"Boundless!" (Metal Blade; 2011)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Australian trio Assaulter pays homage to the darker edge of NWOBHM with their eight-track, blackened thrash presentation entitled "Boundless!" This disc showcases a gritty and raw sound taken from the archives of Celtic Frost and Kreator with a primitive corpse-painted vocal rasp and the kind of menacing rhythms and demonic riffs that get the blood pumping (and the neighbors nervous) fueling the band (?Slave to King?).

Despite this squad?s lineage (Assaulter features former members of Destroyer 666 and Razor of Ocam), Assaulter decisively dials in an old school sound complete with authentically lo-fi production values to comprise a solid yet unspectacular affair geared primarily for purists from metal?s first wave of aggression and brutality.

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"Salvation Like Destruction" (Pulverized; 2009)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Australia's Assaulter have a sound that reaches back to the very early days of thrash metal. This is very much like the pre-1986 style of thrash when the real speed hadn't quite kicked in. Think early Destruction, Kreator and maybe even some "Hell Awaits"-era Slayer tossed into the mix. It's not just the guitar sound and the slightly restrained pace that make this release sound like it was done twenty-five years ago. Assaulter obviously loved those old albums so much that they tried to replicate the raw production values as well as the style. Indeed, the songs contained here have the fuzzy echoes that permeated thrash albums that I grew up with back in the mid-1980s. Perhaps that helps give Assaulter's album a more authentic feel or I guess that is what they were shooting for.

There is certainly an instant familiarity to this disc. The bone-crushing approach and primitive style is easy to like, but hardly spectacular. They have a fine handle on getting their mid-tempo tracks going and the level of heaviness complements the sound. Indeed if this had been done in 1985 then it would have been a killer job. However, that time has long past. So instead this is a good disc, but one of many that doesn't do enough to really stand out from the pack of the many retro-thrash bands going today.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright ? 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 01 Jul 2024 12:10:25 -0400.