Top 5 Neck-Snapping Tracks w/ K.T. of Phylactery
This week on the Friday Guest List K.T. of Canadian thrashers Phylactery comes in to talk about the band’s debut album and his 5 favourite neck-snapping tracks. Perfect piss-up playlist material!
How’s everything going? Your upcoming debut album Necromancy Enthroned is a ripper, how long had you been playing together prior to writing it?
Glad to hear you think so! We’ve been a project since late 2013, but only in the past couple years have we started to give this project the attention it deserves. Parts of Necromancy Enthroned have been kicking around for years and years, but the better part of it, and most of our favorite tracks off of it, were written in the space of about 4 months before recording late last year.
The demonic hellgoat depicted in the Paolo Girardi penned cover art is killer, how did working with him come about? Did you give him much direction in terms of what you were after design-wise?
I wish I could have some wild story about crossing paths by chance in Italy but the truth is far more mundane. He was one of our first picks to do album art and he agreed to do it when I contacted him. Total professional though. We gave him quite a bit of direction I would say, and even still he managed to surprise us! The actual piece which makes up the cover art has an entire other half to it which we debated making the cover art instead, but is still included in the lyric book. So if you’re looking for another reason to buy the album, there it is.
The Canadian metal scene is a fairly diverse mix of sub-genres, do you guys feel much of a connection to it at all?
It definitely is. I think no band is an island, and we are definitely connected to the Canadian metal scene both in our own right and through the other various projects that all our members are involved in. The flip side of the diversity you mentioned is that it is hard to carve out a specifically Canadian metal identity outside that aforementioned diverse mix, This presents the challenge of forming bonds out of reasons other than genre, but this can also be liberating. We don’t sound like a “typical Canadian death-thrash” band because there is no such thing, so we can simply be ourselves.
Would you say you derive more inspiration from older artists than contemporary acts?
I would say that in our influences we skew much much more towards older acts for inspiration. This isn’t because there isn’t good music being made nowadays, in fact there are killer albums dropping every week. It’s more of a function of our mindset and our writing process. We’re more the type of band to throw rough ideas at each other and jam something out and I think that lends itself much more to an old-school-straightforward style of songwriting where it doesn’t come down to anything more complicated than, “is this riff good, does this song work.” When you write in a style that stripped down it makes more sense to look for inspiration to a time like the late 80’s where things in extreme metal maybe weren’t altogether figured out.
Well it definitely seems to be working! Let’s get to your list for us today, where we asked for your 5 Fave Neck-Snapping Tracks.
Terrorizer – “Fear of Napalm” 
Maybe not the fastest track on this list, but every single riff in this song has a focused intensity that is so rare to see in grindcore. I love how there is just that ringing ride cymbal and pure fuzz bassline to start the song, instantly memorable and final riff will burrow into your brain to never leave at the same time as it forces you into the mosh pit. Between this and his work in Morbid Angel, Sandoval was untouchable on drums in the 80’s.
Nuclear Assault – “Critical Mass” 
This song puts on an absolute clinic in terms of how to have a song grip you from the word go, stopping and starting just enough to build up a momentum the song never loses. John Connelly is so talented at finding the riffs to accentuate his unique vocal style, whether it is more minimal like the verses or the frenetic chord progressions of that chorus. Nobody on earth would deliver vocals like him, and I love him for it.
Power Trip – “If Not Us, Then Who?” 
Proof against the idea, as true as it sometimes feels, that “they ‘don’t make ’em like they used to.” Nightmare Logic is my favorite album of 2017 so far and it isn’t even close. This album has that super high gain “Entombed”-esque guitar tone and other bands that use that sometimes end up feeling sterile, but here every track is alive and kicking and it was a real trial to pick a single one out. Every song is chock full of fistbangers, but the interesting drumming style near the start of this track put it at the top of the list for me.
Slaughter Lord – “Die by Power” 
Sometimes in metal, very rarely, it works when everything is perfectly in place, running like a well oiled machine, but bands like Slaughter Lord and Possessed are always an example of how Thrash is often at its best when it is a hot mess. This song is rough, ugly and absolutely perfect. Every technical and production mistake only accentuates the whole and makes this song not only feel alive, but genuinely and credibly angry..
Autopsy – “Service for a Vacant Coffin” 
Without fail, I lose my mind every time I hear those first new bass notes, those moments of teasing before the guitars start ringing out those eerie harmonies. This song showcases what Autopsy does best; effortlessly pull off tempo and pacing changes that would derail lesser bands. It manages to build up from cavernously slow to blisteringly fast not once, but twice before you’ve even realised it. It also happens to feature a characteristically unhinged vocal performance and career best drum fill work by Chris Reifert.
Well, that’s it for this week, if you wanna hear the way these ripping tracks have influenced Phylactery be sure to check out our premiere of “Eyes Of Fear And Flame” from their new album. There you can also find purchasing info and links to their social media pages. If you’re into thrash at all, don’t sleep on this one!