Catalonia is a hotbed of social unrest at the moment. Feelings of oppression, loss of cultural identity, wanting to go their own way… It’s the perfect foil for some good old fashioned thrash metal! Nuckin’ Futs, a five piece from the troubled region have seized on this atmosphere and used it as a fuel for some fine thrash fire! Blending the elements of older thrash from the 80s and the newer elements of modern age, it’s time to stare into the abyss and prepare for what is lurking there to surface.

“Cradle Of Hypocrisy” doesn’t just surface from the depths of the abyss, it launches itself with no restraints, just full on thrashing madness. The rapid pace, precise riffing and rhythmic assault lays siege to the listener, bombarding them with the twisting groove and war cry crossover thrash styled vocals. It packs a punch, be it in the speed and riffs or the tricky leads later on, a solid opening effort indeed. “Force Of Will” which follows leans more to the classic thrash stylings in its approach, bringing forward a sound reminiscent of Xentrix and Evile – no nonsense, solid grooves and thick walls of noise with great pacing. It’s a definite jump of styles, but it keeps the momentum and intensity up which the opening track has generated.

The pattern continues like this, jumps from modern and fast paced to more classic and wild, never settling much but still keeping the thrash assault going. “Enemy” has that Pantera feel to it, the main hook laden riff being very similar to that of Cowboys From Hell. Title Track “Abyss” has a more exotic edge to it with the middle-eastern flair intro and the more melodic progressions throughout the track which add some character and depth to the music brought forwards so far, but ultimately, the descent into thrash-laden riffery is inevitable and hit hits hard.

From here, the rest of the album seems to settle well. Managing to find that balance of classic and modern, adding their own unique touch, Nuckin’ Futs proceed to lay waste to all in front of them with a wall of riffs. Grooves flow, technical segments shift about with a turbulent feel and the bite of the guitars gives a real strange sound – a hybrid of Exodus, MegaDave and in places, Evile and Municipal Waste. Whether it is the rapid-fire riffing of “Chains Of Reprisal” or the heavy hitting “Primal”, the heaviness is there and the unspoken command to let loose, headbang and go wild is loud and clear. The only major departure from this is the closing track, “Tied To The Past”.

Clean to start with, Friedman-esque flowing leads with no gain on them, softer vocals and plenty of expression, it goes from a sorrowful aired requiem to a furious thrash assault. Shifting gears halfway through, it roars to life with powerful riffs and raw vocals which give way to twisting harmony leads, heavy riffs and some slick guitar theatrics.

In all, “Abyss” is a solid, no nonsense thrash metal album. It has the grooves you want, the adrenaline pumping feel you need and the attitude and style to round it off. Jumpy initially but finding its own natural flow, “Abyss” does well, showing a band who have found their approach and are now ready to advance on all who bar their path.

(7.5/10 Fraggle)