DEATHALIZER, It Dwells Within (2009, self released)

The skull:
This skull is pissed! Pissed about holistic healing or something, I guess, because he’s chomping the shit out of those crystals. He don’t give a fuck about his chakra. Lord knows what those things above his head are. Really badly knicked scythes? Bullwhips with terribly unergonomic grips? Only the skull knows, and I’m not going to be the one to ask him. I don’t want to be deathalized!

The music:
With all the new retro thrash bands out there, it’s easy to forget that even throughout the 00s, thrash never died entirely. Sweden more or less carried the torch all those years, but there were some American bands, too, who loved that old bay area shit even when everyone else was getting moist over post-post-post-whatever. The main creative difference between those wayward thrash acts of the aughts and the snotty atavists of today’s new scene is that the thrash bands in the age of George W Bush acknowledged and even celebrated the influence of Pantera. And so we come to New York’s Deathalizer, whose sole release is this full length mash-up of late 80s Metallica and Pantera, with a dash of pre-cornrow Machine Head. You’d expect something like this to suck horribly, but surprisingly, it does not. This isn’t life-affirmingly excellent stuff, but it’s riffy and catchy, with reasonably good Hetfieldian vocals and even some interesting harmonized cleans. I wish the guitars harmonized a little more often, or mixed up textures within riffs, but this is a pretty common shortcoming of modern thrash acts. Considering that this is the band’s debut recording, and the band is still together, I’d say there’s a good chance that their next album will start to approach actual excellence, so keep an eye out for these guys.
— Friar Johnsen