Stardate 05/30/2023 07:51 

It is spring time up here in North, and Mother Nature is getting a bit horny you know?! Birds are building their love nests and plants are erecting up from ground while the sun is blazing my skin with its rays causing skin cancer. When I pulled curtains open in my dungeon-ish one-room flat, there's a flag in half-staff. Well, I don't let those nasty things get to me, it's spring time anyways and love is in the air, baby! So, no funeral doom today, even if someone in my neighbourhood has bitten the dust.

Time for something more positive, or at least more energetic, then... Italian crossover thrashers Shock Troopers are my choice of happy drug in my quest to reach euphoric mood. The band formed in 2001, and their sophomore album 'Blades and Rods' was released a couple of months ago by Punishment 18 Records. How do these young fellas manage to handle this age-old style?

Pretty well. After a naff intro, that's a cover of a song from some "Metal Slug" game, the band crash into fast thrash assault. Mostly, it's German style punky and straight thrash metal, influenced by bands such as Tankard, Destruction and Assassin. 'Vice' has some Slayer style stuff on it. Let's face it; how easy it is to invent new kind of thrash riffs?! Not easy at all, maybe nigh on impossible. At least the riffs are at least listenable, sometimes bloody good indeed. The band managed to squeeze a few riffs per song. This is a short album, with a boring intro and a 50-second movie sample (spoken by Al Pacino, taken from "The Devil's Advocate") stealing minutes from proper thrashing.

The band handle their craft well enough. The main focus is in energetic performance, not in technical showing. At best, it's tight as heck. The vocals are good, heavily reminding me of Sodom's Tom Angelripper. The English pronunciation is pretty crap, as are the lyrics. The production is okay, but one thing that should not happen on a thrash metal album: Triggered drums! No. No. No!

Cover art is na´ve, but the aural content is not. It's about grabbing "a few" beers and enjoying the music LOUD. However, this should be a mini-CD release, not a full length album (decrease the intro and the movie sample and it's just over 20 minutes). Very promising indeed, but more content would make me happier.

Rating: 6+ (out of 10) ratings explained

Reviewed by Lane
04/13/2010 20:00

Related websites:
Punishment 18 Records website :: www.punishment18records.com

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Shock Troopers
(Italy)

album cover
Blades and Rods
1. Intro (Metal Slug) (01:50)
2. Competition (01:50)
3. Take Your Eyes off Me (02:21)
4. Blades and Rods (02:26)
5. Vice (03:01)
6. Road Thrash (02:17)
7. Toilet Show (02:18)
8. Protection Money (02:40)
9. Jail World (02:10)
10. Waterboarding (02:04)
11. The Rape (01:48)
= 00:24:45
Punishment 18 Records 2010

Info on this release

Band Biography