Portugal isn’t exactly a place you would associate with thrash metal when it comes to recognisable artists. Aside from the rather intense and impressive Switchtense which I covered earlier this year, my only real experience with Portuguese metal are the occasional pressers which come through for all that grim, dark, one man kvlt stuff… So naturally, a thrash release will always catch my eye. Enter Revolution Within.
The band, formed in 2005 have two full length releases under their belts already and their modern thrash edge, putting heavy emphasis on groove and leaning towards more metalcore vocal snarls and growls compared to the traditional thrash is a successful approach in recent years, thanks to the rise of Metalcore in the last decade, but now with the metal genres flooded with bands who have this approach, it can often be hard to stand out in a sea of mediocrity. So let’s see if this Revolution can spark annihilation on a massive scale.. Or whether they’ll just be pushed back within themselves.
The opening assault of the album’s title track does bring promise. Powerful vocals which have that anger and intensity in them required for the more modern way of tackling thrash go hand in hand with the pounding groove which has that familiar thrash feel in the palm muted chugging and if the rest of the album is as ferocious as this, it would be a rather enjoyable experience.
As it flows on, the vocals largely remain the same. This angry roar can be effective across an entire album, but it can also become boring quickly, relying heavily on the music backing it up to make it seem interesting and as much as I love a good onslaught of riffs, they don’t quite help on this release. There are some points where the music is really hard hitting and thrash like, the intro of “Growing Inside” is one notable section but again, as that progresses, the groove is tight and headbang friendly, but with the vocals, it just sounds generic. “Suicide Inheritance” on the other hand screams out classic thrash – sub 3-minutes, rapid paced and frantic feel, it is intense all round. “Until The Devil Dies” is another blistering paced thrash onslaught and the angry shouts work with the more thrash like groove backing it up. Aggressive and powerful it blasts ahead, pulling out a more modern metal friendly chorus but the subsequent riffery which accompanies the verse is well executed and keeps the track going.
In all, you may find yourself wondering where you are up to with this release because most of the tracks (with the exception of those mentioned above) really do feel familiar and sound just as similar to each other, giving rise to a feeling of deja-vu or boredom in some cases. It’s got good grooves, it can be headbanged to and moshed to and live, it would probably sound great… But for me, this record lets itself down by sticking to the groove emphasis a little too much.