Thrash Till You Drop

Thy Gate Beyond are not kidding when they say they're influenced by the eighties thrash scene. The utterly relentless pace at which each song operates on is thoroughly Slayer-esque. At times it can feel like it has strayed too far into the region of being so influenced they are trying to be a carbon copy, but even this does not deviate from the fact that this is a great album. The sound production is top quality which allows the listener to fully appreciate the brutal riffs in all their glory; it is not completely polished though so it still feels like it has this great raw edge to it. The vocalist also has a brilliant range, from the lower growls to the chilling screams, he feels like a mash up between Tom Araya and Joey Belladonna.

The album opens with the intro 1942 which is an unsettling 50 second sound bite of bombers laying a path of destruction before it absolutely explodes into the album's title track Enemy At The Gates. The mix between the ferocious pace and slower chugging riffs makes this easily one of the highlights on the whole record as it also brilliantly sets the tone for the next 25 odd minutes (yeah that's another Slayer similarity, this band are in and out within 30 minutes). Even the song titles bear quite a striking resemblance to bands hailing from the eighties metal scene, For Whom the Storms Evoke (Metallica anyone?) and My Brain is Dead... Reactivate It's Too Late (Megadeth anyone?). But it just doesn't annoy me that much, and why? Probably because the band doesn't deny this fact that they are so heavily influenced. It would be more irritating if they were trying to push the idea that they are bringing something new and fresh to the scene, because they're not. What they have done is write a great thrash metal record, adding their own little tweaks here and there to a sound perfected by their heroes.

There will be critics, "this band are trying to be this, trying to be that blah blah", but on face value there is no way anyone can tell me this isn't a great thrash metal album. It just absolutely hits the spot and this is clearly a very talented bunch of musicians. They're exploring their influences heavily now, but if they can refocus some of this talent and energy into some more adventurous and risky song-writing then Thy Gate Beyond could have a very bright future.