nasty laughter at the end, no!). Anyway, more like Vio-lence style attacking parts follow among Metallica-ism. 'Terrorizer' does not sound like the band with the same name, but this song is a mixture of the likes of Testament (especially that guitar melody heard all over the song) and Vio-lence. Yeah, Inverno's style is heavily influenced by US East Coast bands, even though not entirely.
'Beer' (yes please!!!) is a punky and rocking thrasher, and suitable for beer gulping moments. As is the whole album, actually. Tankard influences begin to emerge here (in the music, I'll tell later about the vocals). Sodom is another German band, which can be mentioned as influences. Initial feel of downcast at the start of 'Chemical Death' is soon wiped away by shredding guitar and fast pace, but the song plunges into evil slower parts, too. The song's fine solo reminds of Megadeth, actually. Three last songs do not bring in any elements, that haven't already been aforementioned. There are some great riffs, some annoying ones, and some songs are far better than others, but still the song quality tilt towards good, more than towards bad.
There are two vocalists. The one who's handling the most of the vocals have a touch of anger in his voice, and that's not a tiny touch. He's barking his messages around with a very suitable voice, which is not a bit annoying, but neither varying, but quite masculine indeed. So that's why there is the second voice. This guy sounds like Tankard's Gerre, and I have no bad words to say about this lively style. About the lyrics, then. The themes, though, aren't a surprise, and can be figured out by checking out the song titles. 'Tsar Bomb' has quite original style, actually, but others are more than typical.
The main problem about this album is its production job, which can be called unsuccessful. Every other instrument fits in, but the drums sound boxy, and what's worse, they drown a lot of other stuff under them, especially when pace is faster. So, balancing is off-level, and badly. This doesn't exactly sound like soulless, but something is definitely wrong with the production. The guitars sounds sharp and overally, the bass is good. Props for nice guitar solos, a really talented guy here. Even though the production is what it is, it cannot hide the energy that the performances emit. The cover art looks ugly as heck. Nauseating green is all around! Drawings of mutant are okay, at least.
Inverno are here to give you a thrash-bash and manage pretty well in that. This will not be remembered in the history books of thrash metal, but at least is fun to listen to. It's somewhat varying, and it's entertaining to spot familiar elements, more than call the band bloody copycats. So, I suggest all you fans of semi-melodic thrash to at least giving them a try instead of totally passing them by.
Rating: 7- (out of 10) ratings explained
Reviewed by Lane