When Rick asked me to do him a favour and squeeze a review in for him, there were four words in his message that stood out to me – “former members of Annihilator and Testament.” That was all I needed to say yes as I am a mahoosive fan of both, especially Testament, and I always love coming back to my roots.
Wreck-Defy are a thrash band from Thunder Bay, Ontario in Canada and as previously mentioned features former members of Annihilator, Testament and Demolition Hammer. They were formed in 2016 when Matt Hanchuck got together with his friend Justin Stear, who had agreed to do the vocals on the debut record “Fragments Of Anger”, which was released in 2017. Shawn Dover from Megadeth was brought in to play drums, and his brother Gary, also ex-Megadeth, agreed to mix and master the album.
Fast forward to 2019 and 1st February saw the release of their latest offering “Remnants Of Pain.” With a new line-up featuring Matt on guitars, Aaron Randall, ex-Annihilator, on vocals, and Greg Christian, formerly of Testament, on bass, they used studio session drummer Dave O’Neal for the album, but have since been able to recruit the amazing Alex Marquez from Demolition Hammer and Solstice for future shows and tours.
The album has been mixed, mastered and edited by Juan Urteaga, who has also produced for Testament, Heathen, Vicious Rumors and Dragonlord, to name a few!
So, what of the new album? Well, this is nothing short of a thrash-fest that will have you banging your head from start to finish!
It has all the hallmarks of a great thrash album, from the rumbling, frantic drums, to the faster than lightning guitars and raw, aggressive vocals. Says Matt; “the new record has a street level sound that is a throwback to the burgeoning thrash movement from the mid 1980’s with a more modern-day production value,” and this is exactly the reason why I love it so much.
I always said I was born too late as a lot of the music I listen to now was around before I was old enough to appreciate it, but I love the fact there are bands out there who want to bring this sound back again. For the young ones like me(!) it gives us the chance to live through something we would otherwise have missed and I, for one, would love to see a full thrash revolution happen now.
The album deals with a lot of social issues, says Matt; “lyrically, it’s about many of the negative aspects in life, such as war, addiction, tyranny etc,” and I would be keen to sit down with a copy of the lyrics as I listened to it. There are a lot of concerns that need dealing with in society these days, and if we can’t get these dealt with through other means, what better way than through music?
The two stand out songs on the album for me were ‘Broken Peace’, a track FULL of fast, frantic riffs and drumming, and ‘Looking Back’ which has a strong Testament feel to it, but there really are no bad tracks on the album. With nine tracks lasting just under three quarters of an hour, these truly is a feast for your ears!
If you love your thrash metal, as I do, then I highly recommend you go and buy this album. You would be missing out on a right little gem!
Killing the Children
18oz of Chrome
Art of Addiction
Angels and Demons
Originally posted on Ever Metal