Crossing the Thrashold: An Introduction and Zoldier Noiz
Perusing through the Toilet and its wealth of well written articles, I noticed one thing that is woefully missing: thrash.
This would not be so jarring if it were a super niche subgenre like funeral doom or maybe NSBM, but it’s probably the biggest and most well known subgenre of metal there is. Hell, our boss in chief is named Joe THRASHNKILL, but there are full articles on only TWO thrash bands on the site. This is not acceptable. All of the goddamn weedly-deedly and power metal wailing must have rotted away everyone’s brain cells. My first instinct was to pay a visit to Austin, Texas with a box of homemade molotov cocktails filled with napalm. But then I realized that burning down your boss’s hometown is probably not the wisest of ideas. So I decided to pick up the slack and fill the hesher void with so much Taco Bell waste.
That’s right flushkateers, your friendly neighborhood criminal maniac is starting a column about the greatness of thrash metal. The purpose is to briefly school you on a thrash band per page; whether shining a light on a woefuly overlooked old school band, or giving props to a newer band that perhaps stands out from the heavily over-saturated pile of modern thrash. For those that like to whine and complain about how neo-thrash sucks, how it’s all crappy “dad-metal”, and how the genre should’ve stayed in the 80s, would you kindly do this for me?
And we’re not just covering plain old mosh material either. No, we’re going to cover black thrash, death thrash, power thrash, and even doom thrash (yes that is a thing). No corner shall be left unturned in the darkness of the gas station bathroom that bands often have to use while on tour, I promise you that.
(Side note: I will only cover lesser known thrash bands. What this means is NO articles from me about any of the Big 4 or even the Teutonic Big 3. So don’t fucking expect a dozen articles about how Trapped Under Ice, Riot of Violence, or Live Undead are underrated songs. Look elsewhere.)
With that being said, we’ll kick off this column with a three-piece from Montpelier, France, Zoldier Noiz.
Starting in 2006 and taking their name from a quote from the French dub of Full Metal Jacket, a couple of dudes, lead by guitarist/vocalist Tankvinss, opted to play nasty violent music instead of selling croissants or something. Cause that shit is lame. With diverse backgrounds and experience dabbling in genres such as industrial black metal and the French HxC scene, their sole intention was to emit chaos and noise, get drunk and high, and do all the wonderful things that rock musicians do. Releasing a five song demo in 2006 titled “Nekrofog”, they got off to a real good start. They followed that up with another demo called “Straight Down to Hell” the next year, and two even more violent full-lengths: 2009’s Schizoid Reject and this year’s Regression Process, eventually getting picked up by Dark Descent’s thrash-centered sub-label Unspeakable Axe Records to release the latter. Constant lineup changes and internal band strife within their 8 years of existence have lent a more authentic air to Zoldier Noiz’s goal of aural violence. They even had a guy named James Prick as their drummer. You can’t explain that.
“But what about the MUSIC, Simon?” you ask. Well you need to be more patient or I’m going to chop off your insolent tongue for trying to rush me. The music of Zoldier Noiz is as erratic as their lineup changes. Anti-social diatribes against mass manipulation, complacency, and authority; consisting of chaotic thrash with a more than moderate helping of crust punk, a small helping of speed metal, and a touch of oddness. Imagine if Extreme Noise Terror tried to slow down and play Motorhead tunes, or maybe if Voivod were slightly less strange and slightly more pissed the fuck off, and then tried to cover The Electro Hippies. The genres can flip-flop even within the course of a single song. Simon says BEHOLD.
Just listen to that gritty guitar tone straight out of 70s punk rock, that overly-fuzzy bass, the barely controlled drumming that possibly comes courtesy of a half dozen garbage cans. Mr. Tankvinss sounds like he’s literally going to spit acid in your face, which lends even more power to the unhealthy sounds of his comrades. The production is just above your average $10 garage demo (This is a compliment by the way.). Pop in any tune from their latest Regression Process and have a ball curb stomping the shit out of your wiener friends who listen to bands like Liferuiner and think they know what real violence is. MURDERDEATHMOSH.
Tankvinss claims it’s not easy being a thrash band in 2014. Not entirely true. Still, Simon says help these fellows out by liking them on Facebook and grabbing their latest album Regression Process off of Unspeakable Axe’s Bandcamp. You won’t regret it.
Until next time, be well flushers.