Hailing from the incredibly thrash-rich state of California, Madrost is a thrash band that continues the legacy of the more brutal side of the 80’s and early 90’s. “Into The Aquatic Sector” is their second full-length, and while there isn’t a lot of material here (6 full tracks alongside an intro and interlude), it still manages to deliver quite a punch. In fact, less than 3 minutes into the album, you are greeted with a high-pitched shriek that puts Schmier, John Cyriis, and all others to shame. It’s so ear-piercing that I have actually lowered the volume of the music during that scream every single time I’ve listened to this album. Though this would not be the last of these screams, the primary vocal style on this record leans more towards death/thrash territory. Founding member Tanner Poppitt’s vocals are aggressive, but not lacking in understandability. He’s pretty much the perfect middle point between more traditional thrash singers and guttural-style vocals.
Musically, it is hard to compare Madrost to anyone specific. Unlike many other modern thrash bands, Madrost seeks to go beyond Exodus worship. There are tremolo-picked riffs, not unlike what one would hear in Sodom or even some early death metal. Blast beats occur once in a while, and accentuate the death metal side of this band. The production complements this forceful approach, as it is dark and not entirely clear. It’s easy to tell what is going on at any given time, but the band shies away from the squeaky clean production of many of their peers. There is some melody, as the band makes frequent use of guitar solos, and even the occasional lead (there’s a cool harmonized melody on “Subterranean Nightmare“). Songs range from incredibly memorable to decent at best, yet they manage to sound relatively similar to one another. The highlights include the first two full songs, “Frozen Beneath the Snow” and “Universal Energy”, both are which feature a couple of sections that will grab your attention quickly. Another great song is the title track, which is without a doubt the fastest and most aggressive song on this album. From the moment it begins, the song catches your ear with its thrashy riffing, and doesn’t let up for the better part of 2.5 minutes, when a slower interlude occurs.
Although Madrost is not the absolute best new thrash band out there, you have to respect them for at least putting out something different from a lot of other groups. “Into The Aquatic Sector” has a lot of enjoyable moments, and it is worth more than one spin if you’re a fan of thrash. It also appears as though there’s some cool imagery and lyricism here, but that sort of stuff often goes beyond me.
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“Frozen Beneath The Snow”
“Into The Aquatic Sector”
3.9/5 or 78%.