Musically I guess I’m an optimist: Even as a youngster I was constantly looking for the thrash band that would make me go “Yes! That’s the one!” Ok that ended up being Celtic Frost rather than a thrash band but there you go. And here I am again, still eagerly looking to thrash. Along the way I discovered modern thrash rather than old school was more my thing, which brings us to Portugal’s Infraktor.

This lot have steamed straight into a debut album with no messing about with EPs or demos, but as they are ‘veterans’ and the band has been going since about 2013 that’s fair enough really. After a fairly ambiguous intro which could be for any genre really, Infraktor absolutely thump their way into ‘Blood Of The Weak’. This is a pounding, hammering take on modern thrash/death with a fine production brimming with energy and heads down aggression. The vocals snarl, the riffs sound like an avalanche and the lead break snakes screaming back and forth with an almost Melechesh like fury. The drums tie it all together tightly and if they have that clinical machine gun trigger sound I’ll forgive them as the fantastic ‘Son Of A Butcher’ launches with a rhythmic sound weirdly reminiscent of Passage-era Samael cranked to death thrash speeds.

It’s a fierce and unrelenting sound which kind of reminds me of One Man Army And The Undead Quartet, a band I had a real soft spot for. And one which should give you a clue as to how full on Infraktor are. There are flickers and touches of a less subtle Nevermore on the title track, though the vocals remain snarled and growled throughout and maybe a little of latter day Onslaught. The vocals are maybe a bit of a shame, great as they are, as you feel some odd bits of clean singing might add a little detail to the tracks without any fear of dropping the intensity. With these riffs there’s no chance of that.

I guess if anything that would be my criticism. Infraktor are interesting rhythmically, and the lead breaks mix things up but with the pace being pretty constant in the top gear can make things a little hard to last the pace. Though when they snap out songs of the quality of ‘Speech Of Deceit’ or ‘Unleash The Pigs’ it really shouldn’t matter too much. One of those bands you suspect can be fantastic live.

Yeah, as a debut this is a show of..ahem…’Ferocious Intent’. Bridging the gap between modern thrash and the death thrash sound these guys are serious contenders. Loud, uncompromising heavy as a concrete block and fast as a shark. It’s pretty darned cool.

(8/10 Gizmo)