Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Septagon - Deadhead Syndicate (2016)

This German speed/thrash act formed from members of A Crimson Trail, Lanfear and Atlantean Codex (particularly Atlantean Codex's awesome frontman Markus Becker) is definitely worth your ears, and I truly mean that. This is one of those albums that caught my attention the very first time through and I knew I was going to cover it immediately, without hesitation. The record itself isn't that long, but who cares? This is the kind of disc you're going to play over and over again, with speedy riffs, memorable solos and catchy choruses that remind me of classic Anthrax. If the six-minute opener “Revolt Against The Revolution” doesn't get your attention, then I'm quite sure that you'll be singing right along with “Exit... Gunfire” which had me singing along right from the beginning. Yet while we're at it, listen to that muscular guitar composition, especially the instrumental section right in the middle of the song. That's how you make memorable thrash, there's no doubt about it. The chorus is really good, but they don't hang on it. Instead, the five-piece show why there's two guitarists in the band as both Stef-Binnig-Gollub and Markus Ulrich prove their worth beyond what I can even explain in words. Listen to “Ripper” and it's amazing Egyptian inspired melodies, that sound like something right out of Iced Earth's “Birth Of The Wicked.” Keeping in mind that Iced Earth also covered this same topic on “Jack” I'm kind of torn between which version I like better. Both are well-written and have choruses I'll be singing in my head for a few days, I'm sure.

“Septagon Conspiracy” (shouldn't it be “The Septagon Conspiracy?”) adds in some robotic vocal elements, as well as a rather rocking solo, making for an interesting thrash experiment. The title track is another one that popped right out to me. If not for the strong chorus, the progressive riff infusions most definitely. It's not a song where the chorus is heavily embraced, but as I've said – Septagon have enough musical might behind them that they don't have to rely on such a commonly used pop maneuver. If a song here is longer than what the radio might accept, then you can bet that these guys have the right kind of instrumental backing to keep your ears entertained the whole way through. The disc ends out with the oblong “Secret Silver Panorama Machine” which is a bit vocally oblong, but has a wonderful chorus number that certainly seems to show the world that there's more in store from this little act. If this conspiracy-laden thrash treat doesn't get your attention, then I think there are few things this year that will. Now obviously, despite the fact that the disc is quite pleasing, it's still a bit of a rough effort – as in, they'll get better with time. I think Septagon are only showing a fraction of what they can really pull off and the band's next output should be even further realized. Even so, I'd still recommend picking it up and it's definitely the kind of disc that has several cuts you'll want to play over and over again. This is how great and intriguing thrash metal is made. Without question, I'm already ready for the next offering.

(9 Tracks, 39:00)


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