It may only be May, but 2015 has already been awash with fresh thrash offerings, some absolute belters, some a bit flaccid, to be generous. Black Talon now step into the spotlight with their debut long-player, Endless Realities, and something magical is happening. This is genuine street thrash, brought up, full time, in the shadows at the edge of the genre’s history, and splattered with the arterial spray of death metal. If the latter is the input of guitarist Mike Robertson, also of Edinburghian brutes, Cancerous Womb, then it’s well-smoothed around the edges.
This lot appear to have dug deep, and really familiarised themselves with some fantastic, yet lesser-heard artists of the past. There’s so much going on here, but all very subtly blended together into one big, riff-based airstrike. It’s the place where Cracked Brain meets Malleus Maleficarum (albums by Destruction and Pestilence respectively – both classics. Hunt them down if haven’t already), a satisfying combination for life-long fans of the fast stuff. Does engagement for the connoisseur listener end there? No, Sir, it does not!
This is no big, dumb metal album. If you remember and enjoyed the flicks and flourishes of what was arguably Slammer’s best album, Idle Hands, you’ll find no shortage of smart detours from the straight-up thrash root of the sound here-in. They’re almost hidden in the furious barrage of old-school gunfire, but once you notice them, they get quite firmly stuck in your mind. They’re not overplayed, though, and leave plenty of time for hooky choruses and eerie intros.
It’s hard to tell if this is a highly intelligent album with blood-encrusted ghetto smarts, or if it enjoys/suffers some form of savant-ism, stumbling on genius without realising, but the result is undeniable; a thrash album which, although traditional in sound, is fresh and enjoyable on numerous levels. It’s a winning formula.