TLDR: Energic thrash metal without very little new.
Review: Skulldrain was formed in 2014 when Sami Mäki decided to give a neckshot to his previous project Zodiac Ciphers. Soon after he was joined by other Swedish musicians and the rest is history. Skulldrain got into guitar-oriented thrash metal taking influences from both older and newer names in the genre, and beyond. It took a while, though, before the debut album got done, but here it is: Hatred Rising.
And truly this one is a solid thrash metal album without useless gimmicks and off-genre racing. The songs are highly energic and mostly faster mid-tempo. There are no big surprises lying around, but who cares when everything works just fine. Song-writing is good and there are no weak links here. However, it can be said that these songs could be even more catchy. As good as these compositions are, they are not as memorable as the real classics in the genre. The only track that really stands out from the rest is the acoustic outro. Other than that everything is just basic shit, even if well-made.
So all in all there’s something missing here and I really can’t put my finger on it. The rather high-pitched thrash shrieking is not really my cup of tea, but it’s not annoying either. I guess the songs could be a little different from each other and that’s basically the only real flaw here. It ain’t a biggie, so if you’re into thrash, give this one a shot. The album surely deserves it.
1. Hatred Rising
2. White Phosphorus Bombings
3. Trigger the Crisis
4. One More Word
5. Bad Blood
6. Antisocial Agenda
7. The Only Way
8. Through Death