Greek thrashers Bio-Cancer are a 5 piece thrash band from Athens who formed in 2010. Having one album “Ear Piercing Thrash” already out, and having shared the stage with the likes of Sodom, Onslaught, Rotting Christ, Xentrix and Artillery, the torment of the innocent is ready to commence with album number 2 on the way. With mixing duties handled by Andy Classen (Destruction, Belphegor) and artwork by Andrei Bouzikov (Municipal waste, Toxic Holocaust), it certainly looks the part. The big question is, does it sound the part?
“Obligated to Incest” opens the album and straight away you can hear that 80’s thrash feel. The pace of the song is frantic – it’s fast, aggressive and the rhythm section is astounding in how tight it is whilst the guitars just rip through the thrash styled riffing with precision. Vocally it’s more death metal sounding than thrash-like, think modern thrasher’s Skeletonwitch and you’ll get an idea of the delivery, but there are some classic thrash moments in it – the use of gang vocals in the verses and choruses. It’s fast, it’s angry and the lead guitar work has that frantic Slayer feel to it. In all, it’s a great intro to the album. Title track “Tormenting the Innocent” follows up on this and it’s got a really powerful, crushing thrash groove to it which is fuelled by the drums. The riffs come across as death metal like at times but the huge vocal scream which leads into the verse just screams old school thrash and in the verse, despite the almost blast-beat like feel, it is unmistakably thrash. Much like the previous track, it has that frantic pace to it and the gang vocal work and the hectic sounding lead work, and it’s just one contained dose of anger which would go down a storm in a live setting.
“Bulletproof” has that classic drum and bass lead intro a lot of classic thrash uses, which starts it off nicely. The guitars join in and it has that distinct groove about it and the onslaught of riffs is just fantastic – the rhythm section really shines through on this track and the harshly growled vocals work really well, adding a sense of urgency to the already fast paced track. The bass solo section under the gang vocals towards the end of the track was unexpected and it works well, setting up the final chorus well which features some spectacular drum work. “Boxed Out” keeps the speed of the album up. It’s a fast, angry sounding track and it expresses it well. Continuing from the last track, the rhythm section really holds its own here and the drumming is phenomenal (Take note Mr. Ulrich!). Round the 2:10 mark it goes into a full on blast beat section with some black metal sounding riffing which just makes the track sound evil as hell and the solo is a classic example of fine shredding skills.
“F(r)iends of Friends” starts off slow with a string section sample which gives way to a crushing feel section of riffs before the speed is kicked back in to full gear. In the verses, it has more of a death metal sound to it than thrash but it works brilliantly. The song slows down more than the other tracks have done round the midpoint, which sets up the glorious NWOBHM riff section at the 3:15 mark over some incredible drums. The lead is both melodic and lightening quick as it twists over the powerful and fast drums and it really sets the end of the track up well. “Think!” starts off slow again with another heavy riff which has a slight middle-eastern flair to it before it goes back into the full speed thrash assault again. The precision and timing is spot on, like much of the rest of the album and that headbanging thrash groove is just captivating, it’s hard to resist getting caught up in it.
“Chemical Castration” has that slower paced intro again with a slightly droning rhythm guitar and clear ringing bass line underneath the repeating riff. Another riff joins in and it turns to a small harmony section which ups the intensity before going back to the straight forward slow paced crushing groove which as expected kicks up a gear to something faster paced when the vocals kick in. Although a great track, the slow paced intro did feel like it was going somewhere, and maybe a slower approach might have worked better in this part of the album… But the solo section is great so can’t complain too much! “Haters Gonna… Suffer” opens with one of the iconic samples from the film Taken before it descends into a huge wall of furious death metal flavoured thrash. The venomously spat vocals and blistering pace of the track make it just one short controlled burst of anger which lasts 90 seconds, but the intensity in those 90 seconds is worth it. It might only be a semi-filler track, but it sets up the ending of the album great and live, this could be one of the most intense tracks off the album!
Closing the album is “Life is Tough (So Am I)” which follows on from the last track in a slightly more controlled manner, filled with big thrash grooves and plenty of headbanging moments. The main riff is simple but very effective, the vocals are powerful and raw and the rhythm section is as tight as ever. It’s a solid track with no major stand out moments like some of the others, but it’s a good closer for the album – closing it the way it started off with some hard hitting thrash.
Overall, this is a fantastic album. No other way to describe it really. It has that classic thrash vibe, with a more modern edge to it in terms of the vocals and some of the genre crossing moments but you can tell just by listening to the first minute of the album that it is unmistakably a thrash album. It’s fast, it’s angry, it’s loud and it pulls no punches. Get this album Thrash fans!