Album Review: Blacklist – Disciples of Time


Album Review: Blacklist - Disciples of Time
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Yesss! Let’s thrash like it’s 1986 again. It’s all cut offs, skinny jeans and hi-tops as Blackpool thrash demons Blacklist explode like a teenager’s loins on a first date with 37 minutes of top quality, razor sharp thrash metal.

We had the first taste back in March when Blacklist dropped ‘Blood on the Sand’. A fine and succulent morsel that left a nice taste in the mouth and a desire for more. I’m pleased to say that ‘Disciples of Time’ is well worth that wait, because the band have absolutely smashed it on this debut release.

The theme of war casts its shadow long over the album. Battle sounds introduce the military snare drum and lead guitar which pave the way for the opening track, ‘In the Trenches’. It’s a bold move but one that works magnificently as the lead riff tears it up, the band at top speed from the off. Tyler Larkin’s gravel laced vocals snarling over the swirling guitars and the battering rhythm section. It’s locked, loaded and giving no quarter. The mid-section pause which drops to a circle pit stomp is welcomed after such intensity but it is a respite of mere seconds, the tempo quickly accelerating once more, the shredding relentless. It’s a statement of intent which works on every level.

Album Review: Blacklist - Disciples of Time

‘Buckets of Blood’ sees Blacklist add another gear – their sound a combination of early Kreator and Slayer but with a contemporary flavour. An anthem to the mosh pit, a distant retro-tinged homage to the thrash community. Wearing the heart on the sleeve was never an issue for Blacklist and this track is an anthem. The crushing riffs that open ‘Crucifix’ hint at a change of pace, the tempo slower but the heaviness just as punishing. Already drip fed as one of the album’s singles, the slow burn threatens to let loose at any second and sure enough, soon enough it is time to bang your head and race around the room. A battery of kick drums powers the chorus, thundering beneath the growling roars. It’s solid stuff, with a uniquely British feel (and that’s the last time this Welshman is mentioning Britain).

I reviewed ‘Blood on the Sand’ back in March and it remains a savage beast. Blisteringly fast, it tears along at maximum velocity. It’s an excellent piece of thrash metal.

If we were listening to this on vinyl, we’d be flipping over to side 2. The pace remains unrelenting, with ‘Buried Alive’ maintaining the tempo and fire. There is nothing to dislike here. The band are working in unison, the musicianship is tight, and there is absolutely no fat on the songs. It’s simply aggressive, well played and memorable. Each song lingers long after the finish. The title track ‘Disciples of Time’ might be one of my favourites. A combination of breakneck speed with slower breakdowns that always retain the heaviness, there’s something anthemic about the song. It’s a track you can rage to, fist pump to, headbang to or simply race around like a maniac.

The finale of this impressive debut arrives with the longest track on the record. Penultimate song ‘Plague Doctor’, an apt song title for our time, and yet another battering ram of a song. It’s a bruiser, less in your face at first but this one leaves a boot print. And then we arrive at ‘Vengeance’. Whilst some bands fill the final track on their albums, Blacklist have decided to conclude with an absolute monster. ‘Vengeance’ is aural assault and battery, the band’s contribution to the ‘Moshing the Roof On Vol 2’ compilation CD and a full-frontal bludgeoning that wrings the final drops of energy. It’s a massive track to finish the album.

It’s been a while coming, but ‘Disciples of Time’ is lean, mean and rammed full of monstrous thrash. The band, Tyler Larkin, Curtis Goodyear, Danny France and Matthew Warburton should be hugely proud. This will be played to death over the next few months. Get it. Listen to it and support the British thrash scene.

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