Lurking in the now flooded metal underground of New Jersey (thanks Sandy!) since 2009 is a creature bent on putting there own unique stamp on the metal of scene today. That creature is Strychnia (I have no idea actually how to pronounce it, if you have any idea please let me know!). Strychnia followed me on twitter a few weeks ago and I decided check them out. I got really excited when they said you can download their debut CD The Anatomy of Execution for free if you went and liked their Facebook page. Now I wasn't gonna let this awesome discovery influence what I thought of the band, if I didn't like what I heard I would not have put them on my ipod. What I heard on that CD was down right awesome! It was this perfect molding of ripping thrash metal with brutal low and high death metal growls sung over it. This was something new to me.
As long as I have been a metal head I have noticed that there are three styles of thrash metal vocals. There are the raspy yet clean vocal styles of bands of old. This includes the members of the big 4 (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth) as well as bands like Overkill and Testament. There is the general kind of harsh, shouting like vocals that bands like Warbringer, Lazarus AD, and Exodus use. Finally some bands have started using black metal style vocals, Skeletonwitch is the best example. Strychnia has developed a new and unique style of thrash metal, this excellent combination of death metal and thrash metal.
Now I could just not be well versed in my underground thrash metal and there could be many thrash bands out there that use death metal vocals, but Strychnia is the first band I ever heard do it. There merging of death metal with thrash metal extends to way beyond the vocals alone. In their song "Vile Creation" the listener is first hit by a mid tempo death metal crawl (imagine a zombie is crawling on the ground towards you, this is the music that would be played in the background). Then at around 50 seconds into the song the band switches into an all out thrash assault, fast guitars and raging drums now dominate the listeners ear drums (imagine that zombie from before has now gotten up and is chasing you).
Here is the video for "Vile Creation"
"Vile Creation" along with most if not all Strychnia songs go back and forth between mid tempo death metal to high speed thrash metal very cleanly and effortlessly. What it all adds up too is the listener alternating the speeds at which they headbang (because it is impossible to listen to these songs without wanting to headbang like a mad man). If one was to listen to The Anatomy of Execution head bang all the way through they would certainly wake up the next morning with a bang over.
As far as artists that these guys sound similar too there really weren't too many I could think of. The one that kept reoccurring in my mind was Toxic Holocaust, because I think that the instrumental part of the band does sound like them but the vocal is style is completely different.
Overall I will say that if you like great thrash metal and are looking for something new, then you need to give Strychnia a listen. Follow them on twitter (@Strychnia), check them out on facebook and download there album (its free for crying out loud!). You will not be disappointed! I really think these guys have a chance to create a new breed of thrash metal band. So labels listen up! Go sign these guys!
I'm not entirley sure if this is the album cover for The Anatomy of Execution but its the one I use.
Remember if there is a band you want me to talk about or an album you want me to review, leave a comment or tweet me @zachktheanimal.