For the first time I found a name ‘Thermit’ in Pure Thrash issue from October, 2013. Tomasz Woźniak, the editor-in-chief, interviewed this band, also he wrote a review of “Encephalopathy”. Everything seemed to be pretty gorgeous to me, so I decided to buy this EP. It was released by the band itself, and with an infinite patience, after some delays, I’ve got this piece of metal finally: a modest and solid digipak. Before writing anything about the musical content, there is a need to give some explanations concerning obvious coherency between the band’s name and the EP title. According to the English Dictionary, a word ‘thermit’ (exactly ‘thermite’) means: a mixture of aluminium powder and iron oxide that produces a great deal of heat when ignited and is used in welding and in incendiary bombs; in turn ‘encephalopathy’: a disease of the brain, esp. one involving alterations of brain structure. Truly, what an adequate combination! Why? Because with the first seconds of the “Zombie Lover” song this Posen band serves an excellent piece of fiery brain-damaging thrash metal, fortunately not in the vein of retro thrash or being a Sodom’s crippled copyist.
I mean, I didn’t expect such a record. A good review isn’t enough to praise any slab, that’s for sure. Here I deal with a young band without a label deal, with self-financed EP. All the more, the final impressions and feelings concerning “Encephalopathy” entirety are so enthusiastic. What is more, Thermit doesn’t propose any cheap imitation, and when nowadays it’s obvious that thrash in the vein of old Slayer, Sodom or Destruction vomits its crude and hellish tunes and it is some kind of fashion or trend, this EP is a perfect evidence of, let’s say, more technical thrashing killings. With absolutely fine production (no modern artificiality is heard here!), all the instruments and vocals are given in a straight, crisp and energetic way to my hearing. Of course, you can get the best studio in whole universe, but you can’t hide the musical defects and failures of the sounds. Fortunately this band has enormous skills when I look at their stage experience…
…the skills that let them gain a splendid level. While thinking about their influences and possible patterns, a few names come to my mind. Metallica? Yes, in some guitar layers and the way of riff creating… Jendras, the guitarist, told about Metallica in interviews, even he said some warm positive words about “Load” and “Reload” albums. Yep, it seems he is a brave man, but all the influences are taken definitely from “Ride the Lightning” and “Master of Puppets” albums, and they refers strictly to the general dynamics and show. However totally different band attacks my mind when the “Now You See” song starts to rip the air: Artillery, the Danish dynamite. Just listen to the riffs appearing at 1:35, and compare it to the Artillery stamp. What did I get? A fascinating mix of two albums “By Inheritance” and “B.A.C.K.”. It is a really thrashing anthem, sometimes destroying the listener’s brain cells (encephalopathy, am I clear?), sometimes fearful, fretful, or just being prejudicious to the sanity. Giving such big names in the case of trying of describing Thermit’s tunes, it’s easy to realize that the music isn’t light or nice. It’s not simple as well, as the band diversify the music by adding many rhythm changes, twisted melodies, long solos and unexpected tunes. And it refers to the each track. Two of them (“Now You See”, “Second”) have also balladic introductions that brings back two first Flotsam and Jetsam albums, in turn “Holy Bomb” has adhan samples on the opening. And I have the only complaints about this song, it should be definitely longer as it ends too rapidly after a frenzied lead.
While rummaging in the band’s history, one information should be given during this review. Namely, Thermit used to be an instrumental crew. And after many vocal volunteers, Trzeszcz (non-Polish speakers, try to pronounce it smoothly!) has appeared on the board eventually. To put it briefly: he is a ripper. His parts are perfect to thrash metal in general meaning, mostly aggressive lines dominate, although it serves many melodious yet shrill moments in every song. It’s like a strange mutation of Brian Johnson, Steve Souza, Flemming Rönsdorf, and maybe Hetfield resounds somewhere. I’m exerting myself on giving some famous and definitely bigger names, however in this case it doesn’t make any sense: all is built on solid, strong and wall-crushing Trzeszcz’s own pharynx. He sings variably, and I really do like his modulation from high-pitched to low performance. All right, vocals are one thing, but what about the instrumentalists? No fear, as you probably felt it. For sure “Encephalopathy” is a perfect evidence how a good communication in the band should like. In consequence I got compact, complete (well-thought with beginnings and ends), straightforward and ass-kicking compositions. Simply they are very good and it is very hard to choose the best one, the leader. Maybe “Now You See” (due to this Artillery’s recollections)? Maybe “Other Man” with beautiful bifarious guitar lead reminds me of Running Wild (“Rivalry” era) and Iron Maiden? Maybe. Mind you, that through this mentioned realization of sound, I can admire the rhythm section’s scourge without any hindrance. This killing duo made of bass/drums wreaks the havoc in my brain cells, especially during all-powerful slow-downs (“Second”, “Holy Bomb”). Just then Thermit is like a brain damage inducing factor.
Writing about this release, there is a need to call “Thermitallica” song out. This ten minute colossus that ends this EP is very interesting medley of a dozen or so Metallica songs. During first listens, somebody could wonder how Thermit did persuade James Hetfield to sing on this track. How much did they pay him? Of course, it is not true, as James was busy creating a spectacular, mightful and universe crumbling sounds of “Lulu”, so luckily… Trzeszcz was forced to do that by himself only. And again I am under the impression his vocal universalness. A Polish James Hetfield? Definitely, but with a specific sense of humor. This song is a very good move, Thermit didn’t record one typical and many times heard cover-song, they choose a more difficult way to do it, and what is most important, this is not a “Thermita-Lulu-tica” or somehow I could call it. Short and sweet, the result is just great, guys!
Does this band have any chances to succeed? Will they survive amongst the infinite flood of countless crews trying to show their stuff? I repeat once again, it’s hard to believe that Thermit is still without a label. Here in Poland, there is a pressure to spit into the market (or underground) more brutal sounds and this kind of thrash played and executed by Thermit is definitely aloof. ‘Sory, taki mamy klimat’, as it was said by a classic not long ago. Reading interviews with Jendras, I arrive at the conclusions that he (and the rest of the band as well) is very ambitious, self-confident person with precise vision for the band. And I hope they have enough enthusiasm, persistence and inner strength to create such music. I’m not afraid about their musical side, but for sure the debut album will be a real test for this band. However, personally I don’t believe it will be released be a Polish label. What a pity! What a loss! This Posen based band is ready monster to be unleashed amongst the thrash supporters, but not only, as it can be used as a medicine for all old-school metal (in general) freaks. It’s a good and lethal weapon to destroy all this shitty pseudo-metal genres: with strong attitude, killing live performance and splendid music. Do I need more? No. “Encephalopathy” will burn your cerebrum. If you’re a (thrash) metal maniac, you’ll be addicted to Thermit sounds for good and all, if you’re a loser or moron, prepare your brain for an inevitable encephalopathy. There is no other way.
…somewhere southward of the Sinai Peninsula…
…the unbearable heat was the only thing that was coming from the heavens and Moses was dog-weary, he raised a left hand and wiped the drops of sweat off from his forehead and looked ahead. He understood clearly the Decalogue, the main laws given by the God to him and the Israelites, but one matter really persecutes him. Namely there was another phrase that Moses had to engrave in the third stone board. He thought “n-a-p-i-e-r-d-a-l-a-a-ć… what does it mean? What unknown language is it? What dialect? Good God…”. He was sure that his people wouldn’t understand it, just like him, yet he had a strong presentiment about importance and force of this inexplicable God’s message in the distant future…
(written on February, 2014)