“Wasteland” marks the second demo for Italian-based thrash metal band Ural. Within seconds of it starting, many listeners will be instantly surprised to hear this is not your typical Italian thrash metal band. There is not much Exodus influence to be heard, nor does the artwork or imagery bring back the glory of the 80’s. Instead, this release brings in a lot more influence from punk. The songs are energetic and fast, but retain a sort of punky tightness that one would expect from a crossover band like M.O.D., or even a straight-up punk band. Ural’s singer is also much more influenced by punk, as he does plenty of yelling and shouting on “Wasteland”. In “Title”, he even counts out the beats in one section, making the homage to the band’s punk roots more obvious.
This demo is composed entirely of short songs, and is really a brief shot of adrenaline. The final track, “Destruction”, is the most spastic, reaching some insane speeds. Amazingly, the song also slows down and busts out a fantastic almost bluesy riff. This diversity is not particularly common on “Wasteland”, but only because the release is so brief that the band really throws their all at the listener to make an impression. Both the second and third song have some schizophrenic sounding guitar solos that make an already aggressive release even more brutal.
Despite this release barely spanning 6 and a half minutes, it manages to pack quite a lot of music in. It’s clear from “Wasteland” that Ural really appreciates the punkier side of thrash, and this release is a testament to that. While it differs from what many other Italian bands are doing, it also helps Ural to stand out more in a very crowded thrash metal scene.
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4.0/5 or 80%.