attack.vertikalSwiss melodic death metal and thrash type noisemakers Attack Vertical have been going from strength to strength over the past few years. After their 2011 release “This Glorious World”, Attack Vertical have managed to carve a reputation for themselves in the Swiss and central European metal scene, sharing the stage with several big name bands like Arch Enemy, Devildriver and Hatesphere and after a four year wait, the five piece are back with their newest album “The Great Waste”.

One thing which stands out about this album is power. It hits hard and it is relentless with its assault. A continual series of riffs and precisely timed drum patterns make for a real hard hitting release. Full of groove and pace, this album doesn’t let up. From the powerful intro of “The Black Sea” to the furiously heavy and frantic paced closing track “Stillborn”, the Swiss manage to blend a range of melodic death metal riffs with the speed and aggression of thrash metal and add some modern metal tone and heaviness to it for an added kick.

With more emphasis on structure and rhythm, there are more melodic lead fills as opposed to recognisable lead sections which makes for an interesting listen. It’s like At The Gates and Kataklysm but both forgoing the lead approach and focusing more on creating massive and intense grooves. With switches between blastbeats and controlled chaotic bursts from the drums, pounding bass lines and cutting guitars all capped off by some powerful and raw vocal work, it’s very similar to an album I reviewed recently (Human Machine by Kaets) but with more of a spark to it. Whilst this approach may work, “The Great Waste” does suffer from the lack of variety and sense of over familiarity. The tracks have a bit more of a kick to them, but after listening to the first few tracks, you already get a feel for what the album sounds like and whilst Attack Vertical are highly proficient in the style of metal they play, it’s not something which will really gets you engrossed, sometimes I found myself having to check when some tracks had finished, not just because the album flows well, but because there are so many similarities between the tracks.

That being said, “Graveless” and “The Way To Purify” do have a lot more variety in them than most of the other tracks and they really stand out compared to the rest of them. Full of twisting thrash metal riffs, relentless rhythm section work and subtle melodic lead passages which are audible but not overpowering enough as to divert attention, but merely add another layer to the well crafted sound, these tracks show just how much of a solid song writing unit the Swiss group is.

Overall, it’s a reasonably good album. It could have been better if there were more prominent forays into the realm of lead guitar work just to add some more colour to the musical picture, but the relentless dedication to groove and riffing is more than enough to suffice for those who just love to headbang and get caught up in the feel of the track. Definitely one for fans of Kataklysm and the mid-90’s Scandinavian metal scene.

(7/10 Fraggle)